This came as the French Minister for Foreign Trade and Economic Attractiveness, Franck Riester, paid a visit to the BUA Group HQ in Lagos Nigeria where he handed over a personal invitation from President Emmanuel Macron to Abdul Samad Rabiu to attend the Choose France Summit in June in Paris for business leaders from Nigeria and Africa.
The French minister also witnessed the signing of a progress acknowledgement statement between BUA Group and Axens of France for BUA’s proposed 200,000barrels per day refinery in Akwa Ibom. At the visit, BUA Group chairman was also named Chairman of the France Nigeria Investment Club.
Speaking during the ceremony, the BUA Group Chairman, thanked the Minister and President Macron for their unwavering support in bringing the company and French businesses together. He further added that so far, BUA had initiated partnerships and developed personal relationships with a few French businesses, including Axens whilst expressing confidence in the expertise and technical know-how of French companies partnering BUA on the refinery project.
Also speaking at the event, Jean Sentenac, president of Axens said that he was pleased that the project was advancing on schedule. He also commended the very good cooperation between all the parties involved and reiterated the commitment of Axens to delivering on the BUA Refinery project on time and with the highest standards.
For his part, Franck Riester, the French Minister for Foreign Trade and Attractiveness, who spoke on behalf of Mr Marcon, invited the BUA boss to the “Choose France Summit” stressing that the French Government was ever ready to support people-oriented developmental projects in Nigeria. “I am very pleased to see how committed Abdul Samad Rabiu is for the refinery and in the space of philanthropy”. Macron said. “I want to stress how keen you were in promoting the interest of Nigeria and its people during our meeting in Paris and how committed you were to make the economy stronger and more resilient. I want to congratulate you for the vision and ambition you demonstrate in many sectors in your will to build projects shaping the future of Nigeria. We think that we have to support long term investment of French companies in Nigeria and Nigeria companies in France and this project of refinery is a wonderful project for Nigeria”, Macron said.
Earlier, Abdul Samad Rabiu, who stated that Nigeria imports most of its crude oil consumed daily, noted that BUA Refinery when fully operational will reduce the huge cost transporting crude oil offshore, refining it, and bringing it back into the country.