BUA Group and Axens of France on Wednesday in Lagos signed a progress acknowledgment statement for the proposed 200,000 barrels per day refinery in Akwa Ibom.
The ceremony was witnessed by French Minister for Foreign Trade and Economic Attractiveness, Franck Riester, who paid a visit to the BUA Group’s headquarters 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, representing business leaders from Nigeria and Africa.
A statement by the group said the French President, commended Abdul Samad Rabiu, BUA Group’s chairman, for his commitment to developing lasting relationships between French and Nigerian businesses.
The visitor also announced the appointment of the BUA Group boss as chairman of the France Nigeria Investment Club.
Speaking, Abdul Samad Rabiu thanked the Minister and President Macron for their unwavering support in bringing BUA and French businesses, adding that so far, his group has initiated partnerships and developed personal relationships with a few French businesses like Axens. He expressed confidence in the quality of expertise and technical know-how of the French companies with whom BUA is in partnership.
Reacting also, Jean Sentenac, President of Axens expressed pleasure that the project is advancing is progressing as scheduled, as well as the very good cooperation among the various parties involved, and reiterated the commitment of Axens to deliver the BUA Refinery Project on time and with the highest standards.
Also during the visit, Abdul Samad received from Riester, President Marcon’s invition to the “Choose France Summit,” expressing the French Government’s readiness to support people-oriented and 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.
Continuing, he stressed how keen the BUA Group boss “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,” he added.
Earlier, Rabiu lamented the situation where Nigeria imports most of its crude oil consumed daily, assuring that BUA Refinery, when fully operational, will reduce the huge cost transporting crude oil offshore, refining it, and bringing it back into the country.
The decision to site the refinery in Akwa Ibom, Southern Nigeria, he explained, was strategic due to huge availability of raw materials and its proximity to export petroleum products to regional countries.
Riester was accompanied by a high-powered delegation of Jerome Pasquier, Ambassador of France in Nigeria; Mrs. Laurence Monmayrant, Consul General of France in Lagos; Quentin Teisseire, Chief of Staff, Alexis du Boisberranger, Technical advisor for export and strategic partnership; Ms. Benedicte Constans, Advisor to the Minister, in Charge of Communication; Pascal Furth, Regional Economic Counsellor, French Embassy amongst others.
Caption: French Minister for Foreign Trade and Economic Attractiveness, Franck Riester (left); and Chairman, BUA Group, Abdul Samad Rabiu (right) when the French Minister paid a visit to BUA Group HQ in Lagos, on Wednesday.