French president, Emmanuel Macron has Abdul Samad Rabiu, chairman of BUA group, as president of France-Nigeria business council, a private sector initiative to enhance business relations between the two countries.
The appointment was made at the inaugural event of the council held in Paris on the sidelines of the Business France Summit in Versailles, France.
In April, Macron had extended an invitation to Rabiu seeking his presence at the Choose France Summit representing business leaders from Nigeria and Africa.
He had also appointed Rabiu as chairman of the France Nigeria Investment Club, commending his commitment to the development of French and Nigerian businesses.
In his remarks, Rabiu thanked the French president for his vision of creating the French Nigeria business council, enhancing the business relationship between Nigeria and France.
He also commended Macron for appointing him as the first president of the inaugurated council, as he pledged to use the platform to create better opportunities for businesses on both sides.
“Nigeria is blessed with numerous potentials for French companies to do business across different areas,” he said.
“Notably solid minerals, mining, manufacturing, agriculture, associated equipment, power, food processing, and even in the business of associated equipment or infrastructure for the value chains of these sectors.
“Where French businesses have formerly been risk-averse or outrightly unable to do business with Africa’s largest economy, they can now be assured of a platform through which they can penetrate and mutually grow the market.
“Where Nigerian companies had not seen French companies or the French market as a viable destination due to a lack of information, they can now be sure of a platform to facilitate this. This is all thanks to President Macron’s foresight and vision.”
On his part, Macron praised the BUA chairman for his confidence in French businesses, which led to a partnership for BUA’s new 200,000 barrels per day refinery.
The French president pledged his government’s support to facilitate better dialogue amongst the Nigerian businesses and their French counterparts.
The newly inaugurated council also has Gilbert Chagoury of Chagoury Group, Mike Adenuga of Globacom and Conoil, Aliko Dangote of Dangote Industries, Tony Elumelu, Chairman UBA & Heirs Holdings, and Herbert Wigwe, CEO, Access Bank as the Nigerian members of the council.
The largest French companies, including Dassault, Danone, Axens, Ponticelli and Total Energies, are also council members.