President Emmanuel Macron of France has appointed billionaire businessman, Abdul Samad Rabiu, as the President of France-Nigeria Business Council.
The council is a private sector initiative to enhance business relations between the two countries.
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Macron appointed Rabiu, Founder/Chairman of Nigeria’s BUA Group, as the inaugural President of the council at a business summit in France.
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 members of the council.
Speaking at the inaugural meeting of the council, Rabiu thanked Macron for appointing him and pledged to use the platform to create better opportunities for businesses on both sides.
thanked President Macron for “his vision in creating the French Nigeria Business Council which has led to a reset in the business relationship between Nigeria and France and has created a viable platform for business from both countries to partner and improve business ties.”
He said, “Nigeria is blessed with numerous potentials for French companies to do business across different areas, 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.”
President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated Rabiu.
Buhari’s congratulatory message was contained in a statement issued Wednesday by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina.
The President said the appointment of the BUA Chairman, after inauguration of the France-Nigeria Business Council, further highlighted the warm and growing relations between both countries typified by strong partnership at different levels, including security, education and health.
He said the philanthropist recently played a frontline role in the health sector, particularly in the fight against global pandemic, COVID-19.
Buhari congratulated the business community for a successful outing at the Choose France Summit held at Chateau de Versailles, outside of Paris.