Nigerian foremost industrialist and philanthropist, Mr Abdul Samad Rabiu, has announced the launch of the ABDUL SAMAD RABIU AFRICA INITIATIVE (ASR AFRICA) and a yearly Africa Fund endowment of $100million effective 2021. The aim of the Fund is to cater to various interventions in Education Health and Social Development.
According to a statement by the ASR Africa Initiative, $50million will be dedicated to Nigeria yearly with the remaining $50million to be devoted to the rest of Africa.
Rabiu, who is also the Founder and Chairman of BUA Group, one of Africa’s largest Foods, mining, infrastructure and manufacturing conglomerates is also the sixth richest black person in the world according to the latest Forbes rankings.
The initiative also announced grants of N1billion each to six Nigerian universities across the nation’s geopolitical zones. These grants will go towards the initiation and upgrade of infrastructure where applicable. The universities benefitting from the first phase include Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in Kaduna State, the University of Maiduguri, University of Nigeria Nsukka, University of Benin, University of Ilorin, and the University of Ibadan. These grants will be directed towards projects that will be delivered by the ASR Africa Initiative for the project duration.
Commenting on the motivation for the Abdul Samad Rabiu Initiative, the BUA Group boss said it was with immense sense of fulfillment that he was endowing $100million every year starting from this year, 2021 to Nigeria and the rest of African continent.
He said “Over the years as a corporate, and through the BUA Foundation, we have been actively involved in corporate philanthropy in various sectors – from health, education, community development, water & sanitation, sports, and even more recently, our work on COVID-19.
However, with the Abdul Samad Rabiu Initiative and its annual $100million Africa Fund for Social Development, we are specifically extending this work to the Education, Health and Social Development sectors, starting with infrastructure and capacity development in these areas and supporting the efforts of various governments in Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa. Our broad focus is equipping facilities, our researchers, healthcare practitioners and community-level service providers, with the aim of providing sustainable solutions for generations to come. They say life begins at 50; what they never tell you is that a pandemic can change your life at 60.”
He recalled that in year 2020, when he turned 60, at least two million others turned into memories, taken by this deadly virus. He said he watched millions become numbers in a global death toll and ancestors in the world beyond, stressing that the same pandemic that forced humans to slow down, now forces our humaneness to square up as the plans he once took time to construct, now take up all his time.