The University of Maiduguri, (UNIMAID), Borno State, has conferred an honourary doctorate degree on the Chairman of the BUA group, Samad Rabiu.
This is as Mr Rabiu’s foundation, the Abdul Samad Rabiu Africa Initiative (ASR Africa), donated a N1 billion International Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship building to the university.
The university also conferred honourary doctorate degrees on the Vice President, Kashim Shettima; Shehu of Borno, Abubakar Umar; and the former Registrar of the university, Dahiru Bobbo.
The university vice, Aliyu Shugaba, a professor, had said in preparation for the university’s 24th combined convocation that was held on Friday, that the awards were for their remarkable contributions to the university and society.
‘N1 Billion Entrepreneurship Centre’
Mr Rabiu said the construction of the N1 billion International Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship for the university by his foundation, ASR Africa, stemmed from his deep belief in the transformative power of education and entrepreneurship.
Mr Rabiu said, in his speech, that his vision for the centre is an innovative hub of ideas, creativity, and practical entrepreneurship, emphasising that the centre’s role is more than just a physical structure.
“In a world where economies are rapidly evolving and Nigeria strides towards renewed hope, centres like this are vital for development. They are the platforms for nurturing our future leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs. We must not just learn; we must act,” he said.
The centre includes administrative offices, dynamic workstations, creative conceptual hubs, a welcoming cafeteria, an extensive library, and an exhibition hall. It also boasts a 150-seater hall, designed for high-profile presentations and academic conferences, further enhancing the University of Maiduguri’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development complex.
About Mr Rabiu
Mr Rabiu, the 4th richest man in Africa, founded the BUA group in 1988. He was a former Chairman of Tropical Continental Bank from 1993 to 2000, and a former Chairman of Nigeria’s Bank of Industry.
The BUA Group Chairman studied Economics at Capital University, Columbus, Ohio, United States of America (USA).
He holds Nigeria’s National Honors of Commander of the Federal Republic (CFR) and Commander of The Order of The Niger (CON).
He is a recipient of many awards including the 2016 African Industrialist of the Year Award by the All-Africa Business Leaders Awards. He is the inaugural and current President of France-Nigeria Business Council.
In January 2020, Mr Rabiu merged his privately owned Obu Cement Company with the publicly listed Cement Company of Northern Nigeria, where he already held a controlling stake in a $13.3 billion transaction. The resultant company from the merger, BUA Cement Plc, was the third largest company on the Nigerian Stock Exchange by market capitalisation upon listing.
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