Emmanuel Macron, president of France, has inaugurated the France-Nigeria Business Council, a private sector initiative aimed at bolstering business relations between the two countries with Abdul Samad Rabiu, founder and executive chairman of BUA Group, assigned the role of its inaugural president.
The recently initiated council also has high profile Nigerian business magnates, Gilbert Chagoury of Chagoury Group, Mike Adenuga of Globacom and Conoil, Aliko Dangote of Dangote Industries, Tony Elumelu, chairman, UBA and Heirs Holdings, and Herbert Wigwe, CEO, Access Bank, as Nigerian members of the council. Additionally, 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 in Paris on the sidelines of the Business France Summit in Versailles, France, Abdul Samad Rabiu commended Macron for his vision in establishing the French Nigeria Business Council which, according to him, has spurred a reset in the business relationship between Nigeria and France and created a viable platform for businesses from both countries to partner and improve business ties.
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Rabiu pointed out that 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.
He also asserted that 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,” he noted.
Expressing gratitude for being appointed the first president of the France-Nigeria Business Council, the BUA chairman pledged to use the platform to create better opportunities for businesses on both sides.
Also speaking at the event, President Macron lauded the efforts and confidence of the newly appointed president of the council in French businesses which led to a partnership for BUA’s new 200,000 barrels per day refinery. He also pledged his government’s support to facilitating better dialogue amongst the Nigerian businesses present and their French counterparts.