Abdul Samad Rabiu established BUA International Limited in 1988 for sole purpose of commodity trading. The company engaged in the importation of rice, edible oil, flour and iron and steel.
In 1990, the then Government owned Delta Steel Company contracted BUA to supply its raw materials needs, for which Bua was paid with finished products. This provided the much needed windfall for the young company. Bua further ventured into steel, billets and iron ore importation and supplying multiple rolling mils in the country.
Few years down the line, BUA acquired Nigerian Oil Mills Limited, the largest edible oil processing company in Nigeria and later set up 2 flour milling plants in Lagos and Kano in 2005. By 2008, Bua broke an eight-year monopoly in the Nigerian sugar industry by commissioning the second largest sugar refinery in sub-saharan Africa. The company went on the acquire a controlling stake in a publicly listed Cement Company of Northern Nigeria in 2009 and commenced to construction of a $900 million cement plant in Edo State commissioned early 2015.
In 2013, Forbes estimated Abdul Samad's wealth at $1.2 billion, bringing him to the global billionaire's club.