Beyond its abundant natural resources, Nigeria is home to many brilliant minds whose involvement in different sectors has contributed immensely in launching the country towards economic sustainability. One of such great minds is 37-year-old Abdullahi Haske, who wears numerous hats. Described by many as a serial entrepreneur, private investor and philanthropist, he is the Group Managing Director of AA & R Investment Group – an integrated services firm serving a clientele across the agribusiness, oil and gas, maritime, support services and logistics, and information technology sectors.
Billionaires are not made in a day. Sixteen years ago, he began his business career as a general contractor, growing a nascent enterprise into a conglomerate with its horizons spreading beyond Nigeria and into other African economies. His shrewd business acumen and resilience have been instrumental to his remarkable journey adorned by milestones and several firsts.
While opinions differ on if leaders are born or made, Abdullahi effortlessly combines nature and nurture disposition as he has maintained a track record of leadership most of his life. He currently serves as the Chairman of several companies, including Haske and Williams Limited, a pioneer agricultural company; Etihad Trading Ltd; Etihad Energy Ltd; and Etihad Oilfield Services Ltd. Both professional experience and educational training have moulded his dexterity as he holds a Diploma in Political Science from the University of Abuja.
Under Haske’s visionary leadership, in April 2018, Haske and Williams signed a strategic alliance agreement with New Nigeria Development Company Limited (NNDC) to identify, develop, and implement agricultural opportunities in Northern Nigeria. A firm believer in the active involvement of young people in economic diversification, he was quoted thus, “Agriculture is a venture for young people, not old people as insinuated. It is unfortunate that Northern Nigeria has a vast area of land for agricultural usage but has not been put to use. However, with the signing of the agreement, the North is about to witness a revolution in the sector.” The company also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with FGM Expert Farmers to facilitate an agriculture manpower development programme.
Also well-seated among Haske and Williams Limited’s enviable portfolio is Mars Aviation, a leading aircraft charter service and aviation support services company, redefining executive charter and crew change services. The company boasts of over 100 years of combined industry experience, an established national network, with presence in several commercial and aviation hubs across the country. A trail-blazer of sorts, Abdullahi Haske positioned the company from inception to tackle mobility challenges for individuals and organisations.
Haske has a vast wealth of experience in the Nigerian oil and gas sector, as well as a burning passion and ambition to keep adding value to the country and its people. This can be easily deduced from the exclusive interviews he had with Business Day, This Day and Nairametrics, where he shared his expert opinions on what the government can do to channel oil and gas for economic growth, solve power challenges using gas, attract more investors for crude oil products, and transform Nigeria’s economy using agriculture. His recent acquisition of 51 per cent of the Addax oil bloc reflects the sturdy reputation he has built in the industry over the years.
His track record shows that he is wholly given to creating value, little wonder why he has generated much wealth under-40. Although his success has been linked with high connections at the helm of the country’s affairs, no one can contest that people only associate, promote, and recommend value. Another feather to Haske & Williams Limited’s cap is the commencement of operations of a rice mill in Adamawa State and a cassava starch processing plant in Kwara State. Again, the operations of these two establishments would generate more jobs for Nigerians and definitely, more income for the astounding Haske.
Haske is also a lover of humanity, and he uses the fruit of his hard work to make lives better for people. The AB Haske Foundation, a Non-Governmental Foundation, assists poor and vulnerable persons and provides basic amenities for indigents. At the peak of the COVID-19 lockdown, a total of 14,000 residents of Adamawa State from over 21 local governments benefitted from Haske’s philanthropy, as the foundation gave out palliatives to help lessen the effect of the pandemic on indigents.
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Haske is an embodiment of intelligence, foresight, and hard work. The ground-breaking results of his passion are proof that young people can make a generational impact and be legitimately successful when they set their hearts to create value. When the scale of power and wealth weighs heavily among the older generation, it becomes a tedious task for younger ones to be seen as legitimately successful without critical scrutiny for any shade of cunning. Notwithstanding, as Africa continues to make global strides, young entrepreneurs are taking the continent by storm. Abdullahi Haske’s massive investments in Nigeria’s evolving agricultural, aviation and oil sectors have put him on the global map of young minds to watch out for.