This is a nice question. Difficult to choose between A and B. I think B is wrong because "as apparent as [it is] in its" --> [it is] can be suppressed to make it less wordy. Also, in A, "more apparent than in its" is a superlative expression that conveys a better idea that french ideas is most apparent in Columbia's institutions. "as...as..." is better used to convey a sense of equality between two compared things.
Ex: Peter is more handsome than Jack --> One is more handsome than the other
Ex: Peter is as handsome as Jack is --> One is just as handsome as the other
The sentence here starts with "Nowhere else in Columbia" and wants to infer, IMO, that nowhere else is french ideas more important than
rather than just as important as
. "Nowhere" is the keyword pointing to this concept of superlativeness.