• Boosting Literacy, Development in Africa

    February 20, 2017 Dar es Salaam, Tanzania Learning in Tanzania One of Africa’s leading energy conglomerates, Sahara Group, has opened a new world of learning and development in Tanzania, by…

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    Sahara Group Renovates Library to Boost Learning in Tanzania

    January 20, 2017 Dar es Salam, Tanzania Leading African energy conglomerate, Sahara Group, has renovated the library at Pugu Secondary school in Tanzania; opening a new world of learning and…

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  • WEF: Sahara Group Predicts Economic Silver Lining For Nigeria, Africa

    DAVOS, JANUARY 19, 2017 Executive Director and Co-founder of Sahara Group, Tonye Cole has said the current harsh economic climate in Africa is inspiring diversification in the business space that…

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    NNPC, Sahara Energy Unveil Vessels to Address LPG Supply Hiccups

    17/01/2017 The supply logjam which often impedes stable availability of Liquefied Petroleum Gas, LPG, otherwise called cooking gas, may soon be over. The West Africa Gas Ltd (WAGL), a Joint…

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  • Sahara Group Has Set Me On Path to Greatness – Winner of Film Competition

    06/01/2017 It didn’t require divination to know that Sahara Group’s project: “Grooming Film Extrapreneurs with Kunle Afolayan,” would produce the next generation of unique filmmakers in Nigeria. The film competition,…

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    Sahara Group, Kunle Afolayan Unveil Next Generation of Filmmakers

    December 13, 2016 The foundation for the next success stories in Nigeria’s film industry was laid today as Sahara Group announced Joseph Duke as the winner of its ‘Grooming Film…

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  • Egbin Power Unveils Future Plans In Maiden Sustainability Report

    December 7 Nigeria’s foremost power generation company, Egbin Power PLC (Egbin”), today released its maiden sustainability report which signposts its commitment to operating in tandem with global best practice whilst…

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    Sahara Group Commended As UNSDGF Launches New Universality Report

    Leading African Energy Conglomerate, Sahara Group has been lauded by the United Nations Sustainability Development Goals Fund (UNSDGF) for its unwavering commitment to spearheading private sector involvement in driving global…

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  • Sahara Group’s 20 Film Extrapreneurs Emerge, Set To Redefine The Industry

    Sahara Group’s ‘Grooming Film Extrapreneurs’ competition has produced 20 finalists following rigorous screening of over 150 docu-film entries by celebrated Nigerian movie producer and director, Kunle Afolayan. Describing the screening…

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    Enhancing Food Security in Africa

    Vital Project The Food Africa Project was officially launched on July 13 with a series of events and programmes. The project is a collaborative initiative between Sahara Group, United Nations-…

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  • Sahara Group’s Tonye Cole on “Why SDGs are good for Business”

    There has been a growing acceptance globally, of the need to accelerate the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through bridging the gap between the United Nations and the…

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    Sahara Group Urges Sustained Global Partnerships as SDG Clocks One

    Achieving the 2030 target for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will require strategic and continuing multi-sectoral collaboration across the globe, says Tonye Cole, Executive Director, Sahara Group as the world…

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  • Sahara Power are Saharalympics Winners

    Sahara Power finished as winners of the second edition of the intra-group sports competition known as Saharalympics concluded on Saturday at the Campos Square Mini Stadium in Lagos. Sahara Power…

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    Sahara Group Keeps Olympics Alive Through Saharalympics

    The spirit of the Olympic Games comes alive again on October 1, 2016 at the Campos Square Mini Stadium, Igbosere, Lagos, Nigeria as Sahara Group holds its second intra-group sports…

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  • Egbin Power Awards Scholarships To 14 Students

    Egbin Power Plc, the nation’s biggest power station, has awarded scholarships to 14 students from its host communities as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility. The company said it remained…

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    Sahara Group Leads Session On The Planet at UN Private Sector Forum

    Discussions aimed at “Protecting the Planet” will be one of the major highlights of the 2016 United Nations Private Sector Forum on September 19, 2016 in New York as business…

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  • Sahara Group Pledges Support For Young Innovators

    Sahara Group, leading African energy conglomerate has said it would support the 30 young Nigerians who emerged from the maiden Aso Villa Demo Day entrepreneurship development project to grow their…

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    Touching Lives across the Globe Our Greatest Achievement at 20 – Tonye Cole, Sahara Group Co-Founder

    The privilege to inspire youths to reach for their dreams and provide platforms to facilitate socio-economic development to beneficiaries across the globe is priceless to Sahara Group, Tonye Cole, the…

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  • Food Africa Project targets 500,000 People in 5 years

    The Food Africa project by Kaduna State Government in conjunction with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Fund (UN SDG-F), Sahara Group and Roca Brothers is to promote food security.…

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    UNSDG-F, Sahara Group, Kaduna State Unveil Food Security Project

    Jere, Kaduna (Nigeria), 13 July 2016. As Nigeria embraces a challenging economic diversification process, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Fund (SDG-F) is working in Kaduna to pilot an innovative approach aimed at revamping the food sector to create new jobs for young people, increase farmers’ revenues, improve productivity, enhance nutrition and reduce food loss through…

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  • Sahara Group, Kunle Afolayan Extend Film Competition Deadline

    Sahara Group and foremost Nigerian film producer, Kunle Afolayan have extended the deadline for application to the ongoing “Grooming Film Extrapreneurs with Kunle Afolayan” project following requests from young film…

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    Government, UN, Sahara Group Plan Workshop To Promote SDGs In Nigeria

    Nigeria’s government, the United Nations and Sahara Group are set to host a private sector forum to create awareness on collaborations to support the development of a Universal Sustainable Development…

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  • Sahara Foundation to ‘Groom Film Extrapreneurs with Kunle Afolayan’

    Sahara Foundation has flagged off its extrapreneurship initiative with a competition designed to provide a hub for budding film makers to express their skills under the tutelage of ace Nigerian…

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    SAHARA POWER PLEDGES MORE INVESTMENT IN CAPACITY BUILDING

    The management of Sahara Power has restated its commitment to sustained human capital development investment in Nigeria’s power sector to ensure enhanced productivity and seamless skill transfer. Kola Adesina, Managing…

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  • Sahara Group Upgrades Vocational Centers, Empowers 2600 Beneficiaries Annually

    A total of 2600 beneficiaries in Lagos now have access to capacity building opportunities annually through vocational centers supported by leading energy giant, Sahara Group. This is in keeping with…

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    Sahara Group Not Involved In Political Donations

    Our attention has been drawn to online media reports sourced from a Press Statement credited to the Ekiti State Governor, His Excellency, Mr. Ayodele Fayose. We are particularly disturbed by…

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  • Sahara Group Boosts War Against Cancer With N120 million

    Leading energy and infrastructure conglomerate, Sahara Group, has donated N120 million towards the cause of acquiring Mobile Cancer Centers (MCC) as Nigeria continues to seek sustainable avenues of combating the…

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    Sahara Foundation targets 12m beneficiaries through extrapreneurship platforms

    Sahara Foundation has adopted the extrapreneurship strategy to drive integrated economic empowerment programmes through strategic partnerships and support for innovative as well as scalable business ventures. Sahara Foundation is the…

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  • Sahara Group, Others Seek Framework For Global Business Integrity

    Sahara Group, a leading African Energy and Infrastructure Conglomerate has restated its commitment to collaborating with various stakeholders to rout the menace of corruption from governance and businesses to boost…

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    ‘Egbin generating over a quarter of Nigeria’s electricity’

    More than a quarter of the total electricity generation in the country comes from Egbin Power plant, the company’s chairman, Kola Adesina, said in Lagos on Friday. Mr. Adesina, who…

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  • Egbin’s Human Capital Profile Among Africa’s Best, Says Adesina

    Nigeria’s largest Power Generation firm, Egbin Power Plc says it’s staff ranked among the best in the power sector in Africa whilst restating its commitment to continuous expansion and investments in alternative energy sources to boost power supply in Nigeria.

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    Q&A with Tonye Cole: How can we improve trust in the oil and gas industry?

    This article is part of a World Economic Forum series of interviews with CEOs from the PACI community, which aims to rebuild trust, transparency and integrity in business..

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  • Interview with Tonye Cole: Why borderless economies are best for Africa

    During the sixth annual conference and exhibition of the African Petroleum Producers’ Association, APPA, in Abuja, Tonye Cole spoke with Premium times on what African needs to do to survive the pressures caused by declining global crude oil prices on the continent’s economy...

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    Sahara Group to drive Book-for-All project with libraries, donations

    The Sahara Group, a leading Energy conglomerate, has its sights on championing the cause for a world full of books that can be accessed by all, especially the less privileged across the globe...

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  • Sahara’s Two Decades of Grit and Gains

    It is often said that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a step. This moving statement, credited to the famous Chinese philosopher, Lao Tzu, has actually...

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    Kaduna partners Sahara Group, UNSDG on Food Africa Project

    Kaduna State Government is set to partner the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and Sahara Group on the Food Africa Project that seeks to boost poverty alleviation, food security…

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  • Sahara Group marks 20th anniversary with sustainable development projects

    The Sahara Group, a leading energy and infrastructure conglomerate has said its 20th anniversary celebration will be dedicated to giving back to indigent communities and supporting sustainable development projects...

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    Egbin Power Donates Training Equipment to Four Universities

    Nigeria’s biggest power station, Egbin Power Plc has donated specialised engineering training equipment to the engineering faculties of four Nigerian universities...

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  • FG commends Sahara on role in success of power sector privatisation

    The Federal Government has lauded Sahara Group and Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) for the unfolding transformation of Egbin Power Plc, the nation's largest power generation utility...

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    DPR mistaken in suspension order – Sahara Energy

    The management of Sahara Energy Resources Limited has said the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) did not give the company an opportunity to provide available documentary evidence

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  • Sahara Group urges global partnerships for ‘Zero Poverty’

    Sahara’s Group Executive Director, Tonye Cole has said that though daunting, the quest for a world free of poverty can be attained through sustained cooperation...

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    Sahara Group joins UN, SDGF, others for Sustainability Report launch

    Sahara Group, a leading African Energy and Infrastructure conglomerate will on November 10, 2015 in New York, join other stakeholders for the launch of the Sustainable Development Goals Fund (SDG-F) new report, “Business and the United Nations...

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  • Contract for delivery of crude oil to refineries

    Our attention has been drawn to the Press Release issued by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) that made reference to the “Contract for Delivery of Crude oil to Refineries”...

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    Givers of Light

    A new breed of young and smart engineers takes over the power sector in Nigeria to provide the nation with the much needed electricity.

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  • Sahara ‘Light Up Nigeria Challenge’ produces alternative energy sources

    Young inventors at the recently concluded second edition of the ‘Sahara Light Up Nigeria Challenge’ in Lagos, have proffered alternative and renewable energy sources...

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    NRGI REPORT: SAHARA RESTATES POSITION ON OFFSHORE PROCESSING AGREEMENT

    Our attention has been drawn to the publication by the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) titled: “Inside NNPC Oil Sales: A Case for Reform in Nigeria”. We note that the…

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  • EU, Sahara Group to partner on improving Power and Child nutrition in Nigeria

    Sustainable power supply and enhanced nutrition for children are some of the key issues the European Union is keen to promote in Nigeria...

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    SAHARA GROUP supports flood and fire victims in Ghana

    Sahara Group, a leading privately owned Oil, Gas, Power and Infrastructure Conglomerate has provided aid and support to the victims of the June 3rd flood and fire disaster in Accra, Ghana...

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  • Sahara partners United Nations on youth development

    Sahara Group is partnering with the United Nations on the “Building Bridges” project which seeks to position young people for effective participation in activities that will be...

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    Sahara’s update on Offshore Processing Agreement (OPA)

    Over the past few weeks, the print, electronic and social media have been awash with all sorts of news surrounding the Offshore Processing Agreement (OPA). A lot of...

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  • Sahara Group states position on Offshore Processing Agreement (OPA) and unfolding events in the Oil & Gas sector

    Our attention has been drawn to the article in This Day Newspaper published in Nigeria on the 7th of June 2015 with the headline: "Oil Traders, NNPC officials interrogated...

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    Sahara’s So Aviation bags ISO 14001:2004, OHSAS 18001:2007 certifications

    So Aviation Fuel Limited, a member of the Sahara Group, has been awarded the ISO 14001:2004 and OHSAS 18001:2007 certifications after being audited and found to meet...

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  • Re: “How Dangote, Otedola Used Perceived Closeness With Buhari To Persecute Competitors In The Oil Sector”

    Our attention has been drawn to a story making the rounds on online news sites with the above stated headline.

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    Sahara Explains the Offshore Processing Agreement (OPA)

    We are aware that, over the past few months, there has been media interest in the crude oil offshore processing agreement (OPA) entered into by Society Ivoirienne de Rafinage, Abidjan…

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  • Tonye Cole resigns from Greater Port Harcourt City Authority board

    Executive Director, Sahara Group, Tonye Cole has resigned as Chairman of the board of the Greater Port Harcourt City Development Authority (GPHCDA) after successfully steering the activities of the organisation…

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    FAQs on Sahara Group

    In its almost 20 years of operations, the Sahara Group has witnessed an unfolding expansion story that transcends global markets and borders...

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  • Sahara Group partners PACI on global anti-corruption crusade

    The Sahara Group’s commitment to eliminating corruption from the business environment has facilitated its induction into the World Economic Forum’s Partnering Against Corruption...

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    Sustainable Development: Sahara inducted into SDG-F advisory group

    The Sahara Group has been inducted into the Private Sector Advisory Group of the Sustainable Development Goals Fund (SDG-F)...

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  • Nigerian Fuel Subsidy Probe – Sahara Exonerated

    At the beginning of 2012, the Nigerian government in its bid to deregulate the downstream sector of the petroleum industry removed the subsidy on premium motor spirit (PMS) and this…

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    Sahara Group Upstream Optimistic over Prospects from OPL 274

    Sahara Group’s Upstream Company has said it is making good progress with its activities in OPL 274 where Sahara has a 100% working interest, even as the company continues to…

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  • Sahara commits 1,500 man-hours to volunteering activities in 2014

    In keeping with its resolve to entrench volunteerism as a critical aspect of its corporate social responsibility initiatives, staff of Sahara Group spent 1,500 man-hours in volunteer...

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    Sahara Foundation: Sustaining a pedigree of positive impact

    The jubilation was infectious. 1,600 people had just received a new lease of life flowing from potable water powered by a mechanised device provided by Sahara Foundation...

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  • Sahara Group: Energy giant berths in Power Sector

    Driven by a passion to dare the mundane and nurture businesses to fruition, Sahara Group, an African oil and gas, energy and infrastructure conglomerate is constantly desirous of breaking into…

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    Sahara boosts literacy campaign with ‘Read to Me’ School Project

    In the eyes of every child are dreams untold and visions to behold. The joy of hearing children mutter their first words never leaves the hearts of parents. But how…

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  • Sahara Power acquires additional power generation assets

    Sahara Power, a subsidiary of Sahara Group is set to increase power generation capacity in the sector through investment in new technology...

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    Global News Apologises over false Sahara Energy reports

    The Management of Global Style Multimedia Services (Publishers of Global News) and the Editor in Chief of the Magazine, Mr. Segun Ogunbunmi hereby tender our unreserved apology to Sahara Energy…

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  • Sahara Power Employs 107 Graduate Engineers

    The nation’s power sector has received a remarkable boost in its human capital profile following the employment 107 young Graduate Engineers by Sahara Power Group in keeping with the company’s…

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    Power: Sahara ‘Light Up Nigeria’ Project unveils alternative energy sources

    Today, we live in a world keen on powering nations, industries and homes with alternative sources of energy. Some nations have since recorded a significant shift in this quest, leading…

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  • Sahara Group Announces Successful Drilling Results, Doubles Reserves

    Sahara Group's Upstream division has announced successful results of drilling and testing in OPL274, where it holds a 100% working interest. Sahara's upstream affiliate Enageed...

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    The Net to Live Campaign in Ijora Community

    Determined to reduce the incidence of malaria to the barest minimum, Sahara Foundation recently partnered with Kasher Consulting Limited to distribute insecticide treated nets among the densely populated residents of…

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  • Sahara acquires Power Sector assets

    Sahara Group has acquired assets in Nigeria’s power sector In keeping with its desire to “be the provider of choice wherever energy is consumed.” The acquisition was realised under the…

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    Sahara Upstream OPL 274 achieves One Million Man Hours LTI free

    A combination of strict adherence to best safety standards and operational expertise has earned Enageed Resource Limited, a member of the Sahara Group the record of one million man-hours loss…

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Boosting Literacy, Development in Africa

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February 20, 2017

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Learning in Tanzania
One of Africa’s leading energy conglomerates, Sahara Group, has opened a new world of learning and development in Tanzania, by renovating the library at Pugu Secondary school for over 900 students and 76 teachers of the prestigious institution.

The school, which is known for producing presidents and notable Tanzanians, had hitherto experienced a lull in its reading culture due to the dilapidated library.
The library project was carried out by Sahara Group’s subsidiary, Sahara Tanzania in conjunction with Sahara Foundation, the Group’s Corporate Responsibility vehicle and READ International, a non-government organisation

Acting

SourceThis Day Live

Golden Opportunity
Speaking at the inauguration of the library in Dar es Salaam, Head, Corporate Communications, Sahara Group, Bethel Obioma, said the organisation was delighted to be given the opportunity to empower youths in Tanzania.

“In addition to renovating the library and refreshing its ambience, Sahara also donated new books which we believe will inspire the students to pursue their dreams and aspirations with renewed vigour. At Sahara, we are passionate about providing platforms that transform lives,” he said.

Whist formally inaugurating the library, Acting Commissioner for Education, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Mr. Nicolas James Buretta, said he was confident it would “improve access and equity in education for the current and future students of Pugu Secondary School.”
“Sahara’s gesture resonates with the resolve of the Tanzanian government to sustainably improve access to quality education. We commend Sahara for identifying with youth empowerment in Tanzania and I urge the students to make maximum use of the library and care for the books to ensure sustainability,” he said.

New Experience
Pugu’s Headmaster, Juvenus Mutabuzi said the library was a “new dawn experience” for the school, adding that it had paved the way for Pugu to reinforce its position as a leading institution of learning in Tanzania. “The excitement of the students says it all. We are proud of Sahara. The teaching staff and our students will definitely take advantage of the new library to enhance the school’s academic excellence,” he stated.

Also speaking at the event, President of the Students’ government, Elias Rwegerera said the new library would rekindle the students’ passion for reading and ultimately improve their academic performance. “On behalf the students, I would like to thank Sahara Foundation and READ International for renovating our library. We would like you and other organisations to continue donating more books to enable us read more in order to become the leaders of tomorrow.”

Extrapreneurship Model
Sahara Foundation’s Manager, Babatomiwa Adesida, said Sahara was also exploring the introduction of its extrapreneurship framework in Tanzania to provide a platform that finds, creates and connects young entrepreneurs in emerging markets.

“We will embark on projects that expose and connect young business owners to boundless growth opportunities. In keeping with our corporate responsibility initiatives in over 10 countries across four continents, where we operate, Sahara is bringing energy to Tanzania and we are grateful for the opportunity we have been given to contribute to the development of this great nation.”

20170120_091910

Book-for-All Project
The Sahara Group is also focused on championing the cause for a world full of books that can be accessed by all, especially the less privileged across the globe.
This is the rationale behind Sahara’s literacy and empowerment projects at its various locations as it continues to support education and capacity building activities among children and youths.

In 2016, Sahara Foundation engaged in sustainable projects to improve the reading culture of children as well as improve their learning environment. One of such projects involves the donation of over 50,000 books and setting up of 10 rural libraries in selected rural communities and public schools in Benue State.
The initiative seeks to make books more accessible to more children and youths, and is to be replicated in Sahara locations, globally and other areas; with the support of strategic partners.

Sahara Foundation launched the ‘Read to Me’ School Project in 2014 to promote a reading culture amongst children. The initiative, spearheaded by staff members who serve as volunteers, encourages reading for knowledge and leisure.

Strides in Nigeria
Sahara Foundation in 2015 upgraded the library at the United Mission College (UMC) Primary School, Ibadan, Oyo State and also provided the library with books to enrich the minds of pupils. The foundation also refurbished and equipped a Guidance and Counselling Centre for Eko Akete Senior Secondary School, Lagos Island. The Centre effectively serves the academic, psycho-social, and career needs of the students.

Sahara Foundation, through various interventions and strategic partnerships has shown continuous commitment to building capacity and improving lives through the power of education and a reading culture. It believes its dream of a ‘Book World’ is achievable and will sustain its quest until a “book happens to every human on the planet.”

Vocational Centres
Through vocational centres supported by Sahara Group, around 2,600 beneficiaries in Lagos now have access to capacity building opportunities annually. The group said the gesture was in keeping with its quest to enhance economic growth and development in Nigeria.
The centres include the Lagos State Vocational Training and Skills Acquisition Centre, Surulere, and the Oshodi Community Vocational Centre, which received support in 2014 and 2015 from the Sahara Foundation.

In June 2014, Sahara Foundation refurbished the dilapidated Textile Laboratory in Oshodi Vocational Centre in Lagos, Nigeria. The main objective of this project was to provide opportunities for pupils and adults within Oshodi Community and its environs to gain vocational skills to support gainful employment and/or starting a business.

The project covered structural refurbishment and equipping of the Clothing and Textile Lab as well as capacity building in Arts and Crafts for 10 vocational teachers from various centers within the locality, to positively stretch Sahara’s impact.

Currently, over 1,000 pupils and locals now have access annually to a conducive, safe and fully functional Clothing and Textile lab for practical sessions, according to the organisation.
In 2015, Sahara Foundation also upgraded the dilapidated Food and Nutrition Vocational Centre in Oshodi to an ultra-modern Cooking Laboratory. Following the completion of the project, more than 1,000 pupils across 12 Government Primary Schools in Oshodi Local Government Area (LGA) can now access the fully functional Catering Lab for practical sessions annually.

Sahara Foundation also upgraded the Catering Department of the Lagos State Vocational Training and Skills Acquisition Centre in Surulere, Lagos in February 2014. The centre was established by the State Government to reduce the rate of unemployment.

With over 600 youths within the locality having access to the facility annually, this enhances prospects for income generation and employment of beneficiaries by notable establishments in the hospitality sector.
The Sahara Foundation is equally involved in several interventions in health, education and capacity building, environment and sustainability in its various locations across the globe.

Executive Belief
Executive Director and Co-Founder, Sahara Group, Tonye Cole said working with the centres had reinforced Sahara’s belief that people could be empowered to excel beyond their limitations when linked with the right platforms, partnerships and opportunities.

“In every one of these 2,600 people resides that innate God given idea that can create value for different people across the globe. Sahara Group is proud of the achievements some of the beneficiaries are already recording in their various disciplines. We are privileged to witness firsthand, the transformation of everyday people whose greatest attributes are their passion and commitment to pursue and realise their dreams,” Cole said.

According to him, the promoters of the centres deserve commendation and support to ensure sustainability and a brighter future for more Nigerians.
“When we consider the success stories that will emerge from these 2,600 beneficiaries every year and those they will impact directly and indirectly, Sahara Group is emboldened to remain committed in supporting and providing guidance to similar vocational centres,” he added.

Sahara Group Renovates Library to Boost Learning in Tanzania

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January 20, 2017

Dar es Salam, Tanzania

Leading African energy conglomerate, Sahara Group, has renovated the library at Pugu Secondary school in Tanzania; opening a new world of learning and development for over 900 students and 76 teachers of the prestigious institution.

The school, which has a celebrated heritage of producing presidents and notable Tanzanians, hitherto experienced a lull in its reading culture due to the dilapidated library.

The project was carried out by Sahara Group’s subsidiary, Sahara Tanzania in conjunction with Sahara Foundation, the Group’s Corporate Responsibility vehicle and READ International, a non-government organisation.

Speaking at the inauguration of the library in Dar es Salam, Bethel Obioma, Head, Corporate Communications, Sahara Group, said the organisation was delighted to be given the opportunity to empower youths in Tanzania.

“In addition to renovating the library and refreshing its ambience, Sahara also donated new books which we believe will inspire the students to pursue their dreams and aspirations with renewed vigour. At Sahara, we are passionate about providing platforms that transform lives,” he said.

Whist formally inaugurating the library, Acting Commissioner for Education, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Mr. Nicolas James Buretta, said he was confident it would “improve access and equity in education for the current and future students of Pugu Secondary School.”

Acting

Acting Commissioner for Education, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Nicolas James Buretta cuts the tape to inaugurate the Library.

“Sahara’s gesture resonates with the resolve of the Tanzanian government to sustainably improve access to quality education. We commend Sahara for identifying with youth empowerment in Tanzania and I urge the students to make maximum use of the library and care for the books to ensure sustainability,” he said.

Pugu’s Headmaster, Juvenus Mutabuzi said the library was a “new dawn experience” for the school, adding that it had paved the way for Pugu to reinforce its position as a leading institution of learning in Tanzania. “The excitement of the students says it all. We are proud of Sahara. The teaching staff and our students will definitely take advantage of the new library to enhance the school’s academic excellence,” he stated.

Also speaking at the event, President of the Students’ government, Elias Rwegerera said the new library would rekindle the students’ passion for reading and ultimately improve their academic performance. “On behalf the students, I would like to thank Sahara Foundation and READ International for renovating our library. We would like you and other organisations to continue donating more books to enable us read more in order to become the leaders of tomorrow.”

Acting

Cross-section of students reading at the newly renovated Pugu Secondary School Library.

Sahara Foundation’s Manager, Babatomiwa Adesida, said Sahara was also exploring the introduction of its extrapreneurship framework in Tanzania to provide a platform that finds, creates and connects young entrepreneurs in emerging markets. “We will embark on projects that expose and connect young business owners to boundless growth opportunities. In keeping with our corporate responsibility initiatives in over 10 countries across four continents, where we operate, Sahara is bringing energy to Tanzania and we are grateful for the opportunity we have been given to contribute to the development of this great nation.”

WEF: Sahara Group Predicts Economic Silver Lining For Nigeria, Africa

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DAVOS, JANUARY 19, 2017

Executive Director and Co-founder of Sahara Group, Tonye Cole has said the current harsh economic climate in Africa is inspiring diversification in the business space that would ultimately unveil a silver lining across the continent.

Speaking at the 2017 World Economic Forum in Davos, Cole said the New Year will bring about stabilization as various nations continue to pursue Public Private Collaboration and empower small business enterprises.

Cole led other discussants on the topics: “Africa Regional Business Council” and “Promoting Open Societies for Sustainable Development” at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

According to him, the dip in oil price has elicited a response that is “driving a new level of diversification and opening new opportunities for growth which will become apparent in the months and years ahead.” “All we need to ensure is not to make this a knee jerk reaction to the oil price fluctuation. Diversification should be driven by well thought out sustainable strategies,” he adds.

Cole said Nigeria is at the cusp of a major transformation given the renewed drive for developing non-oil income streams.

He said the nation’s power sector stakeholders are currently considering all avenues to combat the current gaps being experienced in the industry.

“The power industry will need to adopt a holistic approach to solve the current challenges. From gas production to the distribution of electricity, we will need to ensure that prices across the value chain works for all parties while ensuring that defaulting customers pay debt as well as create a paying culture for electricity consumed.”

WEF

On Sahara’s focus for 2017, Cole said the company would continue to explore opportunities across the energy value chain in Africa. This, he explained will consolidate Sahara’s position as a leading energy conglomerate in Africa.

Sahara currently has operations in seven African nations with ongoing plans to increase its footprints as the year unfolds.

He urged investors across the world to turn to Africa where entrepreneurs are leading the charge for economic prosperity.

“Africa is a fertile land for foreign investment and investors can and will make the most of this opportunity by partnering with African entrepreneurs. Foreign investors can leap frog into the continent by leveraging on the wealth of experience and understanding that the African entrepreneurs have.”

 

NNPC, Sahara Energy Unveil Vessels to Address LPG Supply Hiccups

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17/01/2017
The supply logjam which often impedes stable availability of Liquefied Petroleum Gas, LPG, otherwise called cooking gas, may soon be over.
The West Africa Gas Ltd (WAGL), a Joint Venture Company of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, and Sahara Energy will on 17th January, unveil two LPG vessels in Ulsan, South Korea which promises to be a game changer in the supply network of the subsector.
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NNPC Group Managing Director , Maikanti Baru, who spoke at a Pre-Naming Ceremony Dinner held on Monday 16 January in South Korea, said he was delighted that the venture which was established in 2014 had started to recorded success even within a short span.
Baru said the milestone was a boost to the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) business in Nigeria.
WAGL, which was incorporated in March 2013 will serve as a vehicle for off-take, marketing and trading of Natural Gas liquids (NGLs) across Africa and beyond.
The JV is run by two companies, NNPC LNG Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of NNPC and Sahara Energy’s oil and gas trading arm, Ocean Bed Trading Ltd (BVI).
The Company is expected to take the delivery of two vessels – Halls 8182 and 8183 – from the renowned Korean shipbuilding company, Hyundai Mipo Dockyard Limited. 

Sahara Group Has Set Me On Path to Greatness – Winner of Film Competition

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06/01/2017

It didn’t require divination to know that Sahara Group’s project: “Grooming Film Extrapreneurs with Kunle Afolayan,” would produce the next generation of unique filmmakers in Nigeria. The film competition, which required participants to shoot 15-minute documentaries featuring Nigerian entrepreneurs at work, received over 150 entries, including documentaries from Uganda and Dubai. Following a stringent screening process, Joseph Duke’s “Give Us This Day” was adjudged the best. If Sahara Group, a leading African energy conglomerate was looking to put the spotlight on the resilience, creativity and excellence of the everyday Nigerian entrepreneur, then it is certainly a big MISSION ACCOMPLISHED. In this interview, Duke speaks on his experience and expresses a firm desire to use his reward of mentorship with the ace film producer, Kunle Afolayan as a springboard to success in the sector. Excerpts:

Joseph Duke (2)

Source: The Eagle Online

Can you tell us about yourself?
My name Joseph Etekamba Duke. I’m from Akpabuyo in Cross River State. I have six siblings and I’m the youngest in the family. My close friends fondly address me as “The Electsduke of Media” and I try to keep myself inspired by making friends with media inclined people or God fearing Christians or both. I also watch a lot of films and documentaries. I have no favorite sport, food or game. I just flow with whatever makes me happy, but my favorite colour is Burnt Orange and I enjoy listening to soft rock music. Up until I met my wife six years ago, I used to have Michelle Rodriguez as my Secrete Crush and Pierce Brosnan (Bond 007) Character as my career model. That was because I started off as an actor, but since I attended the National Film Institute, Jos in 2008, I found my place behind the camera, calling the shot.

What is the title of your winning entry?
The Title of my entry is: “Give us this day.” Someone might be wondering what is in the name “Give us this day…”. It’s a prayer on the lips of thousands of entrepreneurs, including myself. We want to express all that has been deposited in us for the advancement of our economy and the benefit of humanity, thus we pray.

What inspired you to shoot it?
First and foremost the information from Sahara about the competition and the opportunity to work with Director Kunle Afolayan inspired me to shoot this documentary. I was also intrigued by the prospect of connecting with other young film makers as Sahara promised to make participants become part of Sahara’s Extrapreneurship hub that can help filmmakers hone their skills through shared expertise. The content or the subject matter of the documentary was largely inspired by the altruistic efforts of passionate entrepreneurs like Mrs. Lola Aneke, who always gives her best to helping children with Autism and other special needs, and Ivan Ogonna, an innovative engineer that picks up one of the oddest job in this part of the world: Pet Care Service.

Can you take us through the process of putting it together and how easy or not it was to put it together?
The information about Sahara’s Grooming Film Extrapreneurs with Kunle Afolayan project got to me late, as such my natural response was to ignore it considering the time frame, but then my wife encouraged me to go for it. Not only did she verbally support me, she was physically present all through the production, making calls, booking appointments, while I focused on the technical aspect of the production. One of the challenges we faced was that one of the characters in the documentary was very busy and he had to travel out of the country that weekend, thus we had to shoot for longer hours than we scheduled. On the technical side, shooting in a school environment without capturing the faces of the kids was also quite demanding.

Did you expect you will win?
Yes I expected to win the competition. I mean, that was the reason for picking up the camera in the first place. Although there were strong competitors, but like I stated on my Facebook page, my victory is explainable. It’s called God’s favour and diligence.

How excited are you to be the winner?
I am very excited to have emerged the winner of the competition. Like I mentioned on the day of the award, I look forward to working with Director Kunle Afolayan as a close mentor.

What went through your mind when you heard your name as the winner?
To be honest, I can’t recall what I was thinking about when I was announced the winner, but I knew exactly how I felt. Gratitude is the word. I felt grateful, privileged and help by God. Sahara Group has truly set me on a pedestal to greatness and this I am very grateful for.

Do you intend to fully take up a career in filmmaking?
I’m I taking Filmmaking as a full time career? My answer is Yes! Yes! And yes! I might diversify into broadcasting and other forms of media later in the future, but for now it’s filmmaking all the way.

What are your expectations from your six months mentorship with Kunle Afolayan?
I expect to learn as much as my mentor is willing to share with me in the areas of film art, film business and international relations, although my earnest goal is to add as much value as I can to the brands – Kunle Afolayan and Sahara Foundation – while building mine alongside. Because I know that inasmuch as I have been identified with these brands. Their success is my success.

Are you looking forward to it?
Yes I am looking forward to having a great time with my mentor and his team members.

What do you have to say to Sahara Group for this opportunity you have been given?
Thank you is not enough words to express how I feel for this opportunity Sahara Group is giving me. Nonetheless, I would like to say emphatically to Sahara Group that you will never regret this and I genuinely appreciate this push you are giving me. I will make the best of it. Thank you so much.

What do you intend to do after the six months mentorship with Kunle Afolayan?
This is a very tricky question for me because what I will do after the six months will be whatever my mentor, Kunle Afolayan, advices me to start. Nonetheless, with his approval I have some interesting movie scripts that could pass for a feature film and I also hope to officially launch my Film Fans Social Club, an enterprise where movies becomes reality.

Sahara Group, Kunle Afolayan Unveil Next Generation of Filmmakers

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December 13, 2016

The foundation for the next success stories in Nigeria’s film industry was laid today as Sahara Group announced Joseph Duke as the winner of its ‘Grooming Film Extraprenuers with Kunle Afolayan’ project. Duke won with a documentary entitled ‘Give Us This Day’.

Duke’s documentary, which beat entries from 20 finalists, highlighted the challenges faced by entrepreneurs, including a story about caring for special needs children. More than 150 entries were received in the competition which began in June 2016 following the partnership between Sahara Group and the award winning filmmaker Kunle Afolayan, designed to identify and empower young film makers in Nigeria.

Sahara Extrapreneurship pix

Executive Director/Co-founder, Sahara Group, Tonye Cole (left), Winner, ‘Sahara Group’s Grooming Film Extrapreneurs Competition’, Joseph Duke and Ace Movie Producer/Director, Kunle Afolayan at the unveiling of winner of the competition which was designed to identify and empower the next generation of film makers in Nigeria…today in Ikoyi, Lagos

Chinenye Balogun and Alabi Kayode emerged first and second runners up respectively, with entries that showcased the creativity and resilience of Nigerian entrepreneurs.

The overall winner will undertake a six month internship with Kunle Afolayan, while all the three top finalists will attend the 2017 Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France with the support of Sahara Group.

The competition also attracted entries from outside Nigeria. Two of such entries stood out. They include: Daniel Ecwalu (Trash Cash –  story based on taking children off the streets and empowering them) from Uganda and Akshay Makar (Climatenza – The happenings of Climate Change).Sahara's Film Extrapreneur pix 2

1st Runner Up, ‘Sahara Group’s Grooming Film Extrapreneurs Competition,’ Chinenye Balogun, Executive Director/Co-founder, Sahara Group, Tonye Cole, Winner of the Competition, Joseph Duke, Ace Movie Producer/Director, Kunle Afolayan and 2nd Runner Up, Alabi Kayode at the event to unveil the winner of the competition which was designed to identify and empower the next generation of film makers in Nigeria…today in Ikoyi, Lagos

While announcing the winners, Tonye Cole, Group Executive Director, Sahara Group, congratulated all the 20 finalists for rising up to the challenge of taking their craft to the next level.

“You are lucky your generation has this kind of opportunity which Kunle Afolayan and I never had.  When you get this kind of opportunity you take it seriously. At Sahara we are willing to go the extra mile to take entrepreneurship to a different level. That is why we created the Extrapreneurship platform to facilitate a meeting point for talent and opportunity. We believe you have the potential to be the best in the sector as well as change the narrative of Nigeria and the entire continent through your films,” he said.

Cole further explained that the competition is part of Sahara Group’s contribution to the development and growth of the Nigerian economy.  He said the 20 finalists will be inducted into Sahara Group’s extrapreneurship hub where young entrepreneurs can access support to nurse their dreams to fruition.

Foremost film maker, Kunle Afolayan, who led the screening of the entries, said he was impressed by the documentaries. He said entries were assessed based on sound, lighting, production design and quality.

“I feel privileged to have seen all the documentaries,” he said, adding: “I believe you all have the potential to do even much more. You are the next big success stories we expect to emerge from Nigeria. There are a few things I observed. I saw a common trend in the entries where you all concentrated on telling stories which is common in Nollywood. However, there are certain elements that are vital achieving success in film making. What is very important is the production value.  If your production value is poor your story will never fly no matter how good it is.”

Describing his success as a “pleasant surprise”, Duke said: I am very happy to have won the competition. I wasn’t expecting this at all. I am grateful to Sahara Group for the opportunity. I look forward to working with Kunle Afolayan.”

The competition challenged young Nigerian film makers to capture the spirit of entrepreneurship in Nigeria in a Docu-Film with the theme ‘My Nigeria, My Platform…Nigeria through an entrepreneur’s eyes’.

 Sahara Group hopes to reach over 12 million youths via its Extrapreneurship Hub that will drive integrated economic empowerment programmes through strategic partnerships and support for innovative as well as scalable business ventures.

 

Egbin Power Unveils Future Plans In Maiden Sustainability Report

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December 7

Nigeria’s foremost power generation company, Egbin Power PLC (Egbin”), today released its maiden sustainability report which signposts its commitment to operating in tandem with global best practice whilst delivering optimised power generation to boost access to affordable, reliable and sustained energy in Nigeria.

Entitled ‘Building a sustainable future’ the Report is the first of its kind in Nigeria’s power sector. It highlights Egbin’s current status since its privatization in 2013; its values and governance model; alignment of the company’s strategy with its commitment to a sustainable global economy; socio-economic and environmental impact of its activities and the roadmap for future plans.

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Speaking on the report, Egbin’s Chairman, Mr. Kola Adesina said: “We are delighted to unveil Egbin’s maiden sustainability report as it reinforces our resolve to ensure a sustainable growth for the company having achieved major milestones since the new management took over on November 1, 2013. Egbin remains committed to working with all stakeholders as we seek to establish Egbin as a foremost industrial hub for economic growth and development.”

Sahara Group, working through a special purpose vehicle in collaboration with Korea Electric Corporation (KEPCO) acquired majority shareholding to complete Egbin’s privatization in 2013. Following its privatization, generation capacity in Egbin grew from an average of 400MW to hit 1100MW in 2015 for the first time since its inception; with the company already planning to double the plant’s capacity by 2020.

Adesina noted that whilst the report covers the period from January 1 to December 31, 2015, references are made to activities from the point of takeover of the plant in 2013. “It’s a celebration of our success and recognition of areas where we could have performed better. In addition to reiterating our continuing quest for sustained outstanding performance, it also demonstrates our commitment to transparency and best practice for the benefit of all our stakeholders.”

Egbin’s sustainability report was developed using the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) framework and provides a metric for measuring the company’s financial and non-financial performance. The report employs the GRI G4 “In Accordance” Option of the Sustainability Reporting Guidelines and the supplement dedicated to the Electric Utilities sector issued in 2013.

The report includes disclosures on key indicators in areas material to Egbin’s stakeholders including the level and capacity of energy generation, economic performance, workforce diversity, safety report, conservation and biodiversity management as well as strategies targeted at improving performance in these areas.

Adesina said the management of Egbin is hopeful that sustainability reporting in the power sector would help ensure that the interests of all stakeholders are taken into account across all points of the sector’s value chain. “We intend to make this an annual publication and hope it will inspire other operators in the sector to follow suit. We believe Egbin has once again raised the performance bar in the sector as we work towards using the principles of sustainability to achieve our goal of optimising our generation capacity through quality human capital, continuing investments, consideration for socio-economic and environmental issues and strategic alliances that will open new frontiers for Egbin across Africa,” he stated.

The intended audiences for the report include Egbin’s shareholders, customers, employees, suppliers and other third party business partners, government and regulatory organizations, local and foreign institutional investors, international agencies and the general public. These stakeholders are directly and indirectly impacted by the activities of the organization.

The report will be disseminated through hard copy and online versions which will be hosted on Egbin Power’s website (www.egbin-power.com) and Sahara Group’s website (www.sahara-group.com) among other online portals.

Click links below to access the report: Egbin Sustainability Report

Sahara Group Commended As UNSDGF Launches New Universality Report

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Leading African Energy Conglomerate, Sahara Group has been lauded by the United Nations Sustainability Development Goals Fund (UNSDGF) for its unwavering commitment to spearheading private sector involvement in driving global campaigns for achieving the SDGs.

Speaking at the launch of the new report on Universality, business and SDGs in New York, Paloma Duran, Director, UNSDGF said Sahara’s contribution to the SDGs had boosted the narrative of business being a key stakeholder in promoting sustainability initiatives.

“We truly appreciate the support and dedication from Sahara Group as well as the company’s commitment to its membership of the Private Sector Advisory Group (PSAG) that was formed to better align public-private partnerships for sustainable development through business leaders of major companies from various industries worldwide. We are delighted to see Sahara leading the SDG charge through its various Corporate Responsibility initiatives, the Food Africa Project and midwifing platforms for private sector involvement across Africa,” said the UNSDGF Director.

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Entitled ‘Universality and the SDGs: A business perspective’, the report is sequel to the maiden edition (‘Business and the United Nations: Working Together towards the Sustainable Development Goals: Framework for Action’) which set tone for private sector perspectives on how companies can address the new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development through collaboration.

The new report is based on a series of global workshops and dialogues with the private sector and examines some of the key issues facing businesses working to incorporate and implement the SDGs within their organization. Insight and input from over 100 companies all over the globe are presented in the report, including common elements gleaned from more structured workshops held in Nigeria, Colombia, Spain, and the United States.

A case study on Sahara Group’s ‘Light Up Nigeria Challenge’ features in the report and highlights how the SDGs can be incorporated into a company’s core business activity, the crucial importance of establishing diverse partnerships to bring about sustainable and targeted change.

Working in conjunction with ENACTUS Nigeria, Sahara Groups hosts the annual ‘Light Up Nigeria Challenge’ to encourage innovation in alternative and renewable energy resources. The competition harvests projects from students from around the country showcasing alternative energy sources and innovations to help ensure sustainable electricity supply in Nigeria.

SDGF Report Launch 11NOV2016 ©David Ito-7737

 

The 2015 competition, which attracted entries from 28 different schools, involved developing simple models to reduce energy production costs and encourage the use of alternative energy sources in communities, small businesses and schools. “This competition provides a national and international platform for young people to present their ideas and empowers them to make real change in their communities. It also serves to power innovation in the energy sector where the Sahara Group conducts most of its business, helping develop more efficient and environmentally-friendly solutions while contributing to sustainability,” the report stated.

In Nigeria, the PSAG has scored a huge point through the Food Africa project which mirrors how business, the UN and other stakeholders can collaborate to create a sustainable development platform.

The Food Africa Project is a collaborative initiative involving Sahara Group, UNSDGF, Roca Brothers and the Kaduna State Government, directed at empowering communities and alleviating poverty through food security. The 5- year project is an Agro-base initiative envisaged to integrate the entire food value chain – the farmer, wholesaler, retailer and consumer- providing a sustainable source of food security, poverty alleviation and eradication, skill acquisition and social inclusiveness.

The project seeks to:   provide employment, eradicate poverty and empower the people – It is estimated that about 500,000 people will be impacted both directly and indirectly by the project; reduce food wastage through the recycling of food produce that do not meet the proposed standards for offtake and increasing production substantially to encourage the development of sustainable food infrastructure in Kaduna State, with initial investment in vegetables.

Sahara’s Executive Director and Co-Founder, Tonye Cole, said the company is committed to pursuing the emergence of formidable PSAG platforms through which the SDG-F can partner with the Private Sector to achieve the SDGs in Nigeria.

Cole said this would enable businesses align their operations with the 17 SDGs as well as continuously gauge their contribution to each global goal, monitoring impact and implementing new ideas to effect improvement.  “Increased involvement of the Private Sector will in the long run enhance the sustainability of business as SDGs are good for business.” See links below

 The First Universality Report: http://www.sdgfund.org/sites/default/files/business-and-un/SDGF_BFP_HKSCSRI_Business_and_SDGs-Web_Version.pdf

The Second Universality Report: http://www.sdgfund.org/sites/default/files/Report-Universality-and-the-SDGs.pdf

Letter of Appreciation: UNSDGF Thanks Sahara

 

Sahara Group’s 20 Film Extrapreneurs Emerge, Set To Redefine The Industry

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Sahara Group’s ‘Grooming Film Extrapreneurs’ competition has produced 20 finalists following rigorous screening of over 150 docu-film entries by celebrated Nigerian movie producer and director, Kunle Afolayan.

Describing the screening process as “nostalgic and indicative of a bright future for the film industry,” Afolayan said he swelled with pride all through exercise, reassured that Nigerian youths will always rise to the occasion – when given the right platforms.

“We saw everything we were looking out for in good measure; overall film-making capability, style of storytelling, subject matter interpretation, audio and visual quality, aesthetics as well as understanding of the perspective of a story. This has been a hugely successful project for Sahara Group and my team and we are confident that many success stories will emerge from these film makers.”

Extrapreneur

Powered by the Sahara Foundation, ‘Grooming Film Extrapreneuers’ is a novel initiative designed to provide a hub for budding film makers to hone their skills through collaboration and access to shared expertise.

Unveiled in June 2016, the competition required young film makers to create 15-minute documentaries that capture and celebrate entrepreneurs at work across the nation, using the theme: My Nigeria, My Platform…Nigeria through an entrepreneur’s eyes.

The shortlisted 20 finalists include: Albert Adeshoga, Iniabasi Udosen, Babtunde Oyewunmi, Heaven Kalu, Azeez Hussein, Onome Egba, Dorothy Njemanze, Ashkay Makar, David Medugu and Alabi Kayode. Others are: Jude Dare, Efe Edosio, Joseph Duke, Oluwatobi Yeye, Hamed Adedeji, Georg Nakanda, Chineye Balogun, Ezekiah Balogun, Daniel Ecwalu and Victor Enam.

Bethel Obioma, Head, Corporate Communications, Sahara Group, said the project reinforces the company’s commitment to facilitating sustainable development through entrepreneurship and youth empowerment. “We received amazing entries including one from Uganda. The riveting stories of entrepreneurs whose businesses were showcased in the entries underpin our confidence in a better future for Nigeria. Sahara is proud of these 20 finalists – the number 20 is commemorative of our 20th anniversary this year – and we look forward to the emergence of the ultimate winner. Most definitely these young entrepreneurs will be the next big names in the film industry.”

Obioma added: “We are also confident that our extrapreneurship platform will create opportunities for funding, advisory and sundry alliances for the businesses highlighted in the docu-films.”

In addition to promoting and sustaining growth in the arts, the project seeks to shape a positive narrative about Nigeria that highlights our enterprise and productivity as a people.

The overall winner – who will soon be unveiled – will undergo a mentorship programme with Kunle Afolayan for six months.

Sahara Foundation is the Corporate Responsibility vehicle of Sahara Group, Africa’s leading power, energy and infrastructure conglomerate with operations in over eight (8) countries across four (4) continents.

Over the next four years, Sahara Foundation plans to directly impact 12,000,000 beneficiaries and also create value through the identification, development and maintenance of relevant stakeholders through which beneficiaries can grow and sustain businesses. This will be achieved through skills acquisition training, mentoring and access to a network of committed stakeholders.

Enhancing Food Security in Africa

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Vital Project

The Food Africa Project was officially launched on July 13 with a series of events and programmes. The project is a collaborative initiative between Sahara Group, United Nations- Sustainable Development Goal Fund (SDG-F), Roca Brothers and the Kaduna State Government, directed at empowering the people and alleviating poverty through food security.

This project is an agro-base initiative envisaged to integrate the entire food value chain – the farmer, wholesaler, retailer and consumer- providing a sustainable source of food security, poverty alleviation and eradication, skill acquisition and social inclusiveness.
The primary objectives of the project are to: provide employment, eradicate poverty and empower the people – It is estimated that about 500,000 people will be impacted both directly and indirectly by the project; reduce food wastage through the recycling of food produce that do not meet the proposed standards for offtake– local and international standards; and assess the feasibility of improving and increasing production substantially to encourage the development of sustainable food infrastructure in Kaduna State, with initial investment in vegetables.

The project strategy seeks to identify potential areas for improvement in the conventional food value chain, hence the initiation of a backward and forward integration model for the implementation.

The launch was phased in three (a visit to vice president, a stakeholders meeting with the executive governor of Kaduna State and an official flag off in Jerie Community with the farmers, community members, traditional rulers and government officials)

Food Africa

Crucial Stakeholders
The key project stakeholders include Sahara Group, UN SDG-F, Kaduna State Government and the Roca Brothers.
While the SDG-F and Sahara Group will be responsible for project design and providing bulk of the financing, oversee the preparation of the work plan in agreement with all partners; the UN specialised agencies (Food & Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and International Labour Organisation (ILO) will be responsible for provision technical assistance in their core areas of expertise and implementing those activities agreed upon in the work plan.

The Roca Brothers will serve as off-takers to the products and contribute to overall technical oversight to the project through the provision of technical expertise and sharing of best practices in resource efficiency while Kaduna State has provided infrastructure such as land upon which the processing centre will be constructed, security, access to electricity, road networks and farmers’ cooperative.

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Project Launch
The Food Africa project was officially launched on July 13. Prior to the launch, the team was at the Kaduna State Government House to hold a stakeholders’ meeting and formally notify the government of its intention to commence the project, and re-introduce all project stakeholders.

Present were representatives of Sahara Group, UN SDG-F, Roca Brothers, UN agencies and Kaduna State Ministry of Agriculture & Forestry. During the launch, the Commissioner for Agriculture in Kaduna State presented a brief overview of the project and promised to put in place required environment for the smooth takeoff of the project.
Sahara representatives were also on hand to give credence to the project whilst; Kaduna State Deputy Governor reiterated the state government’s commitment to the success of the project.

Upon the symbolic launch of the project, the parties moved to the earmarked site for the proposed food processing centre in Jerei, Kakargo LGA (Kaduna State) and met with all major stakeholders involved in the project.

The Roca Brothers’ team led by the Co-founder and Sommelier, Josef Roca met with the community representatives, cooperatives and local farmers to understand local farming techniques and enlighten them on better food preservation techniques.
The team further visited vegetable farms, supermarkets, local markets and restaurants in a bid to identify firsthand the key local products that are in high demand in Nigeria and how they can support the local market to make these more readily available.

The driving force of the project will be the empowerment of capable young women and men from local communities in the Kaduna State region. All project activities will thus be carried by a core team of locally selected young community facilitators, who will benefit from a two-year full-time vocational traineeship, comprising training in technical skills, business management and a mentoring programme.

They will in turn train at least 1,500 beneficiaries throughout the duration of the project, under the supervision of a Master Facilitator/ Chief Technical Advisor and the Project Management Team.
A hub/ marketplace will be established alongside the food processing center. It will allow smallholder farmers to sell their produce directly to customers. The increased availability and greater variety/diversity of food would be to the immediate benefit of local people and directly contribute to improved food security and nutrition.

The hub will allow for the creation of further opportunities for petty trade in other local goods and services. The project will take an active approach to promote entrepreneurship and new start-ups, by providing technical support to at least 500 local young women and men and nominal grants awarded on a competitive basis to those showing the most promise throughout the course of training activities.

On July 15, the SDG-F team, FAO, ILO and Sahara Group held a meeting at Capital Centrum in Abuja to discuss the next line of action regarding the commencement of project activities.

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Global Partnerships
Achieving the 2030 target for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will require strategic and continuing multi-sectoral collaboration across the globe, says Tonye Cole, Executive Director, Sahara Group as the world recently marked the first anniversary of the SDGs.

Officially branded “Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, the SDGs is a set of seventeen aspirational “Global Goals” with 169 targets between them.

The goals include: ending poverty and hunger, improving health and education, making cities more sustainable, combating climate change, and protecting oceans and forests. The SDGs document was adopted at the UN Sustainable Development Summit September 25–27, 2015 in New York, USA.

Cole, who is also co-founder of Sahara, a leading African Power and Energy Conglomerate, said the SDGs platform had since become a veritable tool for addressing critical developmental issues globally.

“Going by available records, a significant success trend is emerging and it is great to see unfolding collaboration amongst several stakeholders on interventions being midwifed by the United Nations and its affiliates. It is imperative for governments, private sector, NGOs, international development agencies and global civil society to work together in a sustainable manner to ensure the targets of the SDGs are achieved by 2030,” he said.
He noted that Sahara Group has implemented SDGs compliant interventions and is currently supporting several partnership platforms that are setting the tone for accelerating the achievement of the SDGs across the globe.

Food for All
The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) must implement the new Agriculture Promotion Policy (2016-2020) tagged, ‘The Green Alternative,’ which is designed to address Nigeria’s food security challenges and position the country as a net food exporter.

Experts have called for major public investments in agriculture to encourage people to produce enough food for local consumption and export. Government must also grow the agriculture subsector, with improved seeds and varieties from research institutions also made available to farmers.

Food for all should be the norm, rather than the exception, and that is why the Food Africa Project is very important to Africa’s development process. When the food problem is adequately solved, Africa and Nigeria can move to the next level. That is a worthwhile goal.

Source: Thisday Live

Sahara Group’s Tonye Cole on “Why SDGs are good for Business”

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There has been a growing acceptance globally, of the need to accelerate the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through bridging the gap between the United Nations and the Business Community.

This collaboration was highlighted further at a session organised by the International Peace Institute (IPI) and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals Fund (SDGF) during the last UN General Assembly meetings in New York.

Tonye Cole, Executive Director and Co-Founder, Sahara Group was one of the speakers at the session. According to Cole, achieving the 2030 target of the SDGs would require multi-stakeholder participation and collaboration across the globe.

Kindly click the link below to watch Mr. Cole’s submission on “Why SDGs are good for Business” .

Sahara Group Urges Sustained Global Partnerships as SDG Clocks One

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Achieving the 2030 target for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will require strategic and continuing multi-sectoral collaboration across the globe, says Tonye Cole, Executive Director, Sahara Group as the world marks the first anniversary of the SDGs.

Officially branded “Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, the SDGs is a set of seventeen aspirational “Global Goals” with 169 targets between them. The goals include: ending poverty and hunger, improving health and education, making cities more sustainable, combating climate change, and protecting oceans and forests. The SDGs document was adopted at the UN Sustainable Development Summit September 25–27, 2015 in New York, USA.

Cole, who is also co-founder of Sahara, a leading African Power and Energy Conglomerate, said the SDGs platform had since become a veritable tool for addressing critical developmental issues globally. “Going by available records, a significant success trend is emerging and it is great to see unfolding collaboration amongst several stakeholders on interventions being midwifed by the United Nations and its affiliates. It is imperative for governments, private sector, NGOs, international development agencies and global civil society to work together in a sustainable manner to ensure the targets of the SDGs are achieved by 2030.”

He noted that Sahara Group has implemented sundry SDGs compliant interventions and is currently supporting several partnership platforms that are setting the tone for accelerating the achievement of the SDGs across the globe.

Food Africa

Sahara Group and the SDGs

Goal 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere

Sahara has empowered people of varied of orientation through its economic empowerment initiatives across the nation.

Goal 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture

The Food Africa Project:  A very first of its kind, this is the product of a partnership involving Sahara Group, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals- Fund (SDG-F) and the Kaduna State Government aimed at empowering the people of Kaduna State and alleviating poverty through food security. The plan is to replicate this across Africa.

Goal 3:  Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

Sahara has upgraded primary health centers across Nigeria, and carried out eye surgeries, malaria and health awareness programmes.

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Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all

Sahara has implemented several Teacher training programmes, school infrastructure upgrades and scholarship programmes for indigent students.

Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

Sahara is involved in skills training programmes to equip women and young girls with skills in selected vocations and empower them to become masters of skills, more financially independent and eventually start businesses of their own

Goal 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

Through the provision of mechanized water systems and hand pump boreholes Sahara has created access to potable water in rural communities, and through collaboration with WATER has eradicated guinea worm disease across West Africa.

Goal 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all

Sahara has encouraged the development of alternative sources of energy through partnership with ENACTUS and youths in institutions of higher learning in Nigeria. Sahara plans to replicate this model across other locations in Africa.

Goal 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all

Sahara Group’s ‘School Feeding Programme’ has provided employment and considerable financial independence for farmers, caterers and traders within the beneficiary communities

Goal 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Sahara Group is spearheading a growing wave of transparency and good governance principles across Africa’s business space through its membership of the World Economic Forum community – Partnering Against Corruption Initiative (PACI). Sahara collaborates with global, regional and national organisations to promote sustainable development and transparency in business.

Sahara Foundation

Goal 17: Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development 

Sahara Group and other partners hope to integrate the entire food value chain – the farmer, wholesaler, retailer and consumer- through the Food Africa Project. This will facilitate a sustainable source of food security, poverty alleviation and eradication, skill acquisition and social inclusiveness. The Food Africa project aims to impact at least 500,000 beneficiaries (30% direct beneficiaries and 70% indirect beneficiaries) providing families with better nutrition and livelihood opportunities over a five year period.

Sahara Power are Saharalympics Winners

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Sahara Power finished as winners of the second edition of the intra-group sports competition known as Saharalympics concluded on Saturday at the Campos Square Mini Stadium in Lagos.

Sahara Power topped the medals table of the bi-annual games with nine gold, two silver and two bronze medals ahead of SO Aviation that got four gold, five silver and one bronze medals.

In third place were SGL. They got three gold, two silver and seven bronze medals.

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Source: Super Sport

The participants drawn from the Sahara Group took part in football, track and field events, basketball, volleyball, tug of war, egg race, sack race, chess and scrabble among others.

It also had representatives from various Sahara Group locations including Singapore, Geneva, Dubai, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Zambia and Tanzania.

Beneficiaries of the Saharalympics School of the Blind and the Down syndrome association were also present at the event.

Olympic silver medallist, Falilat Ogunkoya and former African Footballer of the Year, Victor Ikpeba, played roles as motivators at the Saharalympics.

Sahara Group Head Corporate Communications, Bethel Obioma, stated that the “high level of professionalism” exhibited at the games represents the “spirit of the Saharalympics.”

“We have just witnessed a high level of professionalism and excellence that is characteristic of Sahara. That is the spirit of the Saharalympics. We are already looking forward to the next edition in 2018 by which time we expect Sahara would have extended its commitment to bringing energy to life in many more locations across the group,” Obioma said.

“The Saharalympics has become a platform for enhancing team bonding and deepening the spirit of enterprise across the Sahara Group globally.”

The next edition of the Saharalympics comes up in two years.

Sahara Group Keeps Olympics Alive Through Saharalympics

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The spirit of the Olympic Games comes alive again on October 1, 2016 at the Campos Square Mini Stadium, Igbosere, Lagos, Nigeria as Sahara Group holds its second intra-group sports competition tagged “The Saharalympics”.

This edition of the Saharalympics is a milestone for Sahara Group, the African leading power and energy conglomerate which officially clocked 20 years on August 23rd 2016. The maiden edition of the bi-annual games held on September 13, 2014. Chioma Ajunwa, Nigeria’s first Olympic Gold Medalist (individual event, Long Jump, Atlanta 1996) was one of the high profile sports personalities that attended the event. The event kicks off by 9.00a.m.

Established in 1996, Sahara Group currently has operations in over 10 countries across four continents.

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Events to be decided at the sporting event include, Football, Track and Field events, Basketball, Volley Ball, Tug of War, Egg Race, Sack Race, Chess, Scrabble, Draft and the flagship event – The “Fourth Floor Dash” which will see the Directors of Sahara compete for honours in a spectacular series of tasks.

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“Team work, persistence and integrity are key attributes responsible for sustaining growing businesses. All of these have been instrumental to the phenomenal growth of Sahara over the past two decades. The Saharalympics has become a platform for enhancing team bonding and deepening the spirit of enterprise across the Sahara Group globally,” says Bethel Obioma, Head, Corporate Communications, Sahara Group.

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The 2016 Games will have as special guests, Ex-Nigerian Soccer international star and Olympic Gold medalist, Victor Ikpeba and one of the brightest Olympians to ever don the Nigerian colours – 400m Bronze medalist and 4 x 400m Silver medalist (1996), Falilat Ogunkoya.

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“The Saharalympics has become our symbol of enterprise, competitiveness and unity. It also reinforces Sahara’s commitment to encouraging “work-life” balance and empowering staff to express their gifts outside their regular job functions. At Sahara, we always play and win together and I am confident that after the Games on October 1Nigeria will have a new crop of stars in various sporting events,” adds Obioma.

Egbin Power Awards Scholarships To 14 Students

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Egbin Power Plc, the nation’s biggest power station, has awarded scholarships to 14 students from its host communities as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility.

The company said it remained committed to its CSR programmes for its host communities namely; Egbin, Ipakan and Ijede, in Ikorodu, to contribute to their growth and development.

The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Egbin Power, Mr. Kola Adesina, said at the award ceremony in Lagos, “Today, we were able to put together a programme to offer scholarships to academically excellent students and students from the local regions that otherwise would not have the opportunity to attend schools like Powerfields. We think what this is going to do is that it is going to enrich the communities, Egbin and the nation.

 egbin“It is part of our CSR, but it is also different. The scholarship is for a full year per student. It will cater for all expenses and costs in the full academic year, and if they continue with the excellence of their academic programme, they will benefit from the scholarship programme to university level.”

Peavey said Egbin Power had spent at least N750m in the last three years on CSR programmes.

The Project Manager, Axiom Learning Solutions, the technical consultants for the scholarship programme, Ms. Ajoke Omoware, said there were two categories of scholars, adding that the first category comprised scholars selected from the three host communities while the second category comprised scholars selected from Powerfields Group of Schools.

Sahara Group Leads Session On The Planet at UN Private Sector Forum

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Discussions aimed at “Protecting the Planet” will be one of the major highlights of the 2016 United Nations Private Sector Forum on September 19, 2016 in New York as business and government leaders gather to seek sustainable solutions to global issues. Sahara Group’s Executive Director, Tonye Cole will lead conversations on the subject and share the experiences of the leading African energy conglomerate in promoting the well-being of the planet.

The 2016 edition of the UN Private Sector Forum will focus on the theme: “Business and the 2030 Agenda: Securing the Way Forward.”  It will be hosted by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon with huge expectations that the Forum will reinforce the need for multi-sectoral collaboration in promoting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). About 350 Chief Executives, Heads of State and Government, leaders of UN Agencies, Funds and Programmes, and leaders from civil society, business associations, foundations and investor groups will attend the forum.

Experts say no fewer than 22 million people have been displaced by climate or weather related events since 2008, setting the tone for further dire impacts on communities, businesses and humanity.  According to the World Health Organisation (W.H.O), the number of reported weather-related natural disasters has more than tripled since the 1960s globally. W.H.O also predicts that between 2030 and 2050, climate change is expected to cause approximately 250 000 additional deaths per year, from malnutrition, malaria, diarrhoea and heat stress. The direct damage cost to health is estimated to be between US$ 2-4 billion/year by 2030.

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Cole stated that the need to protect the planet is probably “the most daunting challenge in the world today and requires genuine and sustained interventions as well as partnerships that transcend global politics and borders.”

“We need to engage the issue without sentiments. There must be a passionate desire for introspection that makes us all take another look at how much more we can do to salvage the situation. Vital issues like the migrant crisis, poverty, hunger, pollution, food security and natural disasters, among others need to be addressed sustainably. The Business community should be a key stakeholder in this quest and Sahara Group is delighted to be part of the forum.”

Cole said the forum would also enable business, government and UN leaders set the agenda for eliminating hunger and poverty, enabling all people to live in dignity, advancing responsible business leadership and leveraging business innovation to accelerate sustainability and prevent instability.

Sahara Group currently serves on the Advisory Board of the United Nations Sustainability Development Goals Fund (UN-SDGF) which supports sustainable development activities through integrated and multidimensional joint programmes. The energy conglomerate remains committed to promoting a healthy environment, inclusive economic growth for poverty eradication, capacity building, food security and access to potable water.

Sahara Group Pledges Support For Young Innovators

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Sahara Group, leading African energy conglomerate has said it would support the 30 young Nigerians who emerged from the maiden Aso Villa Demo Day entrepreneurship development project to grow their business ventures.

Sahara Group’s Executive Director, Mr. Tonye Cole commended Nigeria’s government for the Aso Villa Demo Day (AVDD) initiative, adding that it would boost the Information Communication Technology sector and unleash the creativity of youths in the nation.

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The AVDD was designed to discover and celebrate creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship with focus on economic diversification as well as inclusive enterprise by young Nigerians. The event produced 30 start-up innovators whom Sahara Group intends to further enhance their development through its entrepreneurship platform.

The Sahara Group “Extrapreneurship” framework is an integrated development and management programme designed to grow and sustain entrepreneurial ventures by linking them with strategic partnerships and networks.

In addition to bring the innovators on board the extrapreneurship platform, the top three winners from the AVDD project will receive financial support from Sahara. They include: Tracology, a patented smart payment systems for utility companies; RecyclePoints, a waste recycling and social benefit venture for sustainable development, and Shuttlers, a multi-staff bus service to assist commuters resolve daily challenges moving around big cities.

“Sahara is indeed proud to be associated with the project which will inspire, challenge and empower young Nigerians to be part of the solutions to socio-economic challenges in their immediate environment. Through Sahara Foundation’s Academic Hub, business development experts and professionals from other disciplines will provide mentorship to the top 30 innovators,” Cole said.

According to Cole, Sahara Group would always support initiatives geared towards investing in a future that guarantees sustained growth and development across the globe.

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“If we are going to become sustainable, and move from this generation to the next, we must understand what the next generation is all about. The future is digital and technology. A lot of Nigeria’s problems today can be solved through technical solutions sourced locally from young and creative talents. Sahara will continue to align with governments and organisations that share our passion for providing platforms to help young entrepreneurs succeed,” he noted.

Nigeria’s Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo said the AVDD project has created a level playing field and connectivity for everyone to participate in wealth creation across the world. “It’s a new day. There’s so much hope. And so much the young generation are going to do. I am looking forward to work with young Nigerians as part of government to ensure that all our plans, talents and abilities are put to the best possible use. We will support you all the way,” Osinbajo told the young innovators.

Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, who was a one of the special guests at the AVDD, said he was inspired by what the ideas competition has produced. “I am really blown away by the talent of the entrepreneurs and young developers in this country, particularly the focus to build something that’s going to make a difference and bring change.”

Touching Lives across the Globe Our Greatest Achievement at 20 – Tonye Cole, Sahara Group Co-Founder

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The privilege to inspire youths to reach for their dreams and provide platforms to facilitate socio-economic development to beneficiaries across the globe is priceless to Sahara Group, Tonye Cole, the organisation’s executive director and Co-Founder has said.

Sahara Group, a leading African energy conglomerate with operations in 8 countries across four continents officially turns 20 years on August 23, 2016.

Speaking on the milestone achieved by Sahara, Cole said whilst the company had witnessed significant successes in its core operations, it places more premium on its corporate responsibility achievements.

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He said Sahara had recorded several sustainable interventions in the areas of education and capacity building, health, sustainable community development and the environment through the Sahara Foundation.

“We are humbled by the impact we have made and remain committed to doing much more through collaboration with local, regional and global organisations that share our passion for bringing energy to life,” He stated.

Cole stated that Sahara was looking to upscale the reach and impact of its interventions in the countries where it has operations as well as other locations to enhance efforts aimed at achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s).

“Sahara is indeed proud of the milestones we have recorded these past 20 years. We are blessed with unique staff and are excited about the future as we continue to spearhead innovation in the entire energy value chain. However, beyond the numbers, we will continue to cherish the privilege God has given us to be a blessing to millions of people across the globe. We celebrate all our friends and stakeholders who have made the Sahara story a phenomenal success and look forward to the future with excitement.”

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The most recent of Sahara Group’s intervention is the Food Africa project which seeks to pilot an innovative approach aimed at revamping the food sector to create new jobs for young people, increase farmers’ revenues, improve productivity, enhance nutrition and reduce food loss through more sustainable production practices.

The project which has Kaduna State as the pilot location is being driven by Sahara Group, the Kaduna state government, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Fund  (UNSDG-F) and UN Goodwill Ambassadors, brothers Joan, Josep and Jordi Roca of restaurant El Celler can Roca, ranked among the best chefs of the world.

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Sahara also unveiled its extrapreneurship platform to reach 12 million beneficiaries in the next four years through platforms that find, create and connect young extrapreneurs in emerging markets.

Extrapreneurship involves creating value through shared thinking and leveraging internal and external strengths to drive cross-sectoral collaboration. This is made possible by connecting the right people and organizations towards providing sustainable solutions to global social problems.

In the past Sahara Foundation has successfully executed several projects including the provision of borehole for clean water across Nigeria in conjunction with the Carter Foundation towards guinea worm eradication, the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Programme (WASH) which held at Ibafon Primary School, Lagos. These programmes focused on providing clean water, encouraging proper hygiene and sanitation amongst communities and primary school pupils.

The Foundation also launched the Inclusive Education Project for Persons living with Disabilities partnering with Cedar Seed Foundation to provide scholarships to one hundred beneficiaries, who also received wheelchairs, elbow crutches, guide canes, hearing aids, walking sticks and sunglasses.

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In furtherance of the quest to provide relief to underprivileged communities, Sahara Foundation donated mechanized boreholes in Asante Akim North District in Ghana, providing potable drinking water which has significantly reduced the cases of waterborne diseases to that community. The success of this led to the replication of the model in 15 other communities in Ghana and 30 states across Nigeria.

The Career Counseling Programme, launched in collaboration with CARE Foundation of Singapore, organized an event where about 60 teenage boys and girls in Singapore were challenged to a more positive attitude to life. This was replicated and even taken further in Nigeria – Lagos and Abuja – through the establishment of fully equipped Guidance and Counseling centres in Eko Akete senior secondary school and Government Secondary School, Karu.

The Eye Care Programme demonstrated the commitment of the Sahara Group to the total eradication of preventable blindness in rural areas across the country. In partnership with Unite for Sight Nigeria and Light First Foundation Cote d’Ivoire, outreaches were carried out in 15 states across Nigeria and in various locations across Cote d’Ivoire screening thousands of beneficiaries, providing required treatments, prescription glasses, eye drugs and other medications whilst, cataract surgeries were carried out on those that were discovered to be living with the anomaly.

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Not one to turn a blind eye to community health challenges, Sahara Foundation, in partnership with Biire Maternal Child Health Foundation implemented an all year round support programme aimed at reducing mother to child transmission of HIV. Over 200 members of Iba Oloja community in Ibeju– Lekki Lagos benefitted from the programme.

The Foundation also partnered with ENACTUS Nigeria to create and develop the Sahara Light-Up Nigeria Challenge which aims to inspire students of higher institutions across the country to develop alternative energy sources to enhance sustainable power supply – especially in rural communities.

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See full report of Sahara Foundation’s progress with promoting the sustainable development goals here.

Food Africa Project targets 500,000 People in 5 years

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The Food Africa project by Kaduna State Government in conjunction with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Fund (UN SDG-F), Sahara Group and Roca Brothers is to promote food security.

The Executive Director/Co-Founder, Sahara Group, Tonye Cole,  tells PREMIUM TIMES’ Bassey Udo that the initiative will not only enhance inclusive growth in Africa’s food industry, but would provide a sustainable vehicle to end poverty, hunger in the continent. Excerpts:

PT: An estimated 1.3 billion people are living in extreme poverty worldwide. How much of a threat would you say this situation is to our communities?

COLE: Poverty is a serious threat not only to communities, but to nations and the world as a whole. On a daily basis, people die from starvation, primarily due to poverty. Every day, the gap between the rich and poor keep growing. Poverty has been at the heart of most of the strife, crisis, violence and conflicts in many regions of the world.

Recent World Bank reports revealed that about 3 billion people (almost half of the world’s population) live on less than $2.50 a day, while more than 1.3 billion others live in extreme poverty conditions (less than $1.25 a day). In addition, over one billion children globally live in poverty.

The  United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) says poverty kills about 22,000 children everyday. These statistics are very disheartening. The Food Africa project is our modest effort provide sustainable solutions to reduce the threat to humanity. The project will enhance the campaign against poverty on a massive scale, given the involvement of local, regional and global partners.

Sahara Group’s multiple partners with public and private sector organisations to implement economic empowerment programmes within and beyond its locations worldwide.

Most of the projects provide avenues for skills acquisition for indigent and disadvantaged beneficiaries to promote inclusion and socio-economic growth.

Tonye Cole

Source: Premium Times

PT: The Food Africa project came with a focus. What was that?

 COLE: The Food Africa project is a product of partnership between Sahara Group, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals-Fund (UN SDG-F) and the Kaduna State Government. The aim of the project is to empower the people of Kaduna State and alleviate poverty through food security.

The project was conceived after the UN SDG-F took interest in the private sector as a prospective contributor to the success of sustainable development goals. After observations in several countries across the world, many private companies carried out very successful and thriving corporate social responsibility (CSR) projects with little or no involvement of the host governments.

The agriculture initiative aims to integrate the entire food value chain, involving the farmer, wholesaler, retailer and consumer, using a forward/backward integration approach. That would help improve the farmers, their farming techniques and reduction in farm produce wastages, to provide sustainable source of food security, poverty eradication, skill acquisition and social inclusiveness.

The target for the project is to impact a minimum of 500,000 beneficiaries (30 per cent direct beneficiaries and 70 per cent indirect beneficiaries); providing families with better nutrition and livelihood opportunities estimated to benefit from the project over a five-year period.

PT: What roles are partners involved in the project playing?

COLE: The UN SDG-F, Sahara Group, UN specialized agencies, Kaduna State government and Roca Brothers of Spain, which was recently given award as the best restaurant in the world, are our partners.

The SDG Fund and Sahara Group would be responsible for the project design; together they would provide the bulk of the co-financing, mobilize matching fund contributions and oversee the preparation of the work plan in agreement with all partners.

The two will jointly chair the biennial trustees committee; assume overall oversight of the project implementation; provide guidance to the project management office, and oversee the appointment and development of capacities of the processing facility management.

Specifically, the UN specialized agencies  would assume responsibility for technical assistance in their core areas of expertise and implement those activities agreed upon in the work plan, including feasibility, baseline and market studies, training of farmers, cooperatives and farmer-based organizations, occupational and safety and health.

The Roca Brothers would contribute to overall technical oversight to the project and provide technical expertise, including the sharing of best practices in resource efficiency, recycling and recovering of waste as secondary resources to help optimize the operations of the processing facility.

They would also play a key role in establishing the Centre of Excellence, through “training-of-trainers” modality to build the capacity of a team of local trainers and contribute to the communications and advocacy campaign.

The Kaduna State government would provide the land where the facility would be constructed and other arable land within the identified local government areas, in addition to access to utilities and all-year round armed security for the facility.

The state government would collaborate with other state-level stakeholders to improve local infrastructure, including rural roads to allow access to the facility and farmland, and would share relevant policy information, databases, etc. at its disposal.

They would also play a vital role to assist in identifying potential farmers that would take part in the out-growers’ scheme.

PT: Recently, Sahara Group unveiled the extrapreneurship framework for corporate responsibility. How would this help realise the Food Africa project goal?

COLE: The extrapreneurship framework is a cross sectoral collaboration that creates and connects young people with business interests in emerging markets through skills training, mentoring and access to a network of committed stakeholders.

It is a platform for partnership between the various stakeholders to provide trainings and mentoring services to rural farmers in Kaduna state, to help them develop and improve their farming techniques and methods to meet global standards, provide a platform to learn and understand the business and commercial aspect of agriculture value chain as well as also providing access to a network of committed product off takers.

Considering that Sahara Group has over the years nurtured businesses from incubation to maturity, we have, along with our partners, designed and developed an appropriate framework during the project conceptualization to ensure ownership by beneficiaries, hence guaranteeing sustainability. The project beneficiaries would be empowered with the right skills, training, resources and network connections to guarantee the sustainability of the project.

PT: How’s Sahara Group promoting the use of its extrapreneurship platform?

COLE: The concept is gradually unfolding. We are currently collaborating with Kunle Afolayan, an award winning filmmaker, on a project tagged: ‘Grooming film Extrapreneurs with Kunle Afolayan’.

The project was designed to provide a platform for youth in Nigeria to channel their creativity and innovation in film making, to celebrate entrepreneurship in Nigeria using the theme: My Nigeria, My Platform. Seeing Nigeria through an entrepreneur’s eyes.

Interested budding film talents are expected to send in 15-minute documentaries that highlight the story of Nigerian entrepreneurs, with a focus on how their activities are providing sustainable solutions, creating employment and promoting the nation’s socio-economic development in.

Sahara Foundation is also in partnership with ENACTUS Nigeria to create a platform that would identify and reward business ventures, while also improving the efficiency of extrapreneurs, to ensure growth and sustainability.  This will be achieved by granting young and innovative individuals with business interest access to a network of mentors and angel investors who will guide them to success.

PT: Would the Food Africa project extend to other parts of the continent?

COLE: The successful implementation of the project in Kaduna State has given us the confidence that the project could succeed in other locations in Nigeria and ultimately in other places in African.

At the moment, we are working with the UN SDG-F another UN agencies in Africa to develop the required network to make this happen. We expect that the Food Africa project would ultimately become a global model.

PT: What does Food Africa project mean to Nigeria?

COLE: The enthusiasm by the local farmers in Kaduna speaks it all. They are eager to learn new ways to improve their work through collaboration to achieve the big picture of sustainable productivity for the benefit of all.

We commend the Kaduna State government for providing the foundation and support for the project. Everyone is excited about the expected outcomes from the project. Sahara Group and other partners remain committed to record a resounding success that could be replicated anywhere.

Considering Nigeria’s position in Africa, it would afford us the opportunity to equally lead efforts to stimulate stronger commitment and enthusiasm in other parts of the continent towards the attainment of the critical development action.

The full SDG-F/Sahara Group press release can be viewed here

UNSDG-F, Sahara Group, Kaduna State Unveil Food Security Project

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Jere, Kaduna (Nigeria), 13 July 2016. As Nigeria embraces a challenging economic diversification process, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Fund (SDG-F) is working in Kaduna to pilot an innovative approach aimed at revamping the food sector to create new jobs for young people, increase farmers’ revenues, improve productivity, enhance nutrition and reduce food loss through more sustainable production practices.

The project was formally launched today at the Kaduna State House by the Deputy Governor, Architect Bala Bantex who represented the Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai.

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UN Goodwill Ambassadors, brothers Joan, Josep and Jordi Roca of restaurant El Celler can Roca, ranked among the best chefs of the world, UN Agencies, the Sahara Group and Nigerian government authorities will partner on the Food Africa project. Launched in Jere, the initiative is set to revolutionize the food industry in Kaduna and beyond. For the project kick-off Josep Roca met with young women and men that will be the driving force of this programme. A Center of Excellence, specialized on agriculture and agro-processing training, will contribute to expand it to other regions in Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa through regional exchange of best practices.

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UN Goodwill Ambassadors Master Chefs Roca Brothers will contribute their valuable knowledge in sustainable conservation, food preparation and distribution techniques. The Rocas will provide skills training for young women and men as well as providing technical oversight and sharing best practices. The renowned chefs will play a key role in showcasing how local food production can be cultivated for new markets and consumers. “It is an honor for us to be part of this vibrant,promising and collective project and contribute with our cooking, our imagination and our passion to advance the sustainable development goals”, Josep Roca affirmed while in Jerei. He added “we are doing this on behalf of all chefs, not only ourselves”.

Several specialized UN Agencies will provide expertise on food production (FAO), labour and employment (ILO) and international trade (ITC). An early warning Geographical Information System (GIS) will also be available to connect farmers with agricultural extension services and provide real time market data.

Sahara Group, a leading African energy conglomerate and member of the SDG Fund Private Sector Advisory Group and major co-financer of the project will bring its business perspective to the program to ensure the viability of the facility’s operations. “We are excited to showcase this new project which will go a long way to shine the spotlight on the links between agricultural training, food security and improving nutritional livelihoods in our communities” said Tonye Cole, Executive Director and co-founder of the Sahara Group.

Kaduna State Government will provide the land for the constructed facility as well as farmland and personnel. The state government will collaborate with other state-level stakeholders to improve local infrastructure including rural roads to allow greater access to the facility and farmland. “The commitment of the state government to this project is unwavering. We are expecting nothing but the best from this collaborative effort which resonates with the aspirations of the government with regards to empowering our people and ultimately achieving the SDGs in Kaduna State,” said the Deputy Governor.

It is expected that 5,000 women and men of Kaduna will be directly impacted with new job prospects, increased income and additional skills to compete in the thriving food industry. In addition, an estimated 500,000 residents will indirectly benefit from the Food Africa Project which is designed to be scaled-up in the region and eventually replicated in other parts of Sub-Saharan Africa.

Food for SDGs

Nigeria has been an avid proponent and early adopter of the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which were approved at the United Nations in September. Under the leadership of Princess Victoria Orelope-Adefulire, Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs, plans and policies are now underway to achieve these goals by 2030.

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In Africa, agriculture remains a vital source of employment and income generation. In Nigeria the sector contributes to an estimated 70% of employment in Nigeria, but only 22% of GDP, thus indicating a significant potential for productivity gains.Despite a strong reliance on farming and agriculture, malnutrition is often prevalent in many regions and invariably an estimated 50-70% of   harvests can be lost due to the lack of appropriate storage facilities and limited market information.

On top of that, climate change, could result in falls in output of up to 30%, according to the World Bank estimates. The recent state of emergency declared in Kaduna over tomato shortages and soaring prices caused by the moth tuta absoluta exemplifies climate and environmental pressures to agricultural production to come.

Revolutionizing the food industry

In order to tackle these pressing challenges, the SDG Fund, a mechanism established by the UN to advance the new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is engaging governments, UN Agencies, civil society and the private sector on issues critical to enhancing food security and nutrition.

The pilot Food Africa project in Kaduna will provide a backward and forward integration approach for food supply chain management. The program will introduce more sustainable practices in the value chain, reduce crop waste and improve smallholder farmers’ profitability. Recognizing the link between the gaps in skills and structural unemployment in the region, the project will promote income generating opportunities and technical support to promote trade of local goods and services.

The program will feature an agro processing facility and serve as a Center of Excellence to increase farmers’ receipts and reduce food loss. The center will provide training in the food industry on issues linked to food safety, business planning and product diversification. Designed as a hybrid public-private facility, the program will eventually be sustained and managed by the communities local farmers.

Sahara Group, Kunle Afolayan Extend Film Competition Deadline

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Sahara Group and foremost Nigerian film producer, Kunle Afolayan have extended the deadline for application to the ongoing “Grooming Film Extrapreneurs with Kunle Afolayan” project following requests from young film makers across the nation.

Submission of entries into the competition which was designed to provide a hub for budding film makers to express their skills under the tutelage of Kunle Afolayan, now ends on August 28, 2016.

Bethel Obioma, Head, Corporate Communications, Sahara Group, said the company was delighted to extend the previous deadline of July 25 in response to the quality of entries so far received and endless appeals from aspiring film makers.

The first of a series of activities to mark the 20th anniversary of Sahara Group, the project seeks to connect young film makers with stakeholders that can help hone their skills to enhance productivity, excellence and sustainability in their careers.

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Young film makers in Nigeria can join the competition by channeling their creativity into celebrating entrepreneurship in Nigeria by shooting a 15-minute documentary that captures entrepreneurs at work across the nation. The theme of the documentary should focus on: “My Nigeria, My Platform…Nigeria through an entrepreneur’s eyes.’ The competition is open to film makers not older than 35 years.

“We unveiled this project about two weeks ago and have already received interesting entries which reinforce our belief in the boundless creativity of Nigerians. We are hopeful that the extension would give more participants the opportunity to be part of the project that is set to produce a new crop of excellent movie producers. Interested participants should visit www.saharaextrapreneurs.org to learn how to submit their documentaries,” the company’s spokesperson said.

The 15-minute documentaries are expected to highlight the story of Nigerian entrepreneurs, with a focus on how their activities are providing sustainable solutions, creating employment and promoting socio-economic development in the nation.

All submitted documentaries will be screened by the multiple award-winning Kunle Afolayan and the overall winner will undergo a mentorship programme with the leading film producer and director for six (6) months.

The entries will be whittled down to a shortlist of 20, a number that is commemorative of Sahara’s 20th anniversary. These 20 entries will then go on to the final stage from where a winner will be selected.

Afolayan urged young film makers to take advantage of the extension to produce entries that will shape a positive narrative for Nigeria as a nation with enterprising, resilient and creative people.

He stated that the overall winner would ultimately become a much sought after professional and inspire a revolution that will produce more movie makers in Nigeria. “I believe in this project and working together with Sahara Group is a partnership that will boost the movie industry in future. I will be looking out for creativity and inspiring stories. We do not expect participants to commit a huge budget to their documentaries, all you need is a story that commands attention.”

Afolayan had during the launch of the project stated that the overall winner would have an opportunity to improve markedly on various aspects of film making including: style of storytelling, subject matter interpretation, audio and visual quality, aesthetics as well as understanding of the perspective of a story. “More important, the winner will also learn the commercial side of film making so that he or she is not just a good film maker, but also be a wealthy film maker,” he added.

Government, UN, Sahara Group Plan Workshop To Promote SDGs In Nigeria

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Nigeria’s government, the United Nations and Sahara Group are set to host a private sector forum to create awareness on collaborations to support the development of a Universal Sustainable Development Agenda in Nigeria.

The results of this workshop will inform a new UN global report on business and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) being prepared by the UN Sustainable Development Goals Fund (SDG-F).

The workshop tagged: Business Contribution to a Universal Sustainable Development Agenda; holds on July 14, 2016 at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, Nigeria. Participants include: Heads of public sector parastatals, private sector organisations and multilateral agencies.

Sahara UN

Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the President on SDGs, Princess Victoria Orelope-Adefulire, said the workshop would highlight how businesses can effectively contribute towards achieving the SDGs in Nigeria through mobilisation of financing for the United Nations SDG Fund initiative.

Orelope-Adefulire said participants would exchange ideas on how to articulate a Universal Agenda in different private sector industries and contexts; incorporate and implement the SDGs into the core business activities and operations; and address challenges peculiar to Nigeria with regards to achieving the SDGs.

SSA Quote

The Nigerian President’s aide said the government was hopeful collaboration with the private sector will hasten the attainment of the SDGs and ultimately drive diversification of the Nigerian economy, wealth creation, revenue generation opportunities, improved child and maternal care as well as gender equality opportunities.

“The desired aim would be to work closely with the private sector to develop initiatives that would address the peculiarities of nationalizing the SDGs in Nigeria in line with the Universality Agenda.  Ultimately we hope to set a strong foundation for developing a framework for further discussions scheduled for the last quarter of the 2016,” she noted.

According to Tonye Cole, Executive Director and Co-Founder, Sahara Group, achieving multi-sectoral collaboration in the private sector remained a critical requirement for driving the SDGs in Nigeria.

Cole said it was imperative for the private sector in Nigeria to coalesce efforts geared towards the SDGs to enhance scale, impact and sustainability of the various initiatives across the nation. “Private businesses in Nigeria have really been doing a lot to promote the SDGs in Nigeria. However, when you consider the ground we need to cover, a collaborative approach becomes the only sustainable solution. We will be exploring this approach at the workshop and I am confident that the outcomes will launch us further in our quest for attaining the SDGs through shared ideas, resources and platforms.”

He noted that Sahara, a leading African energy conglomerate, was eagerly looking forward to Nigeria’s private sector heeding the “clarion call” to spearhead a continent-wide movement to institutionalise and implement the SDGs in Africa through collaboration. “Having been a part of the maiden forum held last year in New York, I see this workshop as Nigeria’s best shot at sustainably attaining the SDGs within the prescribed timeline of the United Nations.”

Director, SDG-F, Paloma Duran highlighted that for SDGs to be achieved by 2030 it is necessary to work differently. In particular, “businesses and private sector should be at the core of sustainable development efforts”. For doing so, “we need first to listen from businesses and learn how public and private sector can work better jointly for SDGs”.

Paloma Quote

This event is part of a series of workshops organized by the SDG Fund with members of its Private Sector Advisory Group. She noted that “Nigeria is spearheading efforts to achieve SDGs. For that reason, I am convinced that the African regional workshop taking place on Thursday in Abuja will provide valuable insight and best practices from the Nigerian government and businesses for a new report on SDGs and universality to be launched by the SDG Fund at the UN headquarters in New York later this year”.

In this regard, she thanked the special collaboration of Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the President on SDGs, Sahara Group and UN agencies in Nigeria. “This workshop is a good example of how governments, businesses and the UN can work together for achieving SDGs”.

Sahara Foundation to ‘Groom Film Extrapreneurs with Kunle Afolayan’

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Sahara Foundation has flagged off its extrapreneurship initiative with a competition designed to provide a hub for budding film makers to express their skills under the tutelage of ace Nigerian film producer and director, Kunle Afolayan.

This competition is the first in a series of activities to mark the 20th anniversary of Sahara Group, a leading African energy conglomerate with operations across four continents.

Sahara Extrapreneurship Initiative

Tagged “Grooming Film Extrapreneurs with Kunle Afolayan,” the platform seeks to connect young film makers with stakeholders that can help hone their skills to enhance productivity, excellence and sustainability in their careers. The initiative is the maiden project under the Extrapreneurship Framework which is being driven by Sahara Foundation, the corporate responsibility vehicle of Sahara Group.

The competition which runs from July 1st 2016 to July 25th 2016 will require young film makers in Nigeria to channel their creativity into celebrating entrepreneurship in Nigeria by shooting a 15-minute documentary that captures entrepreneurs at work across the nation.

Extrapreneur

 

The theme of the documentary is: ‘My Nigeria, My Platform…Nigeria through an entrepreneur’s eyes.’ Whilst the documentaries will help shape a positive narrative about Nigeria – one that captures our enterprise and productivity as a people – Sahara Foundation hopes that they would create a hub of shared creativity and thinking in the film industry that will promote and sustain growth.

Speaking at the event, Managing Director, Sahara Group, Anthony Youdeowei, said the company believes the initiative would help birth success stories that will transform the economic landscape of Nigeria and Africa through the Arts. “This project is an opportunity for Sahara to contribute to socio-economic growth in Nigeria where we have had the opportunity of growing the Sahara Brand for 20 years. At Sahara, we are passionate about Nigeria and believe that the initiative will help shape a narrative of Nigeria that captures our enterprise and productivity as a people,” Youdeowei said.

Also speaking on the project, Kunle Afolayan said he was delighted to collaborate with Sahara on the initiative, adding “it has been my lifelong dream to play a role in moulding aspiring film makers and this project with Sahara is the ideal platform that might just produce the next big thing in Nigeria’s movie sector.”

 

The 15-minute documentaries are expected to highlight the story of Nigerian entrepreneurs, with a focus on how their activities are providing sustainable solutions, creating employment and promoting socio-economic development in the nation.

The documentaries will be screened by the multiple award-winning Kunle Afolayan and the overall winner will undergo a mentorship programme with the leading film producer and director for six (6) months.

Describing the format of the competition, Afolayan indicated that “we will be expecting entries from young film makers across Nigeria, which will be whittled down to a shortlist of 20, a number that is commemorative of Sahara’s 20th anniversary. These 20 entries will then go on to the final stage from where a winner will be selected”. He also added that filmmakers interested in the project must not be more than 35years old.

 

“At the end of the training period, I expect that the overall winner would have improved on overall film making capability, style of storytelling, subject matter interpretation, audio and visual quality, aesthetics as well as understanding of the perspective of a story. More important, the winner will also learn the commercial side of film making so that he or she is not just a good film maker, but also be a wealthy film maker.”

Kunle Afolayan gained international reputation after Irapada, his 2006 Nigerian supernatural thriller film, won the Africa Movie Academy Award for Best Film in an African Language. He has produced other award winning movies such as October 1, The Figurine, Phone Swap and The CEO.

For more details on the project, please click here http://www.sahara-group.com/docs/extrapreneurship2016_rules.pdf

SAHARA POWER PLEDGES MORE INVESTMENT IN CAPACITY BUILDING

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The management of Sahara Power has restated its commitment to sustained human capital development investment in Nigeria’s power sector to ensure enhanced productivity and seamless skill transfer.

Kola Adesina, Managing Director, Sahara Power, said positive  outcomes from the firm’s Graduate Engineering Programme has set the foundation for increased funding to drive sundry capacity building initiatives in the organisation.

An affiliate of Sahara Group, a leading African energy conglomerate, Sahara Power comprises Egbin Power Plc, Ikeja Electric (IE) and First Independent Power Limited (FIPL). The company and  its technical partner, Korea Electric Corporation (KEPCO) are currently implementing a transformation plan across these power entities that is shoring up power generation and distribution in Nigeria.

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Speaking at a strategy session tagged “Human Capital Development in Nigeria’s power Sector”, Adesina noted that the programme would help address the gulf created by an ageing workforce in the sector. Industry experts say the dearth of young engineers and technical staff remains a huge challenge for the sector that needs about 50,000 young skilled engineers, craftsmen and fitters to replace the ageing workforce – according to a recent report released by the National Power Training Institute of Nigeria (NAPTIN).

The GEP currently has 100 young graduate engineers spread across Egbin Power, IE and FIPL. These engineers are being trained by seasoned Nigerian and foreign professionals under the scheme which also involves local and overseas exchange programmes.

Adesina said Sahara Power‘s management had set aside substantial funds to drive a holistic human capital policy that will cater to the specific needs of all employees within the organisation. He explained that the unfolding “people success story” at Sahara Power is predicated on strategic re-engineering and re-orientation activities designed to enhance capacity and efficiency. This is also backed by a change management process that has continued to fuel a performance driven culture among the legacy and new employees across the group.

“We are quite pleased with the impact of our policy on the work ethic and professional drive of our staff across the organisation.  The legacy staff and new employees are bound by an unwavering desire to light up Nigeria by working harder and smarter in line with recent global trends.  We will definitely set aside more funds for capacity building as we see Sahara Power as the future hub of power sector experts on the continent,” he added.

Sahara Group Upgrades Vocational Centers, Empowers 2600 Beneficiaries Annually

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A total of 2600 beneficiaries in Lagos now have access to capacity building opportunities annually through vocational centers supported by leading energy giant, Sahara Group. This is in keeping with Sahara’s quest to enhance economic growth and development in Nigeria.

The centers which include The Lagos State Vocational Training and Skills Acquisition Center Surulere and the Oshodi Community Vocational Center, received support in 2014 and 2015 from the Sahara Foundation.

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The Sahara Foundation is equally involved in several interventions in health, education and capacity building, environment and sustainability in its various locations across the globe.

Executive Director and Co-Founder, Sahara Group, Tonye Cole said working with the centers has reinforced Sahara’s belief that people can be empowered to excel beyond their limitations when linked with the right platforms, partnerships and opportunities.

“In every one of these 2600 people resides that innate God given idea that can create value for different people across the globe. Sahara Group is proud of the achievements some of the beneficiaries are already recording in their various disciplines. We are privileged to witness firsthand, the transformation of everyday people whose greatest attributes are their passion and commitment to pursue and realise their dreams,” Cole said.

SAHARA DESIGNER

According to him, the promoters of the centers deserve commendation and support to ensure sustainability and a brighter future for more Nigerians.  “When we consider the multiples of success stories that will emerge from these 2600 beneficiaries every year and those they will impact directly and indirectly, Sahara Group is emboldened to remain committed in supporting and providing guidance to similar vocational centers,” Cole added.

In June 2014, Sahara Foundation refurbished the dilapidated Textile Laboratory in Oshodi Vocational Center in Lagos, Nigeria.

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The main objective of this project was to provide opportunities for pupils and adults within Oshodi Community and its environs to gain vocational skills to support gainful employment and/or starting a business.

The center’s mission to provide basic skills (including Catering, Clothing and Textiles, Laundry, House-craft) was hampered by the absence of essential resources and an enabling environment to promote skills transfer.

The project covered structural refurbishment and equipping of the Clothing and Textile Lab as well as capacity building in Arts and Crafts for 10 vocational teachers from various centers within the locality, to positively stretch Sahara’s impact.

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Currently, over 1,000 pupils and locals now have access annually to a conducive, safe and fully functional Clothing and Textile lab for practical sessions

In continuation of the growing capacity in the locality, Sahara Foundation in 2015 upgraded the dilapidated Food and Nutrition Vocational Center in Oshodi to a 21st century Cooking Laboratory.

Following completion of the project, more than 1,000 pupils across 12 Government Primary School in Oshodi Local Government Area (LGA) can now access the fully functional Catering Lab for practical sessions annually.

Sahara Foundation had also upgraded the Catering Department of the Lagos State Vocational Training and Skills Acquisition Centre in Surulere, Lagos In February 2014.

The center was established by the State Government to reduce the rate of unemployment. With over 600 youths within the locality having access to the facility annually, this enhances prospects for income generation and employment of beneficiaries by notable establishments in the hospitality sector.

Sahara Group Not Involved In Political Donations

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Our attention has been drawn to online media reports sourced from a Press Statement credited to the Ekiti State Governor, His Excellency, Mr. Ayodele Fayose.

We are particularly disturbed by a portion of the statement that made a misleading and incorrect link between Sahara Energy and election donations: “Most importantly, Nigerians are interested in the $60 million allegedly donated to the APC campaign by Sahara Energy, on which EFCC has been forced to suspend investigation.” 

We would like to state for the record that Sahara Energy has never pledged funds/support nor made any donation to any political organisation/group. Neither has Sahara – under any guise – given funds to promote political causes of individual(s) or group(s).

In fact, Sahara is guided by a robust and well-documented donations policy that clearly states that: “THE COMPANY DOES NOT MAKE POLITICAL DONATIONS; NEITHER DOES IT SPONSOR POLITICAL EVENTS ON BEHALF OF ANY POLITICAL ASSOCIATION.”

We are, for the benefit of our stakeholders and partners across the globe, duty-bound to set the record straight in the light of recent comments in the public space that falsely link Sahara with political donations.

We urge members of the public to disregard this false allegation.

We remain committed to the principles of good governance, best practice and service excellence that have successfully driven the Sahara Brand these past 20 years.

Sahara Group Boosts War Against Cancer With N120 million

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Leading energy and infrastructure conglomerate, Sahara Group, has donated N120 million towards the cause of acquiring Mobile Cancer Centers (MCC) as Nigeria continues to seek sustainable avenues of combating the deadly disease.

The MCC is a clinic on wheels with state-of-the-art facilities for screening, follow-up and treatment including surgeries for pre-cancer and early cancer cases. The center also offers screening for ten cancer-related killer diseases, including hepatitis, diabetes, and malaria, among others, ultimately helping to improve life expectancy in Nigeria where at least 100,000 cancer cases occur annually.

Sahara Group made the donation when Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode and Patron of #GivingTuesday hosted stakeholders committed to tackling the cancer scourge across the nation through the supply of Mobile Cancer Centres.

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In 2012, the United Nations Foundation started the #GivingTuesday initiative to drive philanthropy globally through private and public sector collaboration.  The leaders of many nations, including Presidents and Governors have become patrons of this philanthropic movement. The activities of the initiative in Nigeria are powered by Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP-Nigeria). CECP is co-promoted by six core bodies of the Organized Private Sector (OPS Nigeria).

Executive Director and Co-Founder of Sahara Group, Tonye Cole said Sahara was delighted to be part of the initiative which he described as being “crucial to the success of addressing the cancer scourge sustainably.”

“Through the interventions we continue to make via the vehicle of Sahara Foundation, we remain even more convinced that it is possible to address socio-economic and health challenges globally when willing stakeholders pool resources together. At Sahara, we are passionate about sharing and giving to causes in line with our focus on Education & Capacity Building, Health, Environment and Sustainable Community Development, that will transform lives, communities, businesses and nations. Nothing gives us more joy than touching lives since we started bringing energy to live as Sahara 20 years ago,” Cole stated.

Already, Sahara Foundation has adopted the extrapreneurship strategy to drive integrated economic empowerment programmes for 12,000,000 beneficiaries over the next four years through skills acquisition training, mentoring and access to a network of committed stakeholders. The extrapreneurship framework is “to produce a platform that finds, creates and connects young people with business interests in emerging markets.”

Over the years, Sahara has supported several cancer programmes within and outside Nigeria to raise awareness and reduce the stigma associated with cancer.

The aim is to enlighten the public about the disease, detect it at the early stage and promote long-term survival rates. The programmes are implemented through awareness walks, educative sessions, free screening for men and women and the provision of treatment for an agreed number of positive cases.

Some of Sahara Foundation’s cancer awareness programmes include:

Annual Sponsorship of Prostate Cancer Surgeries, Lagos

Prostate cancer is cancer that occurs in a man’s prostate. It is one of the most common types of cancer found in men. It is more predominant among men of the black race and the risk of contracting increases as one advance in age. However, if detected early it has a better chance of successful treatment. In our strive to reduce the preventable loss of lives from the scourge, Sahara Foundation supports the Thomas John Prostate Foundation annually to provide treatment of those suffering from prostate cancer.  This has benefitted nine men till date. It is worthy to note that the beneficiaries are doing well prostate health-wise.

Cancer Screening and Awareness Programme for Staff Members

This annual partnership offers free clinical breast examinations for female staff and spouses of male staff across our locations.  This has provided the opportunity to learn the proper technique of Self-Breast Examination which remains the most achievable and easily teachable technique to detect breast cancer early.

Cancer Screening for Rural Women across Nigeria

In line with our commitment to constantly promote access to quality medical care for the underserved, over 5000 rural women have benefitted from the free cervical and breast cancer screening and treatment for women in the twin rural communities across Nigeria. The aim is to reduce illness and death resulting from breast and cervical cancer through organized screening to detect cases of unsuspected breast and cervical cancer in women of these communities, thus enabling early intervention.

Cancer Awareness Walk: Lagos & Abuja

Sahara Foundation has promoted Cancer Awareness through organized walks by members of staff in various locations. The main objective of the programme is to create more awareness of the deadly scourge and screen members of the public at no cost to them. This created more awareness about cancer and showed support for those living with it. More awareness was created about the dreaded disease.

Paddle for Cancer Dragon Boat Festival, Geneva, Switzerland

The aim was to raise more awareness about cancer, encourage those living with disease to live active lives and more importantly provide a message of hope for those living with the scourge and to those who support them. This was in partnership with the English Speaking Cancer Association (ESCA), Geneva, Switzerland.

Sahara Foundation targets 12m beneficiaries through extrapreneurship platforms

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Sahara Foundation has adopted the extrapreneurship strategy to drive integrated economic empowerment programmes through strategic partnerships and support for innovative as well as scalable business ventures.

Sahara Foundation is the Corporate Responsibility vehicle of Sahara Group, Africa’s leading energy and infrastructure conglomerate with operations in eight (8) countries across four (4) continents.

Over the next four years, Sahara Foundation plans to directly impact 12,000,000 beneficiaries and also create value through the identification, development and maintenance of relevant stakeholders through which beneficiaries can grow and sustain businesses. This will be achieved through skills acquisition training, mentoring and access to a network of committed stakeholders.

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Executive Director and Co-Founder, Sahara Group, Mr. Tonye Cole, explained that the core of the extrapreneurship framework is “to produce a platform that finds, creates and connects young people with business interests in emerging markets’’ adding that this would be achieved by leveraging on Sahara Foundation’s key strength of bringing together various committed stakeholders and promoting cross- sectoral collaboration.

‘Extrapreneurship’ involves creating value through leveraging internal and external strengths to drive cross-sectoral collaboration. This is made possible by connecting the right people and organizations towards providing sustainable solutions to global social problems.

Unlike entrepreneurship which focuses mainly in income generation, extraprenuership is centered on wealth creation and preservation.

Cole said the shift in Sahara Foundation’s focus is modelled after Sahara Group’s strategy. “Sahara has evolved from a fledgling entrepreneurial business which began 20 years ago into a world class conglomerate with operations across the energy value chain including upstream, midstream, downstream operations. We have leveraged our network of committed stakeholders to expand the business, embrace opportunities and grow the franchise sustainably over the past two decades,” he added.

Sahara Foundation aims to drive the extrapreneurship programme through the establishment of community/academic hubs and the social media. These platforms will provide resource materials and inspire networking and collaboration on a mass scale for local, regional, national and global beneficiaries.

“You cannot even imagine the multiplier effect we are hoping to generate with the new model as young business owners are exposed to boundless opportunities that exist within the various hubs and our dedicated web portal where leading business individuals and organisations will be available to guide and link budding extrapreneurs. We are mostly excited about the fact that this is a sustainable approach to empowering youths and engendering economic growth and development,” stated Cole.

Sahara will in the coming weeks unveil various projects that will kick start its extrapreneruship strategy in its locations across the globe.

Sahara Group, Others Seek Framework For Global Business Integrity

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Sahara Group, a leading African Energy and Infrastructure Conglomerate has restated its commitment to collaborating with various stakeholders to rout the menace of corruption from governance and businesses to boost global economic growth and business sustainability.

The Sahara Group, which has power, oil and gas operations in eight (8) countries across four (4) continents, was part of the recent Washington 2016 Partnering Against Corruption Initiative (PACI) Spring Conference which had Deloitte, Basel Institute, Transparency International, Siemens AG, Thompson Reuters and Pathfinder Group, among others in attendance.

The conference focused on Building Transparency and Integrity in Business as well as the role of Youth Engagement in stamping out corruption – using Nigeria and Mexico as the model countries to drive the agenda.

Sahara Group led deliberations on perceived corruption in Nigeria with allusions to the old Japanese theory Kintsukuroi (keen-tsoo-koo-roy) – “to repair with gold” – as a basis for advocating the establishment of PACI backed partnerships and campaigns.

Source: PR Newswire

 

 

Sahara noted that there was a “palpable wind of change” in Nigeria that signals the preparedness of the nation to record considerable progress with its ongoing anti-corruption policies. Sahara called for the following:

–              A collaborative effort between the Federal Government of Nigeria, selected Nigerian Businesses and Key PACI members through the World Economic Forum (WEF) CEO’s Forum towards setting a robust anti-corruption agenda

–              The use of technology as a tool for rebuilding trust in the system.

–              Development of regional focus for PACI with Nigeria at the forefront of driving the African agenda

In addition, Sahara reiterated the need for more youth engagement and social inclusiveness towards pioneering an ‘Anti-Corruption Epidemic’ in alliance with the PACI community.  Some youth integration agenda that were highlighted include:

–              Establishing an inclusive engagement plan through exhaustive stakeholder mapping and segmentation

–              Identifying young influencers with trusted voices in society to drive the agenda

–              Deploying accessible technology to high density areas

–              Creating a positive narrative for the agenda through robust communication strategy

PACI members at the event held that the business community in every country should play a critical role in formulating policies and creating systems that will address the root causes of corruption, working through national, regional and global hubs.

According to PACI Co-Chair, David Cruickshank, the organization will focus on private public cooperation, leadership and governance, and role of technology as an enabler for business integrity over the next three years. “PACI’s expansion from a regional perspective with key focus on Nigeria and Mexico will go live within the next one year,” he added, stressing PACI’s resurgent commitment to boost global campaign on “spreading the anti-corruption epidemic”.

ABOUT SAHARA

Sahara Group is a leading privately owned African Energy and Infrastructure Conglomerate with operating entities active in the Power, Downstream, Midstream, Upstream and Infrastructure sectors. Sahara currently has its operations in Africa, Europe, Asia and the Middle East and continues to explore new frontiers to replicate its passion for seeking creative, cleaner and sustainable ways of being the provider of choice wherever energy is consumed. The Group is a member of the World Economic Forum community – Partnering Against Corruption Initiative (PACI) and collaborates with global, regional and national organisations to promote sustainable development and transparency in business.

Please see additional information at http://www.sahara-group.com.

‘Egbin generating over a quarter of Nigeria’s electricity’

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More than a quarter of the total electricity generation in the country comes from Egbin Power plant, the company’s chairman, Kola Adesina, said in Lagos on Friday.
Mr. Adesina, who said the human capital profile of the company was among best in Africa, said the operational capacity of the plant has significantly changed since its privatization almost three years ago.
“Egbin plant’s six 220 megawatts, MW, gas-fired power plants were barely generating 400 MW until its privatization in November 2013, producing a marked improvement, which has since restored the plant to full capacity at 1,320MW,”Mr. Adesina said.

Source: Premium Times Nigeria
He told reporters that Egbin Power Plc, in conjunction with its technical partners, Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO), was mobilizing the necessary financial, technical and regulatory processes to double its total power generation capacity over the next five years.
The transformation at the plant, reputed to be Nigeria’s largest electricity generation plant, commenced immediately after its acquisition by Sahara Power, working through a number of Special Purpose Vehicles (SPV) in collaboration with its technical partners, KEPCO.
Since its acquisition of the asset, Mr. Adesina said the management has embarked on constant upgrades in technology and investments in human capital to realize its objective to light up the country.

More than a quarter of the total electricity generation in the country comes from Egbin Power plant, the company’s chairman, Kola Adesina, said in Lagos on Friday.

More than a quarter of the total electricity generation in the country comes from Egbin Power plant, the company’s chairman, Kola Adesina, said in Lagos on Friday.

He attributed the achievement of the company within the short period its management was taken over to quality of its personnel, describing them some of the best in Africa it terms power generation.
As the main drivers of the management’s quest for excellence, Mr. Adesina said there was a genuine desire by the company, which is Nigeria’s largest power generation firm, to redefine power generation on the continent.

“We are committed to continuous expansion and investments in alternative energy sources to boost power supply in Nigeria. At the moment Egbin Power accounts for one quarter of power generated in Nigeria,” he said.
“The progress we have recorded so far in Egbin plant is as a result of a “resurgent employee empowerment strategy” that propels each staff to seek creative ways of providing solutions to the challenges of power solution.
“Our people are vital to the transformation story that is unfolding at Egbin. There’s this desire and passion to see Egbin as front players in Nigeria’s quest for uninterrupted, affordable and sustainable power supply,” the chairman stated.
He said Sahara Power/KEPCO partnership has brought to Egbin an unprecedented level of innovativeness, professionalism, human capital development and continuing investment in new technology.
As part of efforts to enhance the capacity of the workers, he said Egbin power runs a graduate engineering programme, GEP, which seeks to ensure seamless employee succession within the company.
The GEP, he pointed out was one of platforms the company has identified for tackling unemployment in Nigeria and creating platforms for sustainable development and improvement in the power sector.
He said the company was focused on building a sustainable franchise and building robust capacity in the technical and theoretical aspect of electricity generation in the country.
According to him, the company’s management has also upgraded its schools located in its estate to provide ultimate learning experience for the power firm’s staff, apart from estate’s recreational facilities, which have been overhauled and remodelled to ensure staffs have access to post work activities for enhanced productivity.

Egbin’s Human Capital Profile Among Africa’s Best, Says Adesina

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Nigeria’s largest Power Generation firm, Egbin Power Plc says it’s staff ranked among the best in the power sector in Africa whilst restating its commitment to continuous expansion and investments in alternative energy sources to boost power supply in Nigeria.

Source: ThisDayLive

Speaking in an interview with Energy Editors in Lagos, Kola Adesina, Chairman, Egbin Power Plc said the company in conjunction with its technical partners, Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) was currently mobilising the financial, technical and regulatory processes required to double its total capacity over the next five years.

Employees exit the newly renovated energy generation plant, operated by Egbin Power Plc, beneath a branded entrance sign in Lagos, Nigeria, on Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015. While Nigeria was the world's fourth-biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas in 2012, it's struggling to meet local demand for the fuel used by plants that generate at least 70 percent of the country's electricity needs. Photographer: George Osodi/Bloomberg

Employees exit the newly renovated energy generation plant, operated by Egbin Power Plc, beneath a branded entrance sign in Lagos, Nigeria, on Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015. While Nigeria was the world’s fourth-biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas in 2012, it’s struggling to meet local demand for the fuel used by plants that generate at least 70 percent of the country’s electricity needs. Photographer: George Osodi/Bloomberg

“Since we acquired the asset, our passion has been to embark on constant upgrades in technology and investments in human capital to ensure we light up Nigeria. I make bold to state that our staff in Egbin rank among the best in Africa when it comes to power generation. In fact, they remain the drivers of our relentless quest for excellence and desire to redefine power generation on the continent,” Adesina stated.

Egbin’s six 220 MW gas-fired power plants were barely generating 400mw until its privatisation in November 2013 produced a marked improvement which has since restored the plant to full capacity at 1,320mw. Egbin accounts for one quarter of power generated in Nigeria.

Adesina attributed the progress being recorded in Egbin to a “resurgent employee empowerment strategy” which propels each staff to seek creative ways of providing solutions to the challenges of power solution. “Our people are vital to the transformation story that is unfolding in Egbin. There’s this desire and passion to see Egbin as front players in Nigeria’s quest for uninterrupted, affordable and sustainable power supply,” he added.

Adesina said Egbin ran a Graduate Engineering Programme which sought to enhance capacity and seamless employee succession within the company. “We are focused on building a sustainable franchise and robust capacity in the technical and theoretical aspect of electricity generation The GEP is one of our platforms for tackling unemployment in Nigeria and creating platforms for sustainable development and improvement in the Power sector,” Adesina explained.

According to him, the company’s management had also upgraded its schools located in its estate to provide ultimate learning experience for the wards of the power firm’s staff. In addition, the Estate’s recreational facilities had been overhauled and remodeled to ensure staff had access to post work activities that would further enhance their productivity.

The transformation at the nation’s largest generation plant commenced following its acquisition by Sahara Power, working through a number of Special Purpose Vehicles (SPV) in collaboration with its technical partners, KEPCO.

The Sahara Power/KEPCO partnership has brought to Egbin, an unprecedented level of innovativeness, professionalism, human capital development and continuing investment in new technology.

Q&A with Tonye Cole: How can we improve trust in the oil and gas industry?

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This article is part of a World Economic Forum series of interviews with CEOs from the PACI community, which aims to rebuild trust, transparency and integrity in business, and was culled from the World Economic Forum

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What does greater transparency and integrity mean for the oil and gas industry?

Greater transparency and integrity for oil and gas relates to an inherent and consistent problem – lack of trust within the industry. It should focus on how to engender trust amongst the various stakeholders through the development and implementation of effective and efficient policies and regulations across the board.

How can this be achieved in Nigeria?

Trust is very dependent on who tells the story. Transparency and integrity can be achieved through honest and open stakeholder engagement. The industry already has some of the highest standards of corporate governance but has very little or no advocates to speak on their behalf. By ensuring third party acknowledgement of these efforts in an unbiased, balanced and open way, trust can be re-established.

How has signing the Partnering Against Corruption Initiative (PACI) impacted your company?

One take-away from PACI was the act of ‘designing’ corruption out of any system. Sahara has adopted this principle and rather than ‘fight’ an unending battle, has created an organized system through the use of technology via an Oracle ERP system to limit ‘temptation’ areas while driving the culture of the company and the PACI values through the entire organization.

The platform established under PACI by which Sahara abides to has enabled us not only limit corruption within our own system but has also helped to limit our level of exposure to corruption within the industry as a whole.

Thus, signing up to PACI has played a major role in reaffirming our stance on the importance of a sound governance framework as the foundation for sustainability in any enterprise.

How important is setting the tone at the top for building a culture of integrity and trust in an organisation?

It is imperative that the tone is set at the top as this usually lays the foundation for the organization’s ethical performance and the attendant trickle-down effect on employees of the company. To build a culture of integrity and trust it is important that the top management also live and lead by the culture set in the organization.

Top management are always in the spotlight, whether they know it or not and their actions reflects upon their employees with or without their consent. Therefore, it is critical that their actions are also in line with the ethics and integrity of the organization as those watching are more likely than not to imbibe what they see.

How can PACI and the community better contribute to increasing transparency in the oil and gas sector?

As earlier mentioned, one of the issues facing the oil and gas sector is the lack of trust which can be improved through transparency. PACI and the community can contribute to increase transparency in the sector through the following;

– The use of self regulation from established industry standards, to setting and enforcing rules and guidelines relating to the conducts of companies in the industry. Self regulation helps to increase public trust, combat negative public perceptions, and to ensure commitment and compliance.

– Creating awareness through praise and recognition of companies that are in line with industry standards and have performed effectively over time. Praise and recognition helps to increase stakeholder engagement, rebuild trust and strengthen accountability within the industry.

Source: World Economic Forum

Interview with Tonye Cole: Why borderless economies are best for Africa

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source: Premium Times

During the sixth annual conference and exhibition of the African Petroleum Producers’ Association, APPA, in Abuja, Tonye Cole, the Chief Executive Officer of Sahara Group, one of the sponsors, spoke with Business Editor, BASSEY UDO, on what African needs to do to survive the pressures caused by declining global crude oil prices on the continent’s economy.

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Excerpts:

PT: At the opening session of the APPA conference, Sahara Group was rallying members to partner towards finding an African solution to the challenge posed by declining global crude oil prices. What informed your perspective?

COLE: Crude oil prices have been going up and down, constantly moving. But, the last thing we saw as oil prices were hitting the hundreds was that different companies and different stakeholders in the business were positioning their own views about what should happen. Everybody was talking, but nobody was listening. However, one thing we see when oil prices started coming down to the level it is today is that people are worried enough to agree to sit down, and for the first time begin to ask how we can get out of this crisis. It takes for the different heads, from different areas, to come together to look at the problem from a common view point, which is what is happening now with the coming together of members of the African Petroleum Producers Association, APPA.

That common view point is that everybody needs to survive in this difficult period. Governments, oil companies, various stakeholders, even local communities agitating that oil is their resources, need to survive. That survival means that everybody should be able to come and put heads together to say: how do we do solve this problem?

Again, even if we survive now, there has to be enough, in terms of sustainability. This is the time that people can listen to long term plans, and that’s what the meeting is all about and the perspective of our Group.

PT: Oil crisis is neither Nigerian nor African, but global. How would the coming together of African producers influence the situation at the international crude oil market?

COLE: There are solutions that are Africa-centric. There are things that work for us as a people. So far, what we do a lot is to import things – from technology to ideas, etc. that have been developed to work for the foreigners, and have been working for them before they are exported to us. What we have to do is to reverse that trend. Look at our peculiar situation and create the solutions that can work for us. Then, we can export what we can create to other areas. There are many African countries that are just discovering their own oil. They are going through the processes Nigeria has been through these past decades.Nigeria is at the forefront of developing solutions that work within our environment, which can be used in any developing society. That is what we need to start thinking about.

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PT: What is the role of Sahara Group in all these?

COLE: Sahara Group has a lot of experience in oil trading business. Some of the things we have found are cross border solutions that can work for our peculiar situation as Africans. Ghana, for example, requires power for their industries. Nigeria has started off by developing power using the private public partnership model, which allows private Nigerian companies to use it and realise what international companies promised they would do and it never happened. We have to now develop a framework, policy and all that works within this society. One of the things Sahara Group did was to sit down with the Ghanaian government on power and tell them the lessons we learnt in Nigeria and the solutions we need to put forward there. Those kinds of things are working out beautifully, rather than sitting down and exporting things one knows as solutions being provided for here in Nigeria, so that we do not make the same mistakes at the time. That’s one solution out of many.

PT: What are these Afro-centric solutions you proffer for the oil and gas sector? Do we have that capacity to development them?

COLE: Absolutely! We do! Like here, when we started about 20 years back, there were three things we saw at the time.One, all international trading was handled by foreign companies. Two, all financing for trading was handled by foreign companies. Three, there was no indigenous people that knew how to trade crude oil, petroleum products, the futures, etc. That capacity did not exist. Today, one of the things Sahara Group has done is to train very young people; bring them into that area; take them abroad to sit on commodities trading desks we have in Geneva, Dubai, Singapore, and Ghana, and taking what is good about Nigeria to the world. One good thing one can always find about Nigeria is that we are aggressive and enterprising when it comes to our entrepreneurial mind-set. We believe in ourselves. All what one has to do is give the Nigerian that opportunity to express himself.

We have seen that in Nigerians in the last 20 years. We have driven in the forefront. Many people did not know we have the ability to finance crude and petroleum products. But, Nigerian banks are able to do that effortlessly and start opening Letters of Credits, LCs for Nigerian companies.

Two, there are people in Sahara Group who can sit down with the best in the world to trade any product anywhere. These are all Nigerians who have come through the system. It just tells me that we know what to do given the right opportunities.

PT: What about the technology required in the oil and gas industry, which are still in the hands of the foreigners?

COLE: One of the things we have to look at is inwards solutions; those things we know we are really good at. Once you know what you are good at, you begin to develop what you are extremely good at.

One of the things that Nigerians always do is to think local. A Nigerian will take any technology in his hands and adapt it and use it in a way that can function where other people would have thrown away. It is one of the simple skills that we have that we don’t do much about. At a particularly level, people want to buy the best things for their use. But, 99 per cent of the rest of Nigerians take that same new thing that has been discarded by somebody else and keep re-engineering it. It is one of our skills – to be able to capture that skill of re-engineering. They go abroad and buy everything that has been discarded and bring them in, re-package and sell them. But, we don’t always understand that in that technology, there is a place for re-engineering. There is so much. But, we have to give people the belief in themselves. Such things are not bad. There are countries that sit down and work on their capabilities. That is how China developed. They picked out things; looked at them and re-engineered them. They learnt how to do it and began to do it. We can do the same, because we have the same brain sets.

PT: At the end of this conference, what kind of resolutions are we expecting to come out of it?

COLE: I hope that at the end of the day, one of the things we would see would be that all the 18 oil producing countries in Africa gathering in Abuja would create borderless thinking about our common challenges. This is very important. As we have walked through Africa, one of the things we had to break down right at the beginning was the issue of borders. People build borders against themselves. They see themselves as citizens of Niger, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria and other, and because of that they refuse to communicate and share information on issues of development.

Today, we have found out that after 18 years of pushing that aspect of borderless control, we found out that it is much easier to operate in West African countries. Today, Sahara Group is operating all over the place, because we have broken those borders. Today, the low oil price has opened up Africa to other African countries, because they know we are here and we know the problems. Today, Sahara Group can operate out of Tanzania and anywhere. We have bought storage facilities in Tanzania. We have been shipping products into Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda and building the whole East African hub. My hope is that borderless discussions would come out of here; where solutions that work in Nigeria can be exported into Ghana, and those that work in Ivory Coast can be taken to Tanzania, or what has worked in Gabon can be moved into Cameroun. This way, we will not be thinking of borders against the people, but regional solutions to our common problems. If we can achieve that during the meeting, we would have gone a long way to finding lasting solutions to our problems.

PT: Nigeria’s challenges in the downstream sector of the petroleum industry could be what most other African countries are facing. How would this meeting help address these issues?

COLE: One thing we have talked about for a long time in the downstream sector of our petroleum industry has to do with subsidies and subsidy removal and the measure and control of the volume of products as they are moved from one place to another. Many things in Nigeria, by virtue of our vastness and the independent retail operators already in the industry, we have a lot of lessons to learn from. Other countries coming into the industry should sit down and take a look at these problems and identify the mistakes that have been made by agencies like the PPPRA (Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency), PEF (Petroleum Equalization Fund) and the efforts to restructure and create solutions to the problems of these institutions. What can we gain from opening up the entire market to independent marketers who now own about 60 per cent of the market? What are the mistakes and gains from such policies as domestic refining? What do they gain from buying a broken down refining system? Or what can we gain by restructuring the oil industry? There are so many real life case studies in Nigeria that many African countries can learn from.

One of the things I am always asked each time I speak in different countries is: don’t look at Nigeria in the way that one can say that there is nothing to learn from it. There are a lot that have been done that could be learnt from. We learnt it the hard way. We have the real answers. No African country coming into the oil industry now should make the same mistakes Nigeria made. My advice is for African countries to come, sit down and engage the various stakeholders, by asking questions about what they have done right and their mistakes. How can we improve our industry?Frankly, if one goes to MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) looking for solutions about African issues, one is not likely to find. But, if you come to Nigeria, where we have learnt it the hard way, you are sure to get what works for Africans. Nigeria will be able to tell you where mistakes were made. We will show you where the landmines are. We will be able to tell you what you are likely to get if you add one and one together.
I hope that at the end of the conversation, we will be able to learn from each other’s peculiar ways of solving African problems our own way.

PT: Talking about the problem of power supply and the synergy between gas supply and power generation. Sahara Group is also involved in all these. How do we strike the right balance to guarantee adequate power supply to the people?

COLE: The principle around the oil sector that is being discussed is exactly the same as the principle we have to think about when talking about power. It’s all about stakeholder engagement. Everybody has an interest to protect.
In power, the interest of the consumer at the end of the day is: let there be light. For the producer, the only interest he has at the end of the day is: let him be able to supply light to the consumers. So, above the economics, the principal thing is that everyone should have one goal, to bring power. Once that is put as a central call, and with all the stakeholders around the table agreeing that they will make this happen, we have to listen. What has made all the difference in the last couple of months is that all stakeholders in the sector are sitting together and listening to what the distribution and generation companies as well as the regulating authorities are saying about all the problems and how to bring the solution. All parties would also listen to what the gas suppliers are saying about the situation. Without adequate supply of gas, the generation companies would not be able to generate electricity. And without electricity, the distribution companies would have what to distribute to the people. So, it’s a delicate chain.
But, everyone would have to realise that everyone is looking for the same thing, and that each one of them have issues peculiar to them that must be addressed. It is addressing these issues and finding the right balance that is the key.

Having an umpire that is able to see all of these and address everything about solutions before setting out a road-map or time-frame that would get it there. It’s a delicate call. If one tries to rush all of these with the expectation that it must happen tomorrow, it will fail, and everyone would sit down and watch, because it would not happen.
One must take steps that everyone understands could take everyone there. The key thing to all of that is communication. Everyone has to communicate effectively and clearly what those steps are and what is being done; how long it will take. If these things are tied up, I think Nigerians would understand.

source: Premium Times

Sahara Group to drive Book-for-All project with libraries, donations

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The Sahara Group, a leading Energy conglomerate, has its sights on championing the cause for a world full of books that can be accessed by all, especially the less privileged across the globe.

This vision has been the thrust of Sahara’s literacy and empowerment projects at its various locations as the energy giant continues to support education and capacity building activities among children and youths. Sahara dreams of a ‘Book World’; one that resonates with Plato’s submission: “Books give a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything.”

In 2016, the Group’s Corporate Responsibility organ, Sahara Foundation plans to engage in sustainable projects that will improve the reading culture of children as well as improve their learning environment. One of such projects involves the quest to donate over 50,000 books and set up 10 rural libraries in selected rural communities and public schools in Benue State.

This initiative to make books more accessible to more children and youths will be replicated in Sahara locations globally and other areas with the support of strategic partners.
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To mark this year’s World Book Day, Sahara Foundation is embarking on a Book Drive to amass books that can be sent to children in Internally Displaced Persons camps and other high need areas. In keeping with Sahara’s policy of Personal Corporate Social Responsibility (PCSR), Sahara Group staff volunteers will give out books and make cash donations towards the purchase of books for students of Bethseda School for the Blind.

Sahara Foundation launched the ‘Read to Me’ School Project in 2014 to promote a reading culture amongst children. This initiative, which is spearheaded by staff members who serve as volunteers, encourages reading for knowledge and leisure.

Sahara Foundation in 2015 upgraded the library at the United Mission College (UMC) Primary School, Ibadan and also provided the library with books to enrich the minds of pupils. The foundation also refurbished and equipped a Guidance and Counselling Centre for Eko Akete Senior Secondary School, Lagos Island. The Centre effectively serves the academic, psycho-social, and career needs of the students.

 

The dream of a greater tomorrow can be sustained by continuous empowerment of the leaders of tomorrow. Sahara Foundation, through various interventions and strategic partnerships has shown a relentless commitment to building capacity and improving lives through the power of education and a reading culture. Sahara believes its dream of a ‘Book World’ is achievable and will sustain its quest until a “book happens to every human on the planet.”

Sahara’s Two Decades of Grit and Gains

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Source: ThisDayLive

It is often said that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a step. This moving statement, credited to the famous Chinese philosopher, Lao Tzu, has actually become a convenient maxim used in encouraging people as they embark on promising adventures or endeavours that are inherently herculean and can potentially sap a lot of sweat, sometimes blood.

The age-long saying also serves as a motivation to emphasise that most lofty achievements are usually the products of small beginnings. But realistically, or better put, entrepreneurially speaking, a number of new ventures that have taken the audacious first step, particularly in Africa’s socio-economic climate, Nigeria to be precise, do hardly cover a mile, let alone reach the ambitious thousand miles.

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Really, their encumbrances are never absent from common knowledge. They range from difficulties in accessing take-off capital, to lack of enabling infrastructure, futile government’s interventions and to paucity of mentorship programmes amongst other factors that hinder any start-up from evolving into a big and stable enterprise. New businesses are up against countless threats to survival. So, as a matter of fact, setting on the path of entrepreneurship in Nigeria is more daunting than what can ever be imagined, described or emboldened by the force of a wise saying.

Please don’t get it twisted, it is indeed essential, as part of the preparations, to fill the mind with positive words and motivational thoughts before setting out on that business route that is less travelled, but it should also be emphasised that reality, sometimes jolting, lies at every turn on the road. Thus, and expectedly, the total responsibility will be on the entrepreneur to react to the arduous inevitabilities and unimaginable hitches on your way to creating a solid enterprise.

One must also bear in mind that the issues which will arise along the journey can either make or mar one, depending on the manner they are managed. That is actually the home truth that many start-ups are yet to fully cuddle. Even though there is no accurate statistics on the mortality of start-ups in the country – Nigerians also keep groaning over poor record-keeping on other critical aspects of human existence and endeavours in the country – the frequent disappearance of many new ventures, even known businesses, from the economic radar are sufficient proof that things are really bad out there. And there is no dressing this up with some subtle line.

But cleverly, and so very often, notable brands are featured superficially as examples of growing entrepreneurship in Nigeria while their long and difficult experiences to greatness are under-reported and glossed over. As such the public is fed with the erroneous assumptions that many of those businesses and business owners started just yesterday and became an instant success within a short period of time, an absolute misrepresentation of facts that is partly contributing to the desperate quest for emergency wealth by some aspiring and budding entrepreneurs who are mostly young people.

Whereas, and in actual fact, most of the founders of several prominent enterprises that we see today are true representations of the description made by the former President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt in a passage called The Man in the Arena from his famous Citizenship in a Republic speech. The visionary leader described The Man in the Arena as one “whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions…” It is therefore more expedient to sufficiently delve on the sacrifices required for success when talking about the victory of high achievements marked by men and women in the Nigerian business arena. In that arena, the three men behind the Sahara conglomerate have convincingly proven their mettle; and largely surpassed expectations.

Essentially, and unbeknown to many, the leading Africa’s Power, Energy, Gas and Infrastructure conglomerate, Sahara Group, owned by three friends: Tonye Cole, Tope Shonubi and Ade Odunsi, is miles away from the usual conjectured tale of accidental high achievements. The Sahara conglomerate, formerly Sahara Energy Resources Limited, is a business idea that was in fact brought to life in 1996, exactly 20 years ago. The three brains behind the business, who were quite young at the time, were fundamentally fired up by their determination to fill a gap in the oil sector and lay a foundation for an enduring and profitable venture in the sector.

Even though the SERL started small in 1996 with focus on developing, facilitating and implementing business processes between oil producers, oil marketers and oil traders, effectively acting as go-between for the producers and buyers of oil products, it has transformed into an enviable leader in the downstream, midstream and upstream sub-sectors of the oil industry. It has also become a major player in the energy and infrastructure concerns not only in Nigeria but also in other parts of Africa including Europe, Asia and Middle East. Today, Sahara Group is a major employer of labour with combined staff strength of 660 people.

To reiterate my earlier submission, all of this did not happen overnight. The trio have toiled day and night, faced with daunting circumstances that almost undermined their resolve and have well paid their dues for two solid decades to count the gains of their strenuous labour.

The Group Executive Director of Sahara Group, Mr. Tonye Cole, has through one of his writings, where he made reference to biblical teachings, highlighted the need for hard-labour, planning and perseverance in any undertaking in life.

In the piece he wrote, “The Almighty God has used nature as the perfect example to teach anyone willing to learn how best to prosper in life. In it He uses the example of plants letting us know that if anything must become prosperous, it must first find good soil as a seed, germinate and develop solid roots, and start the growth process which takes years to accomplish”.

He also shared some thoughts on the growth of the company through another medium: “I remember back then in our days of little beginnings, we made complimentary cards without titles, it just had our names and address. We were burning with ideas for change and ‘showing off titles’ wasn’t on our front burner. We just wanted to be success stories and we were ready to pay the price through hard-work and positive impact.”

“Starting up, we came up with ideas that the older generation might not have had an idea of as at then. We brought in newness and freshness, it was a field that was then dominated by foreigners and we were young but focused on what we wanted to achieve. We dared to tread on uncommon grounds and today we look back and are grateful for how far God has brought us”, he added.

There are actually lots to learn from Sahara’s success story, and this must include how the trio have managed to sustain the partnership for the past 20 years without a partner calling to yank off some parts of the company’s vast assets as his share of the business or another threatening with litigation to walk away with his cut of the business empire.

Even in more advanced countries, we have seen partners in business for just three years calling for each other’s throats and itching to turn the table upside down and bring the roof down. So, undoubtedly, the trio running the Sahara Group must have a strategy that really works in many regards in keeping business and partnership alive, and this can be the much-desired nugget for new ventures and growing enterprises.

Kaduna partners Sahara Group, UNSDG on Food Africa Project

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Kaduna State Government is set to partner the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and Sahara Group on the Food Africa Project that seeks to boost poverty alleviation, food security and economic empowerment in the state, Governor Malam Nasir El-Rufai, has said.

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Paloma Duran and Tonye Cole

Food Africa Project is a collaborative initiative involving Sahara Group, United Nations – Sustainable Development Goal Fund and the Kaduna State Government. The strategic project management approach is a forward and backward integration model aimed at optimizing the entire food value chain.

Value chain development has become one of the best strategies public sectors employ to engage and attract private investment in the agribusiness sector.

The project is expected to impact over 500,000 beneficiaries (30% direct beneficiaries and 70% indirect beneficiaries), including families with better nutrition and livelihood opportunities.

The details of the partnership were unveiled during a recent courtesy visit to the Kaduna State Government by officials of Sahara Group and UNSDG

The Governor, who was represented by his deputy, His Excellency, Barnabas Bala Bantex applauded the UN and Sahara Group for the project, stating that it would add great value to the state on food security, access to potable water and economic empowerment.

“The coming of the SDG-F representatives and Sahara group to adopt the global best practice and its importance cannot be over-emphasised. We have challenges in the agricultural sector which we believe would be addressed by this project. Indeed, we see a huge opportunity in the coming of the Sahara Group and SDG as a development that would help us adopt global best practice in agriculture and ultimately ensure that our farmers generate value from their efforts both locally and internationally,” he said.

Noting that investing in agriculture would unlocking other opportunities, the governor assured all stakeholders of his administrations “unflinching support” , adding that further discussions would be held by all parties to ensure sustained success and replication across other allied sectors.

“We are adequately motivated with the partnership and we will get to our destination because the government is committed to this partnership and investing in agriculture in the state,” he said

Speaking on the project, Sahara Group’s Executive Director, Mr. Tonye Cole, said the project would enable Sahara Foundation, UNSDG and Kaduna State government work towards achieving zero poverty level through training of youths in agriculture in the state.

He said more than 150 youths in the state had already received direct training on agriculture at the Leventis Foundation.

He expressed Sahara’s readiness to utilize farm land that has already been purchased by Sahara Foundation for out growers to boost their produce.

Tonye Cole, Barnabas Bantx and Shedrach Madlioin

Tonye Cole, Barnabas Bantx and Shedrach Madlioin

“Sahara is passionate about this project just like others we have identified as platforms that will enhance economic prosperity and development. We will fully align with Kaduna State Government on how to ensure that the implementation takes effect immediately. It is also about teaching the techniques on how to process, preserve and how to get much better value from agriculture produce. Once you can build trust in the local government and people can see that the government is fully involved in meeting their need, you would begin to see a strong wind of development that comes with the patriotism,” he stated
Cole added that over the next three years, Sahara Foundation plans to impact 12 million Nigerian youth in the areas of education, health, environment and sustainable community development.

According to the Director, SDG-Fund Paloma Duran, the Food Africa Initiative will cover five countries in Africa namely: Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, S/Lone and Tanzania and Nigeria.

She said food security, access to water and sanitation are the three key areas that are of interest to the UN.
“We are trying to engage different stakeholders on this agenda including Civil Society Organizations, private sector, Universities and faith-based organizations to ensure we achieve the sustainable development goals in Nigeria and across the globe,” she said.

She commended the Kaduna state government and Sahara Group for partnering with the UN on the project and reiterated the UN’s commitment to attaining the SDGs by 2030.

PIC 2 PALOMA DURAN, SHEDRACK MADLION, TONYE COLE.

Sahara Group marks 20th anniversary with sustainable development projects

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The Sahara Group, a leading energy and infrastructure conglomerate has said its 20th anniversary celebration will be dedicated to giving back to indigent communities and supporting sustainable development projects at its various locations across the globe.

Sahara’s Executive Director, Tonye Cole, said the Group had since its inception in 1996 been passionate about giving and serving, adding that it considered the opportunity to increase its involvement in empowering lives and communities a “unique privilege”.

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Cole said Sahara would work closely with governments and stakeholders in countries where it operates, the United Nations, European union, sustainable development goals fund (SDG-F) and other partners to enhance the quest for inclusive economic growth, poverty eradication, food security and access to potable water.

Sahara’s intervention projects will be coordinated by the Sahara foundation, the Group’s corporate responsibility vehicle. The Foundation’s focus areas include education and capacity building, environment, health and sustainable community development.

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“Sahara has so much to be grateful for having started from very humble beginnings 20 years ago to becoming one of Africa’s leading energy conglomerates. To mark this milestone, Sahara will initiate and support more projects that would help bring the world closer to achieving the sustainable development goals by 2030,” he stated.

He added: “Over the past 20 years, probably the greatest source of inspiration for Sahara is knowing that we have stood as a sure source of inspiration for a generation of young men and women, especially the less privileged in our society. By giving them opportunities to fulfill their dreams, nurturing hope and belief in themselves that they can attain any goal they set for themselves, we have seen lives transformed for the better.”

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Sahara’s growth has seen it extend its vision of “bringing energy to life” from Lagos, Nigeria to other locations in Africa, Europe, Middle East and Asia. The Group has operating entities at these locations that are leading players in the power, downstream, midstream, upstream and infrastructure sectors.

In recognition of its contribution to supporting sustainable development, Sahara was in 2015 inducted into the private sector advisory board of the SDG-f where it plays a critical role in the development platforms for effective global collaboration towards realizing the SDGs.

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Speaking on some of the impact areas the Foundation would be involved in this anniversary year,  Cole said Sahara, in collaboration with the SDG-F and the Kaduna state government will unveil the Food Africa Project aimed at driving economic empowerment and poverty alleviation for over half a million people through food security. The project will achieve this through robust optimization of the entire food value chain and keying into the school feeding program of the state government.

Cole stated that following the Foundation’s highly successful campaign with the Carter Center to eradicate the guinea worm scourge in Nigeria, both organisations will tackle the rising menace of water borne diseases at various camps for Internally Displaced Persons. “Sahara Foundation in partnership with the Carter Center will be donating boreholes to the camps, while some individuals in the camps will be trained on how to deploy basic toolkits to rectify minor faults on the machines. This will promote sustainability of the project and empower the people so trained,” he explained.

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Sahara’s Youth Creativity Challenge – in partnership with Enactus Nigeria, will inspire students from over 50 tertiary institutions across Nigeria to develop sustainable projects in various deprived communities. In 2016, the students will be required to design projects aimed at providing solutions to certain environmental and health issues in selected communities. Sahara Foundation is currently working on how this will be replicated in other Sahara locations across the globe, in addition to the development of a project that is expected to empower 10 million youths directly through various engagements.

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Sahara will also embark on and support more community health awareness campaigns, educational advancement programmes, clean environment projects and capacity building engagements in all its locations.

In 2015, Sahara Foundation reached out to over 50,000 direct beneficiaries through its various projects and initiatives. Sahara also achieved a total of 1500 staff volunteer hours in line with the Group’s policy that enshrines volunteering as a core aspect of its Personal and Corporate Social Responsibility (PCSR) projects.

The Foundation received several awards for its contribution to the society. These include: Down Syndrome recognition award (2015) – for contribution towards the upliftment of people with Down Syndrome in Nigeria; special recognition in Dubai at the Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) for contribution to youth empowerment and Great Place to Work Award 2015 – in recognition for Sahara’s efforts at making the world a better place through best practice and excellent track record in Corporate Social Responsibility.

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Egbin Power Donates Training Equipment to Four Universities

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Source: This Day Live

Nigeria’s biggest power station, Egbin Power Plc has donated specialised engineering training equipment to the engineering faculties of four Nigerian universities- University of Abuja, University of Nigeria Nsukka, University of Lagos and University of Ibadan.

The gestures, according to the Chairman of Egbin Power Plc, Kola Adesina, was part of its intentions to help the universities groom competent engineers for Nigeria.

Each of the universities got a heat exchanger, a facility, which many engineering students and lecturers see more in maps and text books.

Adesina said recently at the donation of the facility to the Faculty of Engineering in the University of Abuja, that similar donations had been done to the other universities, the University of Lagos, University of Nigeria, Nsukka and the University of Ibadan.

“Following the privatisation and handover of the Egbin Power Plant to the core investor, management and board decided to overhaul the six units of the plants for ultimatum performance. As a result, certain equipment were replaced. One of them is the vessel donated to this university,” Adesina said.

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Represented by Kingsley Okotie, he said that the donation will help the universities in their teaching of engineering.

“It will help for practical demonstration of students in the faculty of engineering, to enhance knowledge and serve for research and development purposes.

“Once we complete the overhaul of the six units of our plants, we hope to reach out to more universities. Some of the testimonies from the universities , where these donations were made confirm our initial belief that this is the first time lecturers and students are seeing such facility live. They can now see the facility in real demonstration during training and research, unlike previously when they only relied on images in text books,” said Adesina.

Similarly, the Director of Physical Development at the University, Dr. Otaki Alanana in his explaned that the equipment would help the university produce the right calibre of engineering students, noting that it will be used for both undergraduate and post graduate studies.

Alanana represented the Vice Chancellor of the University, he said “We will judiciously utilise what you have given us both for undergraduate and post graduate studies. When you go back, please tell the world that there is Faculty of Engineering University of Abuja that is now reenergised to produce world class engineers.”

Accordingly, heat exchangers are devices which are primarily used in the exchange of heat, typically from one fluid to another. They are widely used in industry both for cooling and heating large scale industrial processes.

FG commends Sahara on role in success of power sector privatisation

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The Federal Government has lauded Sahara Group and Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) for the unfolding transformation of Egbin Power Plc, the nation’s largest power generation utility.

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, and the Director-General, Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Mr. Benjamin Dikki, in separate speeches at the weekend, commended the post privatization achievements of Egbin’s new owners at a meeting to flag off the dispatch of additional 220mw from the Egbin Power Plant to Lagos.

After conducting an on-the-site inspection of the plant, Fashola noted that the change at the plant was impressive considering its dismal state and decades of improper maintenance after it was commissioned over 30 years ago.

“When the plant was built over 30 years ago for lower a population, it lacked maintenance and complete overhaul. These have led to only one or two units working while other units were either not working at all or partially working. Today, due to Sahara’s Investment in the plant, we are back to the six turbines that are working with 1320 MW ready for evacuation,” he said.

Recalling that he represented the Federal Government in handing over Egbin to the investors two years ago, Dikki, the BPE DG, said, “I know the state in which Egbin was when we handed it over. One plant was down for over 10 years and it is that plant that we are having back and commissioning today.”

Dikki said, “I want to congratulate the investors in Egbin for being a flagship, a shining example of what privatisation is meant to achieve. Moving from less than 400MW to 1,320MW in less than two years is no mean achievement, given the fact that no component is manufactured locally. “This is a shining example that we want every privatisation candidate to emulate.”

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Chairman, Egbin Power Plc, Mr. Kola Adesina and the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola

Chairman, Egbin Power Plc, Mr. Kola Adesina said that prior to the privatisation of the plant in November 2013, Egbin’s average generation capacity was 300MW due to the dismal state of its six units, adding that at its lowest point; only one of the six units was operational.

He said, “Post-acquisition, we are already witnessing some significant achievements, particularly, the plant’s current sustained 1,110MW generation capacity that is responsible for over 25 per cent of power supply in the nation. From the outset, we had just one desire: Let there be light. In spite of numerous challenges, all we could see was a Nigeria that has the capacity to harness its amazing potential though a robust and sustainable power sector. This vision has yielded ongoing initiatives, investments and innovations which have restored Egbin to its installed capacity of 1,320MW.”

Fashola visits Egbin

Adesina said Egbin had already commenced feasibility studies to double the capacity of the plant to 2670mw. “As we prepare to power the change that will drive Nigeria to its next phase of sustained growth, we also target an Egbin that would birth an industrial park. I will like to say that, the Sahara Group, KERL, Egbin Power Plc and other sister companies have elected to own the vision of electrifying Nigeria and we remain committed to this vision,” he added.

DPR mistaken in suspension order – Sahara Energy

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The management of Sahara Energy Resources Limited has said the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) did not give the company an opportunity to provide available documentary evidence that would have addressed allegations bordering on compliance with approved price for sale of PMS.

The DPR had in a letter dated December 9, 2015 written to Sahara on the issue and the company promptly replied via a letter also dated December 9, 2015 to clarify its position and make a passionate appeal for an opportunity to back its response with facts.

Setting the record straight in a statement, the company’s Managing Director, Mrs. Moroti Adedoyin-Adeyinka said Sahara Energy had a track record of strict compliance with the sector’s guidelines.

Adeyinka said the DPR sent the letter to Sahara without any hearing or earlier inquiry, affirming that she remained hopeful that Sahara’s response will clarify all allegations and concerns of the DPR.

“We take seriously our obligations under the law as a corporate law abiding citizen and we have not acted in breach of the Petroleum Act or any Regulations, Schedules or Orders made thereunder. We shall welcome an opportunity to respond to any allegations of fact that DPR may have and we are confident that we can demonstrate with documentary records our full compliance with the Act,” she added.

Sahara’s letter to the DPR read in part: “We would like to inform you that contrary to the allegations made in your letter, Sahara Energy Resources Limited discharged MT Argosy carrying 20,426,120 litres of PMS to Sahara Ibafon on the 5th October, 2015 and sold this product between the 7th October and 24th November, 2015 to Forte Oil and A.A. RANO, amongst others, who we all sold to at the price of =N=77.66. We categorically maintain that we did not at any time sell PMS above the government approved price. As of today, we have only a deadstock of 26,116 litres at Sahara Ibafon which cannot be pumped out.” She said Sahara has always sold petroleum products at the approved price in its depots and other depots where the company has discharged products.

Adeyinka urged the DPR to review its suspension order, adding that Sahara would welcome the opportunity to respond to any allegations of fact upon which DPR’s decision was based. She also assured the company’s customers and stakeholders that the issue would be resolved, stressing that Sahara remained committed to working with the DPR to ensure professionalism and sustainable growth in the sector.

She added that Sahara had continuously been called upon to work with the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to address shortages and boost the supply of PMS nationwide – a role she said Sahara would be honored to continue playing responsibly and ethically.

Sahara Group urges global partnerships for ‘Zero Poverty’

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Sahara’s Group Executive Director, Tonye Cole has said that though daunting, the quest for a world free of poverty can be attained through sustained cooperation involving all governments, businesses and civil society.

Speaking in New York at the launch of the report: “Business and the United Nations: Working together towards the Sustainable Development Goals: A framework for Action”, Cole said: “Poverty is something no human being should be made to go through and its eradication is a task that all of us must take seriously.”

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According to him, global alliances can help drive recent World Bank projections that the number of people living in extreme poverty around the world is likely to fall to under 10 percent of the global population in 2015.

“The task of Zero Poverty is audacious. The private sector’s ability of seeking out where opportunities exist in the supply chain and the UN’s vast mobilization mechanism to galvanize co-operation amongst various stakeholders is a combination I believe is crucial in the campaign against poverty,” he added.

Anchored by the Sustainable Development Goal Fund (SDG-F), the report among others, proposed actions to motivate and mobilise businesses, UN staff and Member States around specific strategic SDG engagement opportunities, especially at the country level. It also highlighted the need to simplify and facilitate the process of business engagement with UN agencies, building and sharing knowledge, exploring co-investment models and measuring impact.

SDG-F’s Director, Paloma Duran Director, said the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development provides a formidable platform for global cooperation towards combating poverty, inequality and injustice, and climate change. “This provides an unprecedented opportunity to shift the world onto a path of inclusive, sustainable and resilient development. Hopefully, ours can be the first generation to end poverty, but we must do that in a way that simultaneously reduces inequality and exclusion and avoids wrecking the ecosystems on which life depends. It would be hard to drive such development forward without business being on board,” she noted in the report.

Company case examples from SDG-F’s 13-member Advisory Group, which provided the basis for the report, showed how private sector participation is making huge impact across the globe.

According to the report, Sahara Group, through its Employee Engagement Programme, is investing in capacity building for the local communities where the company operates, providing better outcomes on employee productivity and absenteeism. The programme has helped Sahara hire more locals in such communities.

Microsoft’s Project Badiliko is increasing digital literacy in Sub-Saharan Africa and introduces ICT as a new way for teachers to teach and students to learn. Working in partnership with the British Council, Microsoft has built 100 digital hubs, which include teacher training and content, in schools.

Other members of the Advisory Group featured in the report include: H&M, PVBLIC Foundation, Grupo Nutresa, Fundación SERES, BBVA Microfinance Foundation, Ebro Foods, EY Global, Ferrovial, Tongwei Group, Organización Ardila Lülle and SABMiller.

Sahara Group joins UN, SDGF, others for Sustainability Report launch

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Sahara Group, a leading African Energy and Infrastructure conglomerate will on November 10, 2015 in New York, join other stakeholders for the launch of the Sustainable Development Goals Fund (SDG-F) new report, “Business and the United Nations: Working together towards the Sustainable Development Goals: A framework for Action”.

The UN estimates indicate that achieving the SDGs will require $3.3-4.5 trillion a year.

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Sahara’s Co-Founder and Executive Director, Tonye Cole, SDG-F Director, Paloma Duran and other speakers are expected to give insight into the report which provides a roadmap on how the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development can be effectively driven through collaboration between the private sector and other stakeholders.

A collection of company case examples and perspectives from Sahara Group, Microsoft, BBVA Microfinance Foundation, EBRO Foods and H&M, among others, formed part of the SDG-F report which is expected to serve as a manual for regional and global multi-stakeholder cooperation.

Cole, a member of the SDG-F’s Private Sector Advisory Group, said the report offers “a strategic and pragmatic direction for more coordinated private sector partnership with other stakeholders across the globe.”

The report, according to him, also reinforces good governance, transparency and best practice as principles that must guide alliances involving businesses, governments and non-governmental organisations to achieve meaningful and sustainable development.

Cole said Sahara was passionate about its involvement with the SDG-F, adding that the company’s experience with various governments and partners in countries where it operates indicate that effective collaborations often produce bespoke solutions that can be replicated.

“We have seen our intervention projects which are coordinated by Sahara Foundation transform lives and businesses and hope that our contribution to the report will inspire a new wave of private sector led partnerships that will promote inclusive economic growth, poverty eradication, capacity building, food security and access to potable water, especially in Africa,” Cole stated.

Sahara Group reiterates its commitment to providing financial and advisory support to accelerate efforts geared towards realising the sustainable development goals by 2030.

Contract for delivery of crude oil to refineries

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Our attention has been drawn to the Press Release issued by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) that made reference to the “Contract for Delivery of Crude oil to Refineries”.

Sahara Group acknowledges the right of parties to mutually explore reviews, updates and cessation of contracts in response to extenuating circumstances.

It should be noted that it became imperative for the Offshore Processing Agreement (OPA) – hitherto an effective tool – to be reviewed in light of the current oil prices and global economic outlook.

As has been the case over the past 20 years, Sahara has and continues to maintain a strong and mutually beneficial relationship with NNPC across the energy value chain and will readily support the corporation, every step of the way in its determination to consistently improve its service to the Nigerian people.

Givers of Light

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Culled from This Day Newspaper

A new breed of young and smart engineers takes over the power sector in Nigeria to provide the nation with the much needed electricity. Adeola Akinremi writes

Nigeria is not in decline. The skills possessed by its young demographic speak to that truth. Nowadays, the buzz of technology is helping young people in Africa’s most populous nation to challenge stereotypes and to change statusquo across a spectrum of industries in the country.

In the power sector, some brilliant Nigerians are rising to change the statusquo. To help push the envelope, Sahara Power, through its Sahara Power’s Graduate Engineering Programme (GEP) is raising young and smart engineers who represent Nigeria’s investment in a future driven by renewable, affordable and sustainable power supply.

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So on a recent week, when some of the new breed engineers filed out to take a bow at an event organised to celebrate their brilliancy, their eyes shone with pride. Their smiles lit up the room, indicative of how much energy they would bring to the nation, when they commence their roles as the latest addition of engineers to Nigeria’s power sector.

To be sure, in the first quarter of 2014, Sahara Power kicked off the GEP working in collaboration with the National Power Training Institute (NAPTIN). So far, 100 young engineering graduates, some of whom were recruited from host communities where Sahara Power’s affiliates operate, went through nine months of hands-on technical and behavioural training. This would help them successfully transition from school to the workplace and prepare them for the opportunities ahead.

Last month, the pioneer GEP participants concluded their training with high hopes and assembled at the Ikeja Electric Headquarters for posting to various teams within the Sahara Power Group. A leading player in the Power sector, Sahara Power comprises KEPCO Energy Resource Limited, New Electricity Distribution Company and NG Power-HPS Limited. These subsidiaries have stakes in Egbin Power Plc, Ikeja Electric and First Independent Power Limited (FIPL), respectively.

At the start of the programme, NAPTIN Director General, Mr. Reuben Okeke commended Sahara Power for spearheading a renewed drive for enhanced human capital development in the sector. “NAPTIN is delighted with the collaboration with Sahara Power and remain committed to ensuring that young engineers who go through the institute will emerge as future leaders of the sector in Nigeria and beyond,” Okeke had noted whilst inducting the participants intoGEP.

Apart from the core engineering modules that were taught by NAPTIN, the graduate engineers also went through nine courses essential for preparing fresh graduates for the modern workplace. The courses covered Personal Effectiveness, Emotional Intelligence, Business Productivity Tools, Basic Customer Service, Effective Communication, Business Acumen, Effective Time Management and Transitioning to the Workplace. This was coordinated by Integral Assets Limited, a frontline Human Resource Consulting firm.

Mr. Lanre Onasanya, CEO, Integral Assets Limited says the behavioural skills courses prepared the young engineers for building productive stakeholder relationships and managing the new demands of work and life on their time and energy. These are essential skills for the new recruits to create value for themselves, Sahara Power and Nigeria.

“During the Personal Effectiveness course, each graduate engineer received an 18-page Customized Personality Profile which read like a personal dossier on their psychological preferences. It was a life changing experience because it helped them discover at a deeper level why they and others behave the way they do. It also helped them learn how to adapt their behaviors and personal style for maximum personal effectiveness and impact,” says Onasanya.

In the Business and Financial Acumen course, the graduate engineers learned about the value chain of the Power Sector, the position of Sahara Power companies in the value chain, the challenges of doing business in that sector and the importance of taking actions that enhance business profitability and sustainability. “They were encouraged to see themselves as business professionals, not just engineering professionals. The programme will inject fresh minds, high energy and new thinking into the sector, and challenge the status quo that has been in place for such a long time. The business acumen that the graduate engineers have developed will impact the fortunes of the company and the entire power sector,” explains Tayo Okusanya, COO, Integral Assets Limited.

Tayo believes the programme signposts a brighter future for the power sector in Nigeria, considering the commitment of Sahara Group to make the platform sustainable. According to Tayo, “100 graduate engineers participated in the GEP. The process of sourcing, testing, interviewing, onboarding and compensating 100 new hires is long, arduous and expensive, especially for a sector fraught with significant business challenges. This upfront investment of time and resources shows that Sahara Power Group is committed to making a positive difference in the Power Sector and to developing and grooming leadership talent in the sector regardless of the economic situation in the country. Sahara Power is well positioned to be at the forefront of positive transformation in the sector and it is a company that others should take a cue from.”

Sahara Power’s Managing Director/CEO, Mr.Kola Adesina, says the GEP is in line with the robust human capital development policy of the company which seeks to enhance capacity and seamless employee succession within the Group. “Taking on this initiative was a deliberate step towards ensuring sustainability in the aspect of grooming the right personnel to drive the next generation and also building robust capacity in the technical and theoretical aspect of electricity generation and distribution. This also forms one of our fundamental steps towards tackling unemployment in Nigeria. At Sahara Power, we are creating platforms for sustainable development and improvement in the Power sector. This is one initiative that we are delighted about and I am confident that it can only get better,” Adesina says.

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One of the young engineers, Ifeyinwa Nwaoyo, says she thinks the project will change the face of the power sector. “I intend to make the best use of all I learnt and look forward to emerging as a foremost expert in future,” Ifeyinwa says with determination.

For Sokoyebom Waniko, the programme was quite challenging. “There was so much to learn. I feel so privileged to be starting my career with all the support anyone could ever dream off,” she explains.

Ikeolapo Sonoiki, a graduate of Electrical/Electronics Engineering, says he gained a lot of knowledge by learning from more established engineers. “I am grateful to Sahara for this opportunity and I am confident I will become a reference point in terms of expertise in the power sector in Nigeria and outside our shores,” she says.

According to Emenyonu Nnaemeka, “the Programme was a great learning experience that has changed my disposition towards life. I will hit the ground running.”

“Sahara power has started a change process that will transform our nation. I am proud to be part of this epoch-making programme,” says Olushola Oluyemi.

For Ayomide Fawole, “There is a lot of transformation to look forward to in the future. This training platform is an innovative vehicle that will ensure sustainable development in the nation’s power sector.”

The young engineers are raring to go. They cannot wait to lead the charge towards a future of uninterrupted power supply in Nigeria. That future has started today as Sahara Power vows not to rest on its oars until it achieves its goal which is, let there be light.

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Source: This Day newspaper

Sahara ‘Light Up Nigeria Challenge’ produces alternative energy sources

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Young inventors at the recently concluded second edition of the ‘Sahara Light Up Nigeria Challenge’ in Lagos, have proffered alternative and renewable energy sources that have the potential to enhance eco-friendly and sustainable electricity supply in Nigeria.

The competition, a yearly event hosted by Sahara in partnership with ENACTUS Nigeria, seeks to inspire students of higher institutions of learning across the nation to explore opportunities for achieving sustainable power supply within their environment. It also serves as Sahara’s contribution to the growth and development of the Power sector where it has affiliates in the generation and distribution sectors through the Sahara Power Group.

The 2015 challenge involved the development of simple Power Models that can reduce production cost and encourage the broad utilization of different energy sources to power communities and schools.

Kaduna Polytechnic’s Renewable Energy Advancement Project (R.E.A.P) emerged as the winning entry in the competition that had impressive projects from 28 schools.

The Kaduna Polytechnic team created a self-running hydro-power system that runs solely on the kinetic energy of water. The energy produced is stored in a 75-litre enclosed water tank that houses a pump and other materials required to drive generation of electricity. The technology is made from locally modified and recycled parts to ensure that it is environmentally friendly. The development of this project has brought about an alternative to electricity generation for small businesses, a health care center and a school within the impact area of the project.

“We are excited about our performance and want to thank the Sahara Group for giving us a platform to express our abilities. With more support, we believe we can contribute immensely to efforts aimed at improving power supply in Nigeria,” said an ecstatic Gibson Emmmauel, from Kaduna Polytechnic. The institution will represent Nigeria at the Enactus World Cup 2015 scheduled to hold in Sandton Convention Centre, South Africa from 14 – 16 October, 2015.

Sahara Foundation’s Manager, Babatomiwa Adesida said Sahara was always delighted to provide platforms that inspire and empower youths to transform opportunities in their environment into solutions that enhance socio-economic development. “We believe the Sahara Light Up Challenge has started a movement that will ultimately redefine the way we produce, store and consume power in Nigeria, whilst ensuring environmental protection. We are confident that the competition will ultimately light up Nigeria,” he stated.

Michael Ajayi, Country Director Enactus Nigeria, said the competition shows that the nation’s youths only need the right platforms to express their huge potentials. “The Sahara Light Up Nigeria Challenge provides the opportunity for young minds to stretch their creativity as they seek to find solutions to the challenges in Nigeria’s power sector. Over the years we have seen teams present incredible inventions that make us look forward to the future with great expectations,” he said.

Babcock University’s Project, H-Power, was adjudged the second best. The project involves the use of water to power an H-Power generator. Using Ijesha Ijebu as their pilot community, the H-Power generator was used to provide electricity to give the community access to water and electricity.

Federal university of Agriculture, Abeokuta emerged third with Project DTMS. The project focuses on generating electricity from bio-degradable waste materials in the pilot community. The students created a bio-digester that imitates the human digestive system. It collects waste materials from the environment and processes it into fuel used to generate electricity.

 

NRGI REPORT: SAHARA RESTATES POSITION ON OFFSHORE PROCESSING AGREEMENT

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Our attention has been drawn to the publication by the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) titled: “Inside NNPC Oil Sales: A Case for Reform in Nigeria”.
We note that the report made reference to the Offshore Processing Agreement (OPA) which Sahara has over the last few months continued to address transparently in line with our commitment to good corporate governance and our membership of the World Economic Forum Partnering Against Corruption Initiative (PACI).
For the record and benefit of all our business partners and stakeholders, we reiterate that all terms of the OPA contracts between the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Society Ivoirienne de Rafinage, Abidjan (SIR) – which was operated from 2010 till 2014 – and between NNPC and Sahara – 2015 to date – were executed efficiently, diligently and professionally.
As highlighted by the report, the OPA which came into place in 2010 has ensured availability of petroleum products in Nigeria, irrespective of the $3billion debt raked up by the NNPC/PPMC’S open account import system which could no longer support the importation of petroleum products by trading houses. In more recent times, all banks have completely stopped lending towards the importation of products necessitating a renewal of the OPA in 2015.
The flexibility in the structure of the OPA contract provided for pre-deliveries of petroleum products which have turned out to be a positive benefit to NNPC/PPMC and the nation over the years. In total, 1,182,683.911 Metric Tons of refined products were pre-delivered under the OPA from 2010 – 2014, while over 811,000 Metric Tons of refined products have been pre-delivered under the ongoing contract.
It is also important to note that in spite of spurious interpretations that may be inferred from the report, we reiterate that there was no default on our part throughout the duration of the contract. The OPA contract provides for periodic reconciliation and at the last reconciliation exercise in Q1 2015, there were no unfulfilled obligations due from Sahara to NNPC/PPMC in crude, cash or products. This is in line with our track record of providing excellent services and an unwavering commitment to total quality assurance.
Although we expect that the NRGI report may not be the final commentary or report on the OPA contract, we remain confident that fair and balanced analysis on the subject will reveal that the OPA was the most suitable solution available at the time to address the financial and operational crisis faced by the NNPC/PPMC in 2010.
We also wish to state that Sahara will not hesitate to take legal action against persons/organizations that author or sponsor any libelous article(s) that aims to destroy our corporate brand or that denigrates any member of staff of the Sahara Group.

Click Here to View Full Press Release

EU, Sahara Group to partner on improving Power and Child nutrition in Nigeria

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Sustainable power supply and enhanced nutrition for children are some of the key issues the European Union is keen to promote in Nigeria, working with the government, business institutions and other stakeholders.

Mr. Michel Arrion, Ambassador/Head of European Union Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, stated the above in Lagos, Nigeria, during a courtesy visit to Sahara Group, a leading Energy and Infrastructure conglomerate with operations across the globe.

Arrion, who visited in company of Mr. Ibi Ikpoki, Economic Officer, EU Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS to explore possible partnerships with Sahara, was received by Mr. Tonye Cole, Executive Director, Sahara Group and Mr. Alistair Morrison, Managing Director, So Aviation, a member of the Sahara Group.

Speaking on Nigeria’s power sector, Arrion said the EU remained committed to supporting the nation’s unfolding power reform through research grants which would help Nigeria discover the “right technology, effective tariff regime, regulation and partnerships” required to attained sustainable power supply.

“We are considering a combination of grants and possibly, loans that will help the nation make viable progress in power generation, transmission, distribution, technical efficiency, commercial efficiency, renewable energy as well as effective regulatory framework. We are open to partnerships with the Sahara Group and other organisations in this regard,” he said.

Cole said Sahara would be happy to partner with the EU to realise its far reaching goals in the power sector and improving nutrition for children across the nation.

He said the Sahara Group, through affiliation with Egbin Power Plc and Ikeja Electricity Distribution Plc (Ikeja Electric) has been playing a frontline role in the sector through continuing investments, infrastructure upgrades and human capital development. “Egbin for the first time since its inception has recently achieved sustained generation of over 1000MW, a development that has boosted power supply in the nation. This achievement is being driven by continuing investments, partnerships as well as the resilience and expertise of our people,” he said.

Cole said Ikeja Electric was currently working on an Advanced Metering Infrastructure project that would transform service excellence in the sector. “Sahara is passionate about Nigeria’s power sector and we believe that with the support of the EU and other stakeholders, the nation will achieve sustainable power supply which would markedly transform our economy,” he affirmed.

According to Arrion, the EU is also considering a robust intervention to address malnutrition, with children being its primary target. “We are concerned about the nutritional state of children, especially those under the age of five years where a lot of development of the human body happens. We are planning to host an event where the issue of malnutrition will be discussed with Nigerian and global stakeholders,” he added.

Cole noted that Sahara was well placed to offer effective partnership to the EU on nutrition having implemented several successful projects through Sahara Foundation. The Sahara Foundation is the Group’s vehicle for promoting sustainable and socially responsible interventions in healthcare, the environment, community development, education and capacity building.

Sahara is also involved in ongoing partnerships to promote inclusive economic growth for poverty eradication, capacity building, food security and access to potable water through its membership of the Private Sector Advisory Group of the Sustainable Development Goals Fund (SDG-F).

SAHARA GROUP supports flood and fire victims in Ghana

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Sahara Group, a leading privately owned Oil, Gas, Power and Infrastructure Conglomerate has provided aid and support to the victims of the June 3rd flood and fire disaster in Accra, Ghana. The support came in the form of medical supplies, bedding materials, soaps and detergents, food items as well as relief funds to help offset the medical bills of the injured and ameliorate their suffering. .

Speaking on the donation, Tosin Etomi, Country Manager of Sahara Group in Ghana revealed that, “Sahara, as a key stakeholder in the Ghanaian economy, was touched by the plight of the victims of the disaster and moved to provide some measure of support for those affected.”

“Sahara shares the pain of every Ghanaian affected by this disaster and we pray for speedy recovery for those in the hospital. It is a privilege for Sahara to stand in solidarity with Ghana at this time,” he added.

According to him, Sahara hopes the funds, which form part of the support, would defray some of the huge cost of treatment and rehabilitation of victims with varying degrees of injuries.

Etomi further commiserated with the families of those who lost their lives in the disaster. “We pray for the repose of the souls of the departed and also pray that the well-being of the grieving families,” he stated.

The relief funds were handed to Joy FM, an Accra-based radio station and the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), the body vested with the responsibility to manage disasters and emergencies.

In order to achieve maximum impact and for the items to reach the intended recipients, Sahara is partnering with Joy FM to spearhead the distribution of the items.

The station launched an emergency relief effort after the disaster and has since been coordinating the donation of items received from public-spirited individuals and organizations to the victims.

In line with the organisation’s policy which encourages participation of Sahara Group staff in Personal & Corporate Social Responsibility activities, over 10 members of staff would be on ground to facilitate the distribution of the relief items to the victims in collaboration with Joy FM.

The volunteering staff will also take part in counselling sessions and cleaning the environment in affected areas.

In one of the worst disasters to hit the nation, the night of June 3rd 2015 saw large parts of Accra flooded and a massive explosion at a filling station at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle leading to the loss of over 100 lives.

Sahara partners United Nations on youth development

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PRESS RELEASE
June 26, 2015
Lagos, Nigeria

Sahara partners United Nations on youth development

Sahara Group is partnering with the United Nations on the “Building Bridges” project which seeks to position young people for effective participation in activities that will be designed to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for youths across the globe.

The Building Bridges project was officially launched on February 5, 2015 at the headquarters of the United Nations in New York. It is expected to articulate a “youth agenda” into the unfolding Sustainable Development Goals of the UN.

In Nigeria, the Building Bridges platform held a conference themed: Beyond 2015; Promoting Gender equality and Good governance, where Sahara and other partners joined the conversation on the challenges and opportunities for youths as various SDGs are unveiled under the aegis of the UN.

The conference provided a “peek through the minds of youths” of expectations in 2030 as the world continues to seek a safer, more inclusive and prosperous world.

Speaking at the conference, Mr. Babatomiwa Adesida, Manager, Sahara Foundation said the event featured frank discussions by over 1000 young Nigerians from different religious groups, ethnicities, geographical locations and economic backgrounds on their hopes for the planned SDGs.

Sahara Foundation is the Corporate Responsibility vehicle of the Sahara Group with focus on the environment, sustainable community development, healthcare as well as education and capacity building.

Adesida said Sahara was delighted to be part of UN’s efforts at amplifying the voices of people directly affected by poverty and injustice and getting their perspectives on global framework needed to change the world.

“Sahara is a major stakeholder in leading conversations and aligning with partnerships that provide a voice for the youth development and empowerment. We have successfully implemented several capacity building and entrepreneurship programmes for youths in our locations across the globe. We consider it a huge privilege to work with the UN in a bid to shape the world with active participation of the leaders of tomorrow,” he stated.
According to him, the company continues to seek avenues to promote sustainable development across markets where it operates through its Personal Corporate Social Responsibility (PCSR) activities.

He added: “Sahara is always happy to contribute its quota to worthy causes around the globe. We remain unwavering in our passion and commitment to being a change agent for providing growth and development platforms that bring energy to life
Sahara Group has since been inducted into the Private Sector Advisory Group of the Sustainable Development Goals Fund (SDG-F) in recognition of its contribution to activities that promote inclusive economic growth for poverty eradication, capacity building, food security and access to potable water.

The advisory group is expected to among others; help shape the SDG-F’s activities on capacity building, dialogue, research and Knowledge Sharing, Resources and infrastructure as well as advocacy and creating awareness.

Sahara’s update on Offshore Processing Agreement (OPA)

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Over the past few weeks, the print, electronic and social media have been awash with all sorts of news surrounding the Offshore Processing Agreement (OPA).

A lot of the reporting has been sensational and in some cases overly exaggerated. While we would have loved to respond to each of them, it is virtually impossible to do so.

We can only interject intermittently whenever the occasion requires to ensure misleading or/and erroneous allegations/statements are addressed. We will also state our position where we believe the news article(s) constitute a direct attack on our integrity, brand and professionalism.

Should we find any libelous article that aims to destroy our corporate brand or members of staff, as has been our standard procedure, we will immediately commence legal procedures against such persons/organizations until we find redress in the courts of law, regardless of jurisdiction.

It is our expectation that the OPA will be the subject of intense scrutiny and discussions in weeks to come. As has been the case in every industry wide investigation, we are confident that the final outcome will exonerate our Management of any violation of the terms and conditions of the contract.
We are also confident the revelations will prove to those willing to hold a fair, balanced and informed position that NNPC/PPMC did put in place mechanisms – probably the only solution available at the time – to address the dire financial and operational crisis they were faced with in 2010. It is in this context that the OPA should be judged.
It is important to reiterate that OPA’s are well established mechanisms in the industry globally for the supply of a range of petroleum products and SIR/Sahara participated in one such process that was designed, superintended, managed and monitored by NNPC/PPMC.

SIR/Sahara is extremely proud to have and continues to operate this contract efficiently, with integrity, not deviating from and fulfilling the tenets therein to the satisfaction of all parties involved.

At no time has the contract been abused, there has been no case of non-performance and not one incident of quality or quantity disputes.

Above all, when the requirement was made to step up and pre-deliver petroleum products at instances when the nation was faced with impending scarcity, Sahara responded with honour and dignity to prevent social unrest and maintain law and order.

For the ability to serve our nation whenever the opportunity to do so arises, we are always grateful.

View this press release as a PDF here

Sahara Group states position on Offshore Processing Agreement (OPA) and unfolding events in the Oil & Gas sector

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PRESS STATEMENT

SAHARA GROUP STATES POSITION ON OFFSHORE PROCESSING AGREEMENT (OPA) AND UNFOLDING EVENTS IN THE OIL & GAS SECTOR

Our attention has been drawn to the article in This Day Newspaper published in Nigeria on the 7th of June 2015 with the headline: “Oil Traders, NNPC officials Interrogated, Watch Listed in Major Investigation.”

In line with our membership of the World Economic Forum’s Partnering Against Corruption Initiative (PACI) and Sahara’s corporate governance principles, we regularly update our corporate website (www.sahara-group.com) with answers to FAQ’s and provide information to the wider public on transactions that may otherwise be misunderstood. Please see: http://www.sahara-group.com/cg/sahara-corp-gov-faq.pdf

We had long before the recent public discourse on the Offshore Processing Agreement (OPA) provided ample information and explanation of the import and processes of the OPA. Please see: http://www.sahara-group.com/cg/opa-explanation.pdf; http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/sahara-explains-the-offshore-processing-agreement-opa-504218281.html

For the record, Sahara would like to state the following:

  • Sahara, amongst other operators, was invited by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as part of a complete petroleum industry investigation.
  • We made submissions to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) which showed that the Society Ivoirienne de Rafinage, Abidjan (SIR)/Sahara OPA contract has been fully reconciled and indicate a zero debt position to NNPC/PPMC in crude, cash or products. (Please note that receipts from expenses on jetty fees and port dues are being awaited and would be compiled for submission).
  • ?It must also be reiterated that SIR/ Sahara have always had a Letter of Credit in place to the full value of the crude lifted and is still valid till date.
  • The Letter of Credit acts as a performance bond that can be called in by the NNPC at any point of the transaction in the event that the full contractual value of any outstanding products is not delivered. This is lopsided as we do not have any security against NNPC if there is a default on their part.
  • It is important to stress the fact that Sahara, whenever the need arose, has always gone the extra mile to ensure product availability, often times pre-delivering in the absence of a corresponding crude allocation. We recall, for example, the fuel scarcity crisis in the first quarter of 2015 that almost paralysed the nation. Sahara’s proactive response of ensuring supply of petroleum products in excess of crude allocation received was an answer to a national call – and this prevented what would have been a huge disaster in the entire nation.
  • SIR/Sahara are both African companies that have continued to prove that business can be done efficiently, diligently, and transparently whilst adhering to best practice and good corporate governance.
  • The successful implementation and reconciliation of the OPA contract attests to the professionalism of the SIR/Sahara partnership and the OPA has been widely commended as a model that saved Nigeria from a protracted fuel crisis during the contract period.
  • We reiterate that there has never ever been a default on our part throughout the duration of the contract in line with our track record of excellence and commitment to total quality assurance.
  • Finally, there have been other media reports alluding to the ?existence of a travel watch list as well as the seizure of International passports at the instance of certain business men in the oil and gas sector.
  • We affirm that no Director or staff of the Sahara Group has been informed of any such restrictions by either of the two authorities mentioned, namely the EFCC and the Department of State Security (DSS).
  • The sanctity of the Rule of Law was buttressed by His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, who ?immediately after being sworn in on May 29th stated: “I belong to everybody and I belong to nobody” – an assertion which all Nigerians welcomed as a strong statement of transparency and equality.
  • He further stated on the 30th of May that “we have not banned anyone from travelling” and that all agencies under the government will run their affairs in full compliance with extant rules, regulation and within the constitution of the country.
  • To the best of our knowledge, this has been the case and we ?continue to have the highest regard for the Nigerian President, the Government and its agencies, especially in these challenging times.
  • In line with one of its core values, Sahara thrives on healthy competition and has been an avid supporter of transparency in the Oil and Gas sector for many years.
  • Sahara’s affiliation with the PACI community, which comprises some of the world’s best conglomerates, reinforces our leading role in spearheading a growing wave of transparency and good governance principles across Africa.

Full press statement: Sahara Group states position on Offshore Processing Agreement (OPA) and unfolding events in the Oil & Gas sector

Sahara’s So Aviation bags ISO 14001:2004, OHSAS 18001:2007 certifications

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So Aviation Fuel Limited, a member of the Sahara Group, has been awarded the ISO 14001:2004 and OHSAS 18001:2007 certifications after being audited and found to meet the requirements of the aforementioned management systems based on industry best practice and upholding globally acclaimed occupational, health, environmental and safety processes.

So Aviation, with its core business in the supply of aviation fuel, is the first Nigerian company in the aviation sector to achieve this feat which certifies the company as having the right competencies, processes and equipment required to ensure sustainable health safety standards for domestic, regional and international airline operators.

According to Mr. Alistair Morrison, Managing Director, So Aviation, the company is delighted with the certifications, having been a recipient of several other awards that reinforce So Aviation’s commitment to being a foremost provider of the highest quality aviation fuel.

Morrison said So Aviation, which already has the ISO 9001:2008 certification that endorses its quality management systems, continues to present its operations and processes for ongoing audits to ensure total quality assurance. He also said the achievement was driven by the dedication and expertise of So Aviation’s workforce.

“At So Aviation, just like every member of the Sahara Group, we are driven by the vision to continuously surpass our clients’ service delivery expectations by applying the best known standards in all our operations. So Aviation’s unwavering commitment to service excellence has made us the benchmark for customer experience, earning us these important certifications as well as the patronage of leading domestic and international airlines. This is yet another huge achievement for us and we are happy to dedicate it to our existing and prospective customers,” Morrison said.

Morrison said So Aviation had before now, received several excellent reports from International Air Transport Association (IATA) and IATA Fuel Quality Pool (IFQP) thus becoming their strategic partners for over five years.

“In fact, IATA has acknowledged that So Aviation’s quality standards are comparable with the best into plane fueling companies in the world. Our company’s operations are regularly inspected and audited by the IATA Fuel Quality Pool (IFQP), International and local airlines and International Oil Companies to ensure that these standards are being maintained in accordance with global best practice,” the company’s CEO stated.

The OHSAS 18001:2007 and ISO 14001:2004 are amongst the foremost international certifications that are very relevant to the Aviation industry.

The OHSAS 18001:2007 Certification ensures a proactive and preventive emphasis on risk control factors by identifying and assessing the likelihood of hazards in the workplace. A strong occupational health and safety management system is necessary to decrease accidents and illnesses linked to the workplace.

An organization’s conformance to OHSAS 18001, safeguards employees, clients and other stakeholders from as few risks as possible, while third-party certification authenticates that an organization has taken steps to avoid accidents and hazardous situations using a comprehensive and effectively implemented system.

The ISO 14001:2004 is a management tool that enables an organization to Identify and control the environmental impact of its activities, products and services. It also helps to improve environmental performance continually, through the implementation of systematic objectives and ability to demonstrate that they have been met.

So Aviation has a healthy fleet of 17 bowsers with a total capacity of 735,000 liters across its West African network. The company has one of the newest fleet of bowsers in Nigeria with an average age of two years in an industry where the age range is 5 to 10 years. The bowsers still remain the youngest fleet of bowsers in West Africa with the youngest being 3 months. All the bowsers have the Jet Guard Partcle Analyzer developed by Peco Facet installed on them. These analyzers detect water and solid particles and truncate fueling once detected.

Re: “How Dangote, Otedola Used Perceived Closeness With Buhari To Persecute Competitors In The Oil Sector”

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(Source: www.theparadigmng.com)

Our attention has been drawn to a story making the rounds on online news sites with the above stated headline.

In the said article credited to a high ranking source in the Department of State Security (DSS), it was alleged that Alhaji Aliko Dangote and Mr. Femi Otedola had used their relationship with the DSS to orchestrate the harassment and persecution of some of their competitors.

The article went on to mention that one of our directors, Mr. Tonye Cole, was one of those placed on a list allegedly submitted by both gentlemen to the DSS to be barred from international travel and to be invited for interrogation.

Sahara Energy is using this medium to state that the mention of Sahara Energy and its Director in the article is not just an affront on Mr. Cole and the Sahara Group; it is at variance with our track record of best practice and professional excellence in the sector.

 The Sahara Group will like to state the following for the record:

– Sahara is extremely concerned about the contents of the article and its impact on its business operations as well as its local and international business partners.

– The article alleges that individuals can exert substantial levels of influence over the Country’s foremost intelligence agency and if true, that is a very worrisome development.

– Sahara Group respects and acknowledges the sanctity and professionalism of such a highly regarded security agency, which has historically played a very effective and significant role in ensuring National security.

– In line with one of its core values, Sahara thrives on healthy competition and has been an avid supporter of transparency in the Oil and Gas sector for many years.

– Our membership of the World Economic Forum’s Partnering Against Corruption Initiative (PACI) community, which comprises some of the world’s best conglomerates, reinforces our leading role in spearheading a growing wave of transparency and good governance principles across Africa.

– In line with the PACI charter and Sahara’s corporate governance principles which promote transparency, we regularly update our corporate website with answers to FAQ’s and provide information to the wider public on transactions that may otherwise be misunderstood. (www.sahara-group/cg/sahara-corp-gov-faq.pdf).

– In our 19 years of existence, Sahara has never been against any industry-wide investigation and has indeed been subjected to a number of them. In each case, Sahara has been exonerated from any wrongdoing.

– As no Director or member of staff of Sahara has been invited by the DSS or asked to hand over their international passports, it is impossible to verify the story or what role the DSS really has in the matter. It is therefore our hope that the contents of the article are completely false.

– We however take comfort in the statement made by The President and Commander-in-Chief, Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday the 31st of May that his administration would follow the rule of law and no citizen should be barred from travelling in and out of the country at will without a valid court order.

For more information about the Sahara Group, please visit our website – www.sahara-group.com

Story is available in pdf format here

Sahara Explains the Offshore Processing Agreement (OPA)

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We are aware that, over the past few months, there has been media interest in the crude oil offshore processing agreement (OPA) entered into by Society Ivoirienne de Rafinage, Abidjan (SIR) (for whom we act as local agent) and Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC). It has become increasingly apparent to us, however, that much of this interest is driven by misconceptions circulating in the public domain about the OPA (and other contracts similar to the OPA), how the OPA is operated and its commercial rationale.

We have through the link below, elected to provide clarification on our involvement with OPA in keeping with our commitment to transparency and status as a member of the World Economic Forum’s Partnering Against Corruption Initiative (PACI).

Please, click here to view the OPA Explanation document

Tonye Cole resigns from Greater Port Harcourt City Authority board

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Executive Director, Sahara Group, Tonye Cole has resigned as Chairman of the board of the Greater Port Harcourt City Development Authority (GPHCDA) after successfully steering the activities of the organisation which was established in 2009.

The GPHCDA was established with a mandate to transform the Greater Port Harcourt Area into a world class city, internationally recognized for excellence, and the preferred destination for investors and tourists.

The Cole led board coordinated the unfolding transformation of the Greater Port Harcourt city through the implementation and enforcement of policies that are driving the provision of first-rate infrastructure and the delivery of quality services to the people of Rivers State.

Cole, a frontline entrepreneur, said his time with the Authority lends credence to the fact that: “Nigeria remains one of the foremost emerging frontiers for fast paced economic growth and development. All we need to do is harness our potentials and creatively apply our resources. We have started something unique with the Greater Port Harcourt City project and I am confident that the project will transform and open Rivers State up for more investments whose impact will outlive generations.

According to Cole, the success of his tenure as Chair of the board was enabled by the support of the State Executive, his colleagues on the board, staff of the authority, the organized private sector, as well as the people of Rivers State.
I want to express my gratitude to the state government and the people for the opportunity to serve and contribute to this great project. I would also like to commend the Rivers State Government for coming up with this laudable platform and wish the new Chairman, the board and staff of the authority many more successes ahead“, he added.

FAQs on Sahara Group

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Introduction

In its almost 20 years of operations, the Sahara Group has witnessed an unfolding expansion story that transcends global markets and borders. The Group continues to play a leading role in the midstream, downstream, upstream, infrastructure and power sectors, bringing energy to life in the process.

Sahara has a pedigree of providing platforms for economic growth in markets where it operates, always seeking to make a difference through its sustainable approach to corporate responsibility.

Over the last years, Sahara has been involved in initiatives, alliances and activities aimed at developing and strengthening its corporate governance and compliance systems. The thrust of this pursuit of best practice   is   to   ensure   Sahara   operates   a   sustainable   enterprise   that   conducts   its   businesses transparently and efficiently to the benefit of all stakeholders.

Sahara also believes that by applying itself to the highest standards of good governance, it will serve as a model for other businesses to enhance the quest for corporate responsibility and citizenship in Africa and the world. Sahara’s membership of the World Economic Forum’s Partnering Against Corruption Initiatives (PACI) signposts our firm resolve to this cause.

Pursuant to operating a transparent enterprise, we have provided answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Sahara below. Relevant documents have been attached to some answers where necessary. Sahara restates its commitment to upholding globally acclaimed best practice in all its operations, processes and activities.

See the Frequently Asked Questions on Sahara Group

Sahara Group partners PACI on global anti-corruption crusade

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The Sahara Group’s commitment to eliminating corruption from the business environment has facilitated its induction into the World Economic Forum’s Partnering Against Corruption Initiative (PACI) Community.

PACI has over the past ten years become the leading global business voice on anti-corruption and transparency. Sahara joins more than 100 active companies leading a call to action for businesses around the world to commit to zero tolerance of corruption in all its forms; and to join collective action initiatives to increase public trust in business, deliver fair markets and level the playing field by fighting corruption.

Sahara’s admission into PACI reinforces its leading role in spearheading a growing wave of transparency and good governance principles across Africa’s business space. It also serves as a platform for raising the bar for other African businesses and sends strong global signals of the unfolding paradigm shift towards anti-corruption in Africa.

In a letter to Sahara Group signed by the head of PACI Gretchen Jonker, the PACI community head stated: “it is with great pleasure that we welcome Sahara Group as a new member of the World Economic Forum’s Partnering Against Corruption Initiative (PACI). Your decision to join PACI comes at an important point in our work to design corruption out of the business environment, and we know that your leadership will make a difference.”

Sahara’s Executive Director, Tonye Cole said the company’s partnership with PACI would bolster its anti-corruption agenda and provide a platform for collaborative and collective activities towards sharing best practices across board in organizational compliance.

“Our partnership with the World Economic Forum’s PACI anti-corruption community will ensure Sahara’s continued insistence on high levels of good corporate governance, transparency in the disclosure of information relating to its operations and promotion of anti-corruption initiatives designed to eliminate corruption in all aspects of its operations,” he added.

The Sahara Group restates its commitment to partnering with various institutions in its bid to champion good governance causes that resonate with its resolve to ensure a transparent and corruption free business environment.

Please click here to view the letter from PACI.

Sustainable Development: Sahara inducted into SDG-F advisory group

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The Sahara Group has been inducted into the Private Sector Advisory Group of the Sustainable Development Goals Fund (SDG-F) in recognition of its contribution to activities that promote inclusive economic growth for poverty eradication, capacity building, food security and access to potable water.

Sahara Group will be represented on the advisory board by Mr. Tonye Cole, the Group’s co-founder and Executive Director.

Speaking at the Board’s inaugural meeting in Madrid, Spain, Ms. Paloma Durán, Director, SDG-F said the Private Sector Advisory Group would provide the SDG-F Secretariat with guidance and strategic support to achieve better development results in coordination with the private sector.

The SDG-F is a development cooperation mechanism created in 2014 by UNDP, on behalf of the United Nations system, with an initial contribution of the Government of Spain to support sustainable development activities through integrated and multidimensional joint programmes.

Durán said the inclusion of Sahara Group on the advisory board was informed by its remarkable sustainable development activities that are driven by strategic funding, partnerships and volunteer activities involving Sahara’s staff.

“The decision to include Sahara Group will be of much value and I am confident that this Advisory Group will facilitate the emergence of formidable platforms through which the SDG-F can partner with the private sector to achieve its goals,” Duran added.

The Board is expected to among others; help shape the SDG-F’s activities on capacity building, dialogue, research and Knowledge Sharing, Resources and infrastructure as well as advocacy and creating awareness.

Describing Sahara’s involvement with the SDG-F as another unique opportunity to serve, Cole said the company continues to seek avenues to promote sustainable development across markets where it operates through its Personal Corporate Social Responsibility (PCSR) platform. He said Sahara would through the SDG-F platform facilitate robust public-private partnerships that will accelerate development across Africa.

Cole said Sahara’s PCSR activities are coordinated under the aegis of Sahara Foundation which focuses on sustainable community development, education and capacity building, healthcare and the environment.

“Sahara is passionate about touching lives, empowering people and providing opportunities for individuals, small businesses and communities to thrive and attain achievements beyond imagination. With over 3000 man-hours of volunteering by staff and implementation of many sustainable projects around the world, this appointment gives us another reason to remain steadfast in our resolve to transform lives by giving and serving sustainably,” Cole asserted.

The SDG-F is expected to work within the selected regions of Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia, Arab States and Africa, to continue to support national actions towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) through the initiation of new Joint Programmes. The organization will pursue achievement of inclusive economic growth for poverty eradication; food security and nutrition; access to potable water and disease free environment.

 

Left to right:  Director of Social Responsibility at Organización Ardila L?lle, Ana Maria Carvajal,   Director, Sustainable Development Goals Fund (SDG-F), Paloma Duran, Executive Director, Sahara Group, Tonye Cole, Under-Secretary-General Associate Administrator at UNDP, Gina Casar, Secretary General for Development/Minister of Foreign Affairs, Gonzalo Robles and Co-Founder and Chairman at Pvblic Foundation, Sergio Fernández de Córdova at the inaugural meeting of the SDG-F in Madrid Spain, recently.

Left to right: Director of Social Responsibility at Organización Ardila L?lle, Ana Maria Carvajal, Director, Sustainable Development Goals Fund (SDG-F), Paloma Duran, Executive Director, Sahara Group, Tonye Cole, Under-Secretary-General Associate Administrator at UNDP, Gina Casar, Secretary General for Development/Minister of Foreign Affairs, Gonzalo Robles and Co-Founder and Chairman at Pvblic Foundation, Sergio Fernández de Córdova at the inaugural meeting of the SDG-F in Madrid Spain, recently.

 

Nigerian Fuel Subsidy Probe – Sahara Exonerated

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At the beginning of 2012, the Nigerian government in its bid to deregulate the downstream sector of the petroleum industry removed the subsidy on premium motor spirit (PMS) and this resulted in civil unrest across the country and a plethora of emotive reports in the media, especially the internet, about oil companies operating in the country.

Later that year, the Federal Government of Nigeria set up a House of Representatives Committee, a Senate Committee as well as a Presidential Committee to review commercial transactions between the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and petroleum marketers. All petroleum marketing companies operating in the country were invited to appear before the various committees. Sahara Energy appeared before the committees and presented documents that authenticated and validated transactions between her and NNPC.

At the end of the review exercise, the reports from the various committees were submitted to the Presidency. These reports contained the names of petroleum marketing companies that had been engaged in fraudulent and deceptive practices and specified the amounts of money that they were required to refund to the NNPC. Sahara Energy was not listed in any of the reports as engaging in fraudulent practices.

The Presidential Committee in its report of November 2012, verified that all transactions carried out by Sahara Energy were legitimate. These reports and their contents are available as public records for verification.

To further ensure that the company’s name and reputation was not tarnished, legal action is being taken against a media house that published unfounded and malicious stories about Sahara Energy. This organisation has offered to issue public apologies and also make appropriate restitution to Sahara Energy.

The Sahara Group has continued to expand operations globally and will continue to represent the highest levels of business ethics and corporate governance.

Download copies of reports:

Report Name Links
Report of the House of Representative’s Ad-hoc Committee on the subsidy regime in Nigeria. (See pages 194-195) Full Report
The Presidential Committee on Verification and Reconciliation of Fuel Subsidy Payments. (See pages 6 and 13) Part 1
Part 2

Sahara Group Upstream Optimistic over Prospects from OPL 274

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Sahara Group’s Upstream Company has said it is making good progress with its activities in OPL 274 where Sahara has a 100% working interest, even as the company continues to press towards optimizing opportunities in the block where it hit “first oil”.

Sahara’s Upstream division last year doubled its certified 2P reserves in the Oki-Oziengbe South field in Edo State, Nigeria, making a new commercial discovery with the Oluegi-1 exploration well.

Sahara Group is a leading privately owned Power, Energy, Gas and Infrastructure Conglomerate with footprints in Africa, Europe, Asia and the UAE.

According to Segun Ogunwumi, Managing Director of Enageed Resource Limited, the Sahara Upstream company operating OPL 274, the company has continued to witness steady positive outcomes in its activities in OPL 274 preparatory to moving on to the phase of commercial production from the field. “We are doing very well with our timelines and remain focused on the target ahead. We have an amazing collection of staff who are working alongside our regulators and key stakeholders and we remain confident that we will achieve our timelines and ultimately extract maximum value from what has been a historic success so far in OPL 274,” he said.

Ogunwumi noted that whilst the focus on OPL 274 has since taken precedence over other assets where it has interests, the company remains  resolute in its commitment to activities in other fields, adding that it would review its position on others following strategic consultations. “We are working closely with the regulatory body and all stakeholders on this,” he stated.

It would be recalled that Cohen Curtis Cohen, Chief Operating Officer, Sahara Upstream, had at the point of discovery of oil in OPL 274 described the feat as representing a number of firsts for Sahara. “We shot our first onshore 3D seismic, drilled and operated our first onshore wells, made our first oil discovery and first appraisal, and tested first oil at rates in excess of 5600 barrels of oil per day. We drilled the three wells back-to-back in just ten months, from a common location and a minimal environmental footprint, and all three wells found commercial hydrocarbons,” he had enthused in a press release announcing the discovery.

Oluegi-1 was drilled directionally to a total depth (TD) of 14,887 ft. measured depth (MD) with a horizontal displacement of 2.7 km north of the well head and encountered five hydrocarbon zones, totaling 110 ft. of net pay. Sahara also drilled two successful appraisal wells, Oki-Oziengbe South 4 and 5. Oki-Oziengbe South 4 drilled directionally to TD at 12,520 feet MD 1.1 km SW from the well head, logging 211 feet of net pay in 13 hydrocarbon bearing zones, seven of which were new. The well flowed 43-44° API oil to surface on two tests at rates of 2400 and 3200 barrels of oil per day, with no water, on a one-half inch choke. Oki-Oziengbe South 5 also drilled directionally, to TD at 12,873 feet MD 1 km south of the well head. It logged 298 feet of net pay in 19 reservoirs, 15 of which were oil-bearing and seven of which were new. Sahara’s successful drilling program followed a two year-long, two-phase, land-swamp 3D seismic survey in the 871 km license. Sahara’s seismic and drilling program achieved nearly two-million man-hours LTI-free operation.

Sahara commits 1,500 man-hours to volunteering activities in 2014

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In keeping with its resolve to entrench volunteerism as a critical aspect of its corporate social responsibility initiatives, staff of Sahara Group spent 1,500 man-hours in volunteer work to drive several health, educational and entrepreneurial projects organized by the Group in 2014.

Each year, across the globe, hundreds of millions of people volunteer their time and skills to help make the world a better place. This act of selfless service resonates with the core of the Sahara Brand and is carried out across the Group’s various locations in Africa, Europe, Middle East and Asia through the Sahara Foundation.

Sahara Foundation operates a Personal & Corporate Social Responsibility (PCSR) model where the “P” represents the platform for implementing the Group’s volunteer projects. The 1,500 man-hours recorded in 2014 are indicative of the wide acceptance of volunteering as a way of life and vehicle through which Sahara staff give back to the society.

Below is a summary of some 2014 Sahara Foundation projects that had staff participate as volunteers

 At Sahara we believe that Health is of inestimable value

Health Programmes:

  • Nutritional Support for People Living with HIV/AIDS in Lagos State.
  • Donation of Prosthetic Limbs to Child Amputees
  • Community Health Initiative (Nutritional Support for People Living with HIV/AIDS)
  • Donation of Motorized Boreholes (Kumasi, Ghana; Ewu Community, Lagos And Omagwa, Rivers State)
  • Net To Live Campaign
  • Construction of Six (6) Cubicle Toilet Facility, Manhean Technical School, Tema, Ghana
  • Eye Care Programme in Nigeria, Ghana & Cote d’Ivoire (Cataract Surgeries)
  • Ebola support for Liberian Government
  • Cancer awareness walk, Abuja & Lagos

At Sahara we uphold education and entrepreneurship as tools for growth and sustainability

Education/Entrepreneurship Programmes:

  • ENACTUS- Sahara Light Up Nigeria Power Challenge 2014
  • Kitchen Refurbishment, Surulere
  • School Feeding Programme, Osun State
  • Read To Me School Project, Lagos & Onne
  • Career Counseling Programme, Singapore
  • Teach A Teacher Programme
  • Teach A Student Programme
  • Job Shadow Programme
  • Donation of Guidance and Counselling Centre, Lagos
  • Sahara Scholarship Project At Ibafon Primary School, Lagos
  • University Of Lagos 2014 Career Week
  • Upgrade Of Community Vocational Centre, Oshodi, Lagos State
  • Upgrade of LEA Primary School, Abuja

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We believe a conducive and suitable environment is a breeding ground for creativity and innovation

Sustainable Community Development Projects:

  • Perimeter Fencing of Ijora Olopa Police Post
  • 2014 International Day of Volunteers
  • The Inclusive Education Project (Programme for Persons Living with Disabilities)
  • Fund Raising Charity Car Wash

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Please click link below for full details of Sahara Foundation’s activities in 2014.

Sahara Foundation Activity Report 2014

Sahara Foundation: Sustaining a pedigree of positive impact

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The jubilation was infectious. 1,600 people had just received a new lease of life flowing from potable water powered by a mechanised device provided by Sahara Foundation to Adum-Kwanwoma Town in Kumasi, Ghana.

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The children sang, the women danced and the chief, Nana Kofi Agyei IV, regaled his people with royal dance-steps. They had every reason to celebrate: access to clean water had hitherto been mission impossible. Just one act of sustainable intervention has birthed a future devoid of disease and thirst.

Bright-eyed Favour Okwuosa will be the next big thing on the international fashion runway where her designs will feature in the near-future. Her Alma Mater? The Sahara Foundation-mid-wifed vocational centre in Lagos, Nigeria!

Several indigenes of Katiola Village and Plateau Town in Cote d’Ivoire have been empowered to envision a brighter future, following successful corrective eye-surgeries done under the aegis of Sahara Foundation-sponsored initiatives.

Cataracts are the single most common cause of blindness in developing countries. Uneducated members of society are more likely to be blind than those who are educated.

In 2014, Sahara Foundation in partnership with Unite for Sight, Ghana, carried out cataract surgeries for 50 individuals in the Ashanti and Upper West Regions of Ghana. The beneficiaries included traders, farmers and retirees. Talk about transforming lives: the beauty of having a platform to nurse one’s dreams to fruition, and kick-starting the dreams of others. These testimonials have characterised the corporate responsibility interventions of the Sahara Group. Sahara is a fast-growing energy and infrastructure conglomerate with roots in Nigeria and subsidiaries in Africa and other parts of the world.

Dr. Seth Wanye runs Friends Eye Clinic near Kumasi, Ghana, one of the beneficiary organisations of Sahara Foundation. “I learned from officials of the Sahara Foundation that reaching out to the visually impaired is a key intervention activity in countries where the Sahara Group operates. The programme targets indigent rural communities where people often resort to the use of traditional treatment techniques which tend to further damage their eyes. Some people become permanently blind in the process while others are lucky enough to get their sight restored after simple surgeries, which are often too expensive for them to afford. Sahara reached out to us to support such people in our area.”

The Sahara Group adopted the model of a fully-fledged Personal Corporate Social Responsibility vehicle, christened Sahara Foundation. The Sahara Foundation strategically applies itself to proffering sustainable solutions for causes in community development, education and capacity building, health care and the environment.

In the bid to promote capacity building and education, the foundation aims at achieving an increase in school enrolment rates; improved nutritional status of the average schoolchild; improved performance of the schoolchild; and alleviation of short-term hunger. This increases attention- and concentration-span; motivation for children to attend school; and motivation for parents to enrol their children in school so as to raise an army of educated future leaders.

Sahara Foundation through its initiatives and partnerships seeks the development of young minds to foster a collaborative/team spirit amongst the youth, improve their problem solving techniques, recognise natural talent and place the power to control their future in their own hands. This serves as a solid foundation for driving experiential learning opportunities that focus on the development and nurturing of entrepreneurial skills amongst the youth.

Another key activity of the Sahara Foundation is its interventions in the health sector, where it seeks to enhance awareness around health matters to reduce production losses due to workers ill-health. This also increases opportunities for children to be in school, better learning and optional use of resources that would have been spent on treating illness through impactful activities against such conditions.

The Foundation has carried out eye-care programmes; Cancer-awareness screening and treatment campaigns; Provision of Care for People Living with Physical and Mental Disabilities; Upgrade of Medical/Laboratory Facilities; and water sanitisation across the various national markets where it operates.

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Sahara Foundation’s approach to sustainable community relations, pursues an efficient and cost-effective sustainable development model that involves full acceptance and participation of host communities. This is achieved through projects that enhance the well-being of its work environments and host community; sponsorship of youth-led developmental initiatives in order to encourage innovation, creativity, leadership; as well as skill advancement through recruitment of the semi-skilled and unskilled labour from host communities.

The foundation also supports projects that provide sustainable solutions for enhancing the standard of living in host communities. A remarkable example is the recent “Sahara Light-Up Nigeria challenge”, which sought to inspire the creation of alternative energy sources to tackle the challenge posed by inadequate power supply in Nigeria.

Several universities in Nigeria, working under the Enactus platform, came up with various alternative energy inventions. The winning entry, a wind-turbine developed by students of Kaduna Polytechnic, is designed to generate power by leveraging on windmill technology to provide electricity for a community that has never experienced power supply. The items used in creating the technology are environmentally-friendly and bio-degradable. This invention, among others that were showcased during the project, portends a promising future for the power sector in Nigeria.

From scores of projects on preventable blindness, corrective cleft-lip surgery to minor eye surgeries, the voluntary involvement of staff within the Sahara Group on several initiatives is perhaps the most important aspect of the Sahara Foundation’s operations. This culture of giving back and aiming to deliver sustainable impact is entrenched in the group’s staff, who continue to contribute their time and talent to several initiatives.

Experts say this level of intervention in critical development areas is needed across the African continent to provide platforms for the less privileged to actualise their aspirations, whilst also promoting economic empowerment for individuals and communities.

Dr. Wanye adds: “I am inclined to recommend the involvement of more African businesses in sustainable corporate social responsibility initiatives in ways akin to what Sahara Foundation is doing. Nothing captures the beauty of African neighborliness more than one reaching out and giving others a platform to pursue and live their dreams”.

Culled from The Business and Financial Times

Sahara Group: Energy giant berths in Power Sector

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Driven by a passion to dare the mundane and nurture businesses to fruition, Sahara Group, an African oil and gas, energy and infrastructure conglomerate is constantly desirous of breaking into new frontiers.

Following its establishment in 1996 as the Sahara Energy Resource Limited with expertise in trading of Petroleum products, the company would witness significant growth and diversification culminating in its emergence as a conglomerate with a managing entity called the Sahara Group.

Over the years the Sahara Group established a norm of excellence in its trading of petroleum products and crude oil, storage facilities, retailing of petroleum products, exploration and production activities and infrastructure development. With several operating companies emerging from the Group in barely 17 years, Sahara is an example of continuous development of an organisation with a mission to leave a legacy for all generations.

Today, the Sahara Group has taken its vision of “being the provider of choice where ever energy is consumed” to other continents, extending its trademark operational and service excellence that have become its competitive edge in the jurisdictions where the Group operates.

In 2004, the company expanded its storage operations into Ghana, becoming the first petroleum marketer to build and operate tankage in the country. Its present 45,000MT facility revolutionized the Ghanaian market and opened up the industry for independent marketers to build and operate storage there. In 2006 the company participated in the bid round for the privatization of the LPG terminal in Nigeria and was selected as the preferred bidder. In 2012, the storage business expanded into Cote d’Ivoire and continues to grow with total capacity of over 200,000MT by the middle of the decade.

So Aviation, one of the Sahara Group companies is a frontline player in the aviation sector where it has the record of being the first indigenous company to fuel commercial airlines as well as the presidential air fleet.

Buoyed by the global ISO 9001.2008 certification, So Aviation continues to lead the market with quality products and services that are widely acknowledged within the local and international markets.

In line with the need to diversify its interests, the company also took advantage of the indigenization program of the upstream sector by participating in the marginal field bid rounds in 2000.

Sahara participated actively in the bid and was awarded the Tsekelewu Field as Operator in partnership with AOG. The success in winning the marginal field became the platform to develop upstream competence to seek and acquire additional assets to build a robust portfolio.

The company participated in subsequent bid rounds held in Nigeria thereafter and won five additional blocks in the process, three of which were deep offshore blocks for which BG Group farmed in and partnered with Sahara to develop. Taking the same view of growth outside of Nigeria, the company also acquired one asset in Ghana to add to its portfolio.

Other areas of expansion saw the Group make bullish investments into developing retail fuel stations in Nigeria, Ghana and Ivory Coast, emerge as key equity partner in the Western Franchise of the Nigerian Gas Master plan as well as equity holder in the refinery in Cote d’Ivoire.

Enageed Resource Limited, the Group’s upstream affiliate has earned the record of one million man-hours loss time injury (LTI) free on the ongoing additional 126 square km seismic acquisition on OPL 274.

After shooting the first onshore 3D seismic, the company’s drilling activities have yielded Sahara Group’s first oil discovery. Tests were carried out on the first well and it recorded rates in excess of 5600 barrels of oil per day/per well. It is estimated to have the capacity to produce about 20,000 bpd by 2015. This feat, achieved by an African independent firm portends a promising future for the nation.

Today, Sahara Group has made an audacious entry in the power sector through the acquisition of strategic power assets. The acquisition was realised under the privatisation programme of the Federal Government of Nigeria which recently led to transfer of former PHCN assets to private investors.

Working through a number of Special Purpose Vehicles (SPV), Sahara successfully acquired majority shareholding stakes in two (2) of the PHCN assets in the privatization exercise by the Nigerian Government, namely Egbin Power Plc – the largest Power Generation Plant in Nigeria – and Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company (Ikeja Electric) – the largest power distribution network in Nigeria.

In addition, Sahara also acquired 70% of First Independent Power Company Limited (FIPL), while the Rivers State Government retains a 30% stake in the entity. This acquisition reinforces the quest of the Sahara Power to enhance its competitive advantage and footprints in the sector, whilst looking to deliver world-class power solutions in Nigeria and ultimately, offshore.

Working with the Korean Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) as technical partners, Sahara is committed to delivering efficient, affordable and sustainable power supply in the nearest future through investments in new technology, infrastructure upgrade and human capital development.

Already, Egbin and Ikeja Electric are currently undergoing transformative initiatives that would change the face of power generation and distribution in Nigeria and subsequently, the entire African continent.

The vision which is to provide adequate power to the citizens, promote entrepreneurship and foster accelerated economic growth and development is very much alive with the innovativeness, dynamism and continuing investments in Egbin and Ikeja Electric.

Before long, the vision will expand to exporting power outside the shores of Nigeria using the best possible technology and expertise.

The Sahara Group’s foray into the power sector is another major step for an organisation that is committed to the pursuit of new frontiers. The next puzzle would be to figure out the next quest for this enterprising group which barely 20 years into its existence continues to seek opportunities to nurture and perfect business opportunities.

Culled from World Stage News

Sahara boosts literacy campaign with ‘Read to Me’ School Project

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In the eyes of every child are dreams untold and visions to behold. The joy of hearing children mutter their first words never leaves the hearts of parents. But how greater that joy would be if most of the children move on to acquire the ability to read and write. Sahara Foundation has at the heart of its intervention activities the desire to give children platforms to experience the joy of reading and writing their way to various achievements in life. With the number of adult illiterates in Nigeria having increased from 25 million in 1997 to 35 million in 2013 and over 10.5 million children out of school, Sahara Foundation has invested in several partnerships and staff volunteer initiatives to drive well thought-out initiatives to help boost the literacy level in Nigeria.

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On Tuesday, October 21, 2014 and Tuesday, October 28, 2014 in Lagos and Onne respectively, Sahara Foundation held the maiden edition of the ‘Read to Me’ School Project. This initiative seeks to encourage reading for knowledge and leisure, improve the vocabulary of beneficiaries and encourage individual reading through distribution of free story books to beneficiaries. It involved a direct engagement between volunteers (staff members) and beneficiaries (pupils). Volunteers had an interactive session with the pupils through reading and pronunciation activities. The initiative also provided an opportunity for donation of story books to help cultivate the habit of reading in the pupils and also give them the opportunity to learn new words, boost their vocabulary and pronunciation in a fun and interactive way. Now, the stage is set for the emergence of rocket scientists and Nobel laureates from hitherto unsung children. It all starts by opening the minds of children through reading to them and encouraging them to read. For Sahara Foundation, this has become a way of life.

3l3r4r 4l The ‘Read to Me’ project was originally designed for 1,000 pupils in two schools in Lagos and Onne but the project was eventually carried out in 6 primary schools reaching out to 1,100 pupils.

  • Federal Housing Estate Primary School, Lagos
  • Awoyaya Primary School Lagos
  • Victoria Island Primary School, Lagos
  • Ansa-Udeen Primary School, Lagos
  • Central Primary School, Onne
  • Model Primary School, Onne

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The read to me project is one of the many initiatives to be used to steer Nigeria to a greater place and one platform for Sahara group is using to bring energy to the lives of the future of Nigeria and the world.

Sahara Power acquires additional power generation assets

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Sahara Power, a subsidiary of Sahara Group is set to increase power generation capacity in the sector through investment in new technology, global alliances and human capital development following its acquisition of First Independent Power Company Limited (FIPL).

Sahara Power recently acquired 70% of the company while the Rivers State Government retains a 30% stake in the entity. This acquisition reinforces the quest of the Sahara Power to enhance its competitive advantage and footprints in the sector, whilst looking to deliver world-class power solutions in Nigeria and ultimately, offshore.

FIPL comprises four Power Plants namely:

  • Omoku Power Plant – 150MW Gas Turbine
  • Trans Amadi Power Plant – 136 MW GT
  • Afam Power Plant – 180MW GT
  • Eleme Power Plant – 75MW GT

It would be recalled that working through a number of Special Purpose Vehicles (SPV), Sahara had successfully acquired majority shareholding stakes in two (2) of the PHCN assets that were sold by the Nigerian Government, namely Egbin Power station – the largest Power Generation Plant in Nigeria – and Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company – the largest power distribution network in Nigeria.

Egbin Power Plc and Ikeja Electricity Distribution Plc are undergoing steady transformation activities that are expected to culminate in enhanced power generation and equitable supply to drive homes and businesses.

Sahara Group reaffirms that FIPL’s acquisition signposts a future of great possibilities and opportunities for the Group, the entire nation, the sub-region and the continent.

Global News Apologises over false Sahara Energy reports

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The Management of Global Style Multimedia Services (Publishers of Global News) and the Editor in Chief of the Magazine, Mr. Segun Ogunbunmi hereby tender our unreserved apology to Sahara Energy Resource Limited and two of its Directors, Messrs. Tonye Cole and Tope Shonubi over stories published in Global News Editions of February 6, 2012 and July 23, 2012 with the headlines: “Corrupt Marketers Who Collected Money Without Supplying Fuel Exposed”; “Sahara Energy’s Tope Sonubi and Tonye Cole On The Run”; and “Aig-Imokhuede’s Panel Fingers Self-acclaimed Pastor Tope Sonubi and Tonye Cole’s Sahara Energy in Fuel Subsidy Scam” Respectively.

Read the official press release here

Sahara Power Employs 107 Graduate Engineers

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The nation’s power sector has received a remarkable boost in its human capital profile following the employment 107 young Graduate Engineers by Sahara Power Group in keeping with the company’s commitment to youth empowerment and development of local capacity in the sector.

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A leading player in the sector, Sahara Power comprises KEPCO Energy Resource Limited, New Electricity Distribution Company and NG Power-HPS Limited. These subsidiaries have stakes in Egbin Power Plc, Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company, IKEDC) and First Independent Power Limited (FIPL), respectively. The young engineers, some of whom were sourced from the host communities where the subsidiary companies operate will commence a rigorous training programme that will equip them for their roles in IKEDC, Egbin and FIPL.

The Managing Director/CEO Sahara Power, Mr Kola Adesina, disclosed at the induction ceremony for the recruited Engineers that the exercise was in line with the robust human capital development policy of Sahara Power aimed at ensuring enhanced capacity and seamless employee succession through knowledge transfer.

Adesina said the intensive training programme which will be facilitated by the National Power Training Institute (NAPTIN) will ensure the “bright engineers hit the ground running.” He said: “Sahara Power is laying a solid foundation for upscaling capacity, productivity and efficiency in our subsidiaries and the entire power sector through an army of young professionals that will be exposed to continuing training opportunities in line with global trends and practices.”

Adesina further explained that appointment of the 107 engineers sets the tone for the commencement of a career progression and succession plan strategy to ensure that the more experienced professionals in IKEDC, Egbin Power and FIPL transfer knowledge to the younger generation to drive sustainability and efficiency.

He urged the beneficiaries of the exercise to take advantage of the programme to kick-start a career that will change the face of the power sector in Nigeria. “You are coming into an organisation that offers platforms for success. We believe in you all and are confident that with young professionals like you the future is bright for Nigeria,” he told the young engineers.

Speaking at the event, NAPTIN Director General, Engr Reuben Okeke commended Sahara Power for spearheading a renewed drive for enhanced human capital development in the sector. “NAPTIN is delighted with the collaboration with Sahara Power and remain committed to ensuring that young engineers who go through the institute will emerge as future leaders of the sector in Nigeria and beyond,” he said.

Commending Sahara Power for the project, Ifeyinwa Nwaoyo, one of the interns, said the project represents a great opportunity for Nigerian youths to be gainfully employed and be grounded in their field of study. “This will certainly change the face of the power sector. I intend to make the best use of this platform and look forward to emerging as CEO of IKEDC in future,” she said.

Another intern, Ikeolapo Sonoiki, a graduate of Electrical/Electronics Engineering, said he is looking forward to learning from more established engineers as he begins his quest for a successful career in the sector. “I am grateful to Sahara power for this opportunity and I am confident I will become a reference point in terms of expertise in the power sector in Nigeria and outside our shores.”

Speaking on the choice of NAPTIN for this resource function, the Sahara Power boss said it was informed by the company’s belief that NAPTIN is well equipped to provide the depth of expertise required to master peculiarities of the sector as the reforms continue to unfold.

He however added that Sahara Power would also take advantage of its relationship with the globally renowned Korea Electric Power Company (KEPCO) to expose its professionals to offshore training and exchange programmes.

“The graduate recruitment and training programme will be a continuous exercise as Sahara Power envisions a future of robust power supply in Nigeria led by excellent professionals who can match their counterparts anywhere in the world. We will definitely continue to play a leading role in ensuring that Nigeria realizes its aspirations in the power sector,” Adesina added.

Power: Sahara ‘Light Up Nigeria’ Project unveils alternative energy sources

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Today, we live in a world keen on powering nations, industries and homes with alternative sources of energy. Some nations have since recorded a significant shift in this quest, leading to milestone achievements in wind, solar, nuclear energy generation.

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Nigeria also has huge aspirations in this regard, as ongoing public and private sector driven partnerships in alternative power generation continue to gain ground across the nation.

On July 17,2014 at the Eko Hotel and Suites,five teams representing universities from around Nigeria came together to proffer sustainable solutions to the challenge of power supply in Nigeria using the Enactus Nigeria National Competition 2014 as the platform.

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“The Sahara Light Up Nigeria Power Challenge,”one of the headline events of the programme was sponsored by Sahara Group. Coming on the heels of its acquisition of Egbin Power Plant and Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company, the Sahara Group provided support for the programme to inspire accelerated and sustainable success for Nigeria in her quest for alternative energy sources.

The programme offered a platform for Nigerian undergraduates to task their intellect to create a better living experience for their localities through affordable and sustainable source of alternative energy.

“We have identified with and supported many sustainable interventions in the jurisdictions where we operate. The Sahara Light Up Nigeria Challenge represents another significant project for us as it seeks to provide sustainable solutions to our power challenges using Nigerian youths and components that can be sourced and replicated locally. We are overwhelmed by the ingenuity of some in the presentation and this further reinforces our faith in a brighter future for Power in Nigeria,” said Tonye Cole, Executive Director, Sahara Group.

The event featured representatives from the Kaduna Polytechnic, Federal Polytechnic, Idah, Kogi State, University Of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, University Of Agriculture, Makurdi, Benue State and University Of Science And Technology, Enugu.The five teams presented to judges practical inventions that have enabled far reaching positive impacts on the socio-economic well-being of the respective communities where the institutions are located.

The projects highlighted include:

Kaduna Polytechnic – Wind Turbine

This project leverages on windmill technology to provide electricity for a community that has never experienced power supply. Power generated from the wind mill is stored in a dry cell battery and converted through an inverter for use. It has the capacity to power 50 light bulbs (2 bulbs per household) and can last over a 12 hour period. It does not portend any safety issue unlike the conventional electricity ie cannot cause electrocution. The team also planned to train five community members on the key functions of the systems for sustainability. The items used in creating the technology are environmental friendly and bio-degradable.

Federal Polytechnic, Idah, Kogi State – Solar Incubator For Agriculture

The project is meant to address the challenges of power in a poultry farm. This incubator is a semi-automatic incubator. It does not use fuel or a diesel engine, it uses solar panels and of which it has a 100 AMP battery for storing energy from sunlight along with charger controller. When fully charged, it can provide stored energy that will last three days, securing uninterrupted power supply. This incubator is noiseless, eliminating air pollution.

University Of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State – Wind Turbine (Green Wine)

Still leveraging on windmill technology to provide electricity to the community’s health centre which has no access to public power supply. The items used in creating the technology are environmental friendly and bio-degradable. It requires only wind to generate power that will be converted into electricity.

University Of Agriculture, Makurdi, Benue State – Fuel less Generator

The project is targeted at small business owners facing the challenges of electricity supply which affects businesses on a daily basis and individuals facing the problem of powering basic household appliances. This project employs the principle of an inverter to generate power, making use of a battery as the primary source of energy. The generating sets require no fuel to generate power and they are also noiseless.

Enugu State University Of Science And Technology, Enugu – Fuel less Generator (Energy Of Empowerment)

The generator is made up of a battery, alternator and an inverter. The project is targeted at small business owners facing the challenges of electricity supply. The generator is eco-friendly as it emits a reduced amount of gas because it is does not use fuel, thereby protecting the environment and providing electricity.

Following a keenly contested competition, Kaduna Polytechnic emerged winners of the 2014 Sahara Light up Nigeria challenge. Their wind turbine invention, inspired by the need of the people,  is one that holds huge promises for the institution’s host community, and indeed, the entire nation. The team who felt very excited about their win and the fact that their vision to create a sustainable and affordable source of electricity was actualized, said:

“Sahara has created a captivating challenge for the youth. We are starting early and hope to create a path for the generation coming, to ensure greater works by them and a rapid development in our nation”- Daniel Onovoh (student of Kaduna Polytechnic).

Sahara Group remains committed to supporting the initiative as well as other sustainable alternative energy sources that will position Nigeria for accelerated socio-economic growth and development.

Sahara Group Announces Successful Drilling Results, Doubles Reserves

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Sahara Group’s Upstream division has announced successful results of drilling and testing in OPL274, where it holds a 100% working interest. Sahara’s upstream affiliate Enageed Resource Limited completed the drilling campaign which was initiated following an aggressive 3D seismic acquisition and processing programme.

Noting that the successful drilling was indicative of sustained growth for Sahara’s Upstream division, Mr. Tonye Cole, Executive Director, Sahara Group attributed the achievement to the efforts of the company’s in-house team and commitment of the Group to sustainably grow its footprints across all aspects of the Oil and Gas, Energy and Infrastructure sectors.

According to him: “Today marks a historic occasion for Sahara Group, for its upstream division and for the Nation. Success was achieved in doubling our certified 2P reserves in the Oki-Oziengbe South field and making a new commercial discovery with the Oluegi-1 exploration well. More importantly, this was realized by an indigenous Nigerian independent and all work was done in-house by our dynamic, young team. This is particularly satisfying because as we look ahead, we have a healthy prospect inventory in OPL 274 and several other promising blocks elsewhere in Nigeria and in our growing African opportunity portfolio. This portends well, with years of future drilling activity ahead and sustained growth for Sahara’s Upstream.”

Cole said the feat was also enabled by the support of key stakeholders who stood with the Group through the rigorous process, providing footholds for relief and encouragement that spurred the team. “Not taking for granted the various service contractors who individually and collectively played their part, we would like to appreciate in particular, the good people of Koko, Ajoki and Ajamogha in Edo State, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS), Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Diamond Bank Plc all of which were instrumental to our success,” he added.

Also commenting on the milestone, Curtis Cohen, Sahara’s Upstream Chief Operating Officer said the OPL 274 exploration program recorded a number of firsts for Sahara Group. “We shot our first onshore 3D seismic, drilled and operated our first onshore wells, made our first oil discovery and first appraisal, and tested first oil at rates in excess of 5600 barrels of oil per day. We drilled the three wells back-to-back in just ten months, from a common location and a minimal environmental footprint, and all three wells found commercial hydrocarbons. I’m proud of the upstream team’s achievements.”

The Group is now set to tie-into existing facilities to facilitate commencement of First Oil production by Sahara. Four flow lines from Oki-Oziengbe South 4 and 5 well heads will take crude to the Oziengbe South flow station for crude processing. When completed and flowing, oil from Oziengbe S will join NPDC’s 6″ pipelines at Oredo and Ogharefe where it will enter the Forcados trunk line.

The Net to Live Campaign in Ijora Community

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Determined to reduce the incidence of malaria to the barest minimum, Sahara Foundation recently partnered with Kasher Consulting Limited to distribute insecticide treated nets among the densely populated residents of Ijora community in Lagos.

This programme was organized in celebration of the World Malaria day which is celebrated on the 25th of April this year.

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After the previous enumeration of the entire community, Sahara staff volunteers were joined by some local community volunteers to distribute the nets from door to door in the thickly populated neigbourhood.

The volunteers were comprised of carpenters armed with their working tools, who hung the nets immediately and left an extra net at each household that gave their consent to the project.

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Over 2500 households were provided with the net to shield them from mosquito bites among them pregnant women and children under-five, who represent the most vulnerable group.

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Sahara acquires Power Sector assets

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Sahara Group has acquired assets in Nigeria’s power sector In keeping with its desire to “be the provider of choice wherever energy is consumed.”

The acquisition was realised under the privatisation programme of the Federal Government of Nigeria which led to the transfer of former PHCN assets to private investors.

Working through a number of Special Purpose Vehicles (SPV), Sahara successfully acquired majority shareholding stakes in two (2) of the PHCN assets that were sold by the Nigerian Government, namely Egbin Power station – the largest Power Generation Plant in Nigeria – and Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company – the largest power distribution network in Nigeria.

The NEDC/KEPCO Consortium emerged as the majority shareholders of the former Ikeja Distribution Company and Egbin Power Plant respectively. The consortium which has the Korean Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) as technical partners is committed to delivering efficient, affordable and sustainable power supply in the nearest future through investments in new technology, infrastructure upgrade and human capital development.

KEPCO, the largest electricity utility company in Asia in terms of Transmission and Distribution, is amongst the largest nuclear power exporting companies and is also involved in every form of generation from wind, thermal, coal, solar, mass, hydro and renewable energy. The corporation generates about 84,000MW in capacity and has a global efficiency record of a maximum down time period of slightly above three minutes annually.

The Sahara Group restates its commitment to creating and sustaining value for all stakeholders in the energy value chain through innovation, strategic investments and alliances.

Sahara Upstream OPL 274 achieves One Million Man Hours LTI free

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A combination of strict adherence to best safety standards and operational expertise has earned Enageed Resource Limited, a member of the Sahara Group the record of one million man-hours loss time injury (LTI) free on the ongoing additional 126 square km seismic acquisition on OPL 274.

Enageed which hit the record on Friday March 21st 2014 has been shooting seismic over the difficult terrain of the 126 square kilometer in the Depo-belt of the Niger Delta basin using the Nigerian company Integrated Data Services Limited (IDSL) as the seismic contractor.

Enageed’s management attributed the feat to the company’s unwavering zero-tolerance to issues that could compromise safety as well as the commitment and enterprise of its staff who are grounded in the sound Health, Safety and Environmental (HSE) policies of the company.

“Safety is the cardinal driver of all our operations and processes. This achievement reinforces the depth of our HSE policies and the unique bond of working and winning together which ties all our staff together as we continue to align our activities with globally acclaimed best practices. Although the terrain is extremely difficult, the best safety practices put in place by ERL have so far prevented an LTI on the operation.” the company’s management said.

The seismic operation for the 126 square kilometer seismic started in June 2013 and is scheduled to end in April 2014. Over 1500 men were involved in the operation on the field which is wholly marine and cuts across two states of the federation.

In addition, five camps were situated through the prospect area and over 100 boats daily were used in this acquisition.

Enageed remains committed to exploring and implementing strategies that will drive all-round health and safety awareness within and outside the work place, whilst encouraging and empowering staff to embrace activities that will enhance their health and fitness levels.

Medical Test being conducted by crew nurse and Doctor

Swimming Test