Special Focus - January 24, 2021

Sahara Group celebrates 25 years; unveils plans for the future

Sahara Group, one of Nigeria’s most successful indigenous companies, at the weekend rolled out the drums to celebrate 25 years as a “transformational energy conglomerates with a proud African heritage and vast operations in Africa, Asia, Europe and Middle East Asia.”
In unveiling the company’s 25th-anniversary logo, the Executive Director, Sahara Group, Temitope Shonubi, who unfolded the Group’s plan for the future, listed the values that sustained its successes.
“These past 25 years, knowledge has been the empowering tool for Sahara Group, business integrity our greatest asset, humility our utmost ethos, diverse people and network our greatest value,” Mr Shonubi said.
Mr Shonubi said since its inception, Sahara Group has deployed global energy solutions to change the transformational story from Africa to the world.
Founded in 1996 with an initial focus on oil trading, Sahara Group is widely regarded as a leading energy conglomerate renowned for championing capacity building and promoting the ‘best in Africa for Africa’ to the world narrative globally,” he said.
Looking at the future, Mr Shonubi said Sahara Group is committed to increasing its investment in technology, artificial intelligence, and human capital transformation as critical drivers of its next expansion phase.
He said that innovation would define Sahara Group’s brand positioning and offering in the coming years.
“For us at Sahara Group, it has been 25 years of instituting a stamp of distinction. Like most start-ups, we were chasers, then followers, and today we are the dream actualized corporation.
“It is much more expensive and difficult to be a trailblazer, defying the impossible to emerge as an enterprise that creates value innovatively, responsibly, and sustainably.
Still, at Sahara Group, we are focused on remarkable growth and grateful for the opportunity to serve and bring energy to life across global markets,” he said.
Commemorative 25th-anniversary plans
To mark the 25th anniversary, he said Sahara Group plans to carry out several events and activities all through 2021 with the theme, “Harnessing Safe energy today.”
He said the emphasis of the programmes would be on promoting the “capacity to do and achieve positive and sustainable transformation” in the energy sector.
In line with Sahara Group’s corporate operational strategy to create sustainable economic, social, and governance impact, Mr Shonubi the conglomerate has grown its operations to achieve annual revenues in excess of $10 billion, with over 4000 employees and operations in over 40 countries.
“Sahara Group’s focus is on continuous improvement, operational efficiency, and sustainability. We plan to deploy best-in-class Terminal Automation System (TAS) for efficient terminal operations in the oil & gas sector, Plant Data Visualization System (PDVS) for enhanced remote monitoring of plant operations, Customer Energy Management (CEM), and GIS-based Network Monitoring System (GNMS) for customer-centric power distribution & data management services,” Mr Shonubi said.
Sahara Foundation
The Group, he said, is considering the activities of the Sahara Foundation as one of its most cherished accomplishments.
Following its initial partnership with the Carter Centre to eradicate guinea worm disease in Nigeria, he said Sahara Foundation has over the years, emerged as a global promoter of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with over two million beneficiaries across its locations through interventions in Health, Education, Capacity Building, and lately, Extrapreneurship – a concept that promotes opportunities for social innovators and entrepreneurs.
In 2015, he said the United Nations Development Programme, through the Sustainable Development Goals Fund (SDG-F) established the Private Sector Advisory Group (PSAG) as a pivotal platform for business leaders’ opportunity to contribute to extraordinary social impact and cultivate partnerships of tremendous transformative capacity.
From an initial list of 100 shortlisted global multinational companies, the United Nations SDG-F selected 13 companies and inaugurated them in Madrid.
Within the African continent, Sahara Group was one of the only two companies that made the final selection.
In line with its commitment to supporting growing global demand for safe and clean energy and the shift towards a lower carbon footprint, Sahara Group and the UNDP in 2019 entered into a partnership to promote access to clean and affordable energy in Africa.
The target was for the partnership to provide access to clean and affordable energy to over 650 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Since then, Sahara Group has remained passionate about green energy and environmental conservation, with its Green Life project, aimed at driving energy and ecological conservation initiatives across our business operations and partnerships.
“The Group pioneered the commencement of an electronic billing system (e-billing) at Ikeja Electric Plc, the Group’s power distribution arm to promote environmental conservation in the energy sector,” Mr Shonubi said.
To reinforce its commitment to clean energy initiatives, he said Sahara Group also initiated the use of electric buggies and bicycles at its Egbin Power, Africa’s largest privately-owned Power Plant, with plans to replicate same at other operational facilities across the Group.
Sahara Group’s zero-waste approach to promoting operational efficiency and commitment to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic has seen Egbin Power Plc invest in an oxygen bottling facility on the plant to harness the oxygen generated as a by-product of the plant cooling mechanism.
The Egbin Power supplies oxygen, a key ingredient in the fight for life in the ICU, freely to medical facilities in Lagos State and the FCT, Abuja, through Fortitude Children’s home, the largest orphanage in Nigeria.
On Sahara Group’s COVID-19 interventions, he said these include the donation of personal protective equipment (PPE), driving COVID-19 awareness and education in sub-Saharan Africa through educational literature in indigenous languages across various countries and leading the delivery of the 300-bed Thisday Dome Isolation and Treatment Centre and donation of medical equipment, including fully-equipped world-class Intensive Care Units, to the centre and other medical facilities across Nigeria.

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