Nigeria’s Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) has commended energy conglomerate, Sahara Group for being “a great ambassador for the Nigerian entrepreneurial brand.”
Speaking at a virtual event to commemorate Sahara Group’s 25th anniversary, Prof. Osinbajo said Sahara embodies the enterprising and transformative spirit that makes Nigeria a remarkable nation. “Sahara Group has demonstrated bold, innovative, knowledge-driven business models that are designed to seize opportunities in other countries and have done so with remarkable success in many African countries,” he said.
Established as an oil trading entity in 1996, Sahara Group now has operations in over 42 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East, with almost 5000 employees. Sahara operates the largest privately run power business in sub-Saharan Africa through its investment in generation and distribution assets in the power sector.
Executive Director, Sahara Group, Kola Adesina, said the energy conglomerate remained proud of its rich Nigerian and African heritage which has given Sahara the impetus to innovate through challenges to become a global player. “Sahara Group is already looking ahead to a future that will be driven by technology, Artificial Intelligence and renewable energy solutions to enhance access to energy and environmental sustainability,” he added.
Prof. Osinbajo noted that the last two decades have brought significant growth of Nigerian oil companies “from the days when Nigerian companies were mainly invested in the downstream sector to a situation now where we have Nigerian companies in the downstream, midstream and the upstream.”
“Nigerian companies have shown capacity in operations and financing of oil and gas assets. Within this group of patriotic local investors, Sahara has consistently blazed the trail as industry leaders in not just the Petroleum sector, but in the Power sector as well,” he added.
While congratulating the Sahara Team for its 25 years of achievements in the energy industry, the VP wished them more remarkable 25 years ahead, even as he urged the group and other indigenous energy companies to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the African Continental Free Trade Agreements.
According to the Vice President, the next 25 years will be defined for the energy industry reiterating the need for a just transition to zero-emission, as well as more advocacy to stop the defunding of gas and fossil fuel projects in developing countries.
Other speakers at the event included the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mr Felix Tshisekedi and President of the African Development Bank, Dr Akinwumi Adesina; while guests included the Director-General of Bureau of Public Enterprises, Mr Alex Okoh, and other top government officials.