Ibidun Ajayi Ighodalo of Elizabeth R and Mr. Tonye Cole,MD Sahara Energy

Nigerian-trained and certified Architect, Mr. Tonye Cole, the head of the young troyka who owns and directs the affairs of the wave making oil and gas multinational – Sahara Group, is now fully kitted and equipped with a masterplan to rebuild the world’s most populous black nation and its most promising market, Nigeria.

Niyi Tabiti,News Editor,, Mr. Tonye Cole, MD Sahara Energy and Mr. Lanre Alfred, Society Editor,Thisday Newspapers

Undaunted by the myriad problems bedeviling the nation’s unity and faith, and peace and progress, the well-built, handsome son of well-revered Ambassador Patrick Dele-Cole, is armed with a visionary blueprint that maps out a clear-cut, mass-embracing strategy which signposts a promising path into our desirable future as a nation. And he christens it, The Nehemiah Project, inspired quite possibly by the great works of the biblical Nehemiah, the nation rebuilder.
In an earlier statement, the Project Founder/ Convener, Tonye Cole, defined the The Nehemiah Project as “a group of well meaning individuals who are committed to rebuilding the society by empowering and inspiring the youths as the future leaders of our country: to discover, explore and realize their full potential.”
And to kick start the laudable civil responsibility project, Mr. Cole has packaged a world-class event to inaugurate the project whereby twenty (20) outstanding youth leaders from various walks of life who are constant sources of inspiration to other young people around the world especially in Nigeria can challenge youths between the ages of 18 and 30 to think outside of the norm and pursue careers utilizing their God giving skills and talents.
The event is scheduled to hold on Sunday, July 24, 2011 at the Harbour Point Event Center, Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island, Lagos. And it promises to be an exceptional night of inspiration and fun. Included in the programme are pep talks to be delivered by renowned motivational speakers including Nigeria’s king of contemporary comedy, Ali Baba, and the delighting queen of Nollywood, Kate Henshaw-Nuttal. Some of the other distinguished youth leaders, with exemplary records of success in their various callings, include ace footballer Austin J.J. Okocha, queens of makeover – Tara Fela-Durotoye and Banke Meshida-Lawal, wave making musician Dapo Oyebanji aka D’ banj, Olumide Ajayi of the Iconola fame, former Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria, Omowunmi Akinnifesi, the fashion making phenomenon – The Okunoren Twins, and the reputable fashion model hunter behind Beth Models, Elizabeth Isiohor. The side attractions include an exquisite fashion show, musical performances by rave artistes including MI.
Beyond the inaugural event, TNP will execute impact-making, sustainable projects addressing the various challenges facing the Nigerian youth in their quest for success. The brain behind it all, reputable builder of international note comes with a resume of past and ongoing successes of projects, some of which he had recorded as a practicing architect while in Brazil, and now back home in Nigeria.
Born in Port Harcourt, Rivers State to the highly respected Ambassador Patrick Dele-Cole, Tonye Cole attended Corona School, Victoria Island and later King’s College, Lagos before proceeding to King’s School, Ely, Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom.
He is also an alumnus of the University of Lagos. A merit honours graduate of architecture, Tonye Cole worked as an architect for frontline Brazilian architectural firm Grupo Quartro SA in Goiania Brazil (’90-92) where he was involved in the design and implementation of the urban planning and city development of Palmas, the capital city of the newly created state of Tocantins. The city of Palmas was designed as a ‘green fields’ project and built up from scratch.
The Managing Director of Sahara Energy Resource Limited which he co-founded in 1996 with his friends Tope Shonubi and Ade Odunsi. Sahara Energy started out as an oil and gas company whose core business at the time was the trading of excess fuel oil from the Port Harcourt and Warri refineries.
With a combination of hard-work and dogged determination not to be middlemen in the transactions, Sahara Energy established itself as a credible trading house within three years followed by diversification into storage depot and vessel ownership, building depots in Lagos, Onne and Abuja with a combined capacity of 55,000 metric tonnes and a fleet of five vessels moving products across West Africa. Today, Sahara Energy is a major employer of labour with a staff strength of just over 400 people. The company also has a growing portfolio which includes upstream assets comprising of 9 blocks including one deep water block in Ghana and is deeply involved in developing the domestic gas infrastructure.
Sahara Energy remains very strong in the trading sector and has set up a trading office in Geneva, Switzerland which actively trades in crude oil, gas oil, Jet A1, mogas and bitumen in various markets globally. The company also maintains a strong physical presence in Ghana, Ivory Coast and Senegal and representative offices in Cameroun, France and Brazil.


  1. Uche chukwuemeka justus.   July 26, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    An undergraduate of mechanical engineering from unvirsity of Nigeria,Nsukka a final year student,i read about your firm,i want to contribute to the success of your firm in my own area,i will be very greatful if my request is been granted thanks.there my number 08036902450.


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