By Michael Eboh
Sahara Group has released its 2018 Sustainability Report which provides details on the economic, environmental, social, governance and risk impact of the energy conglomerate’s businesses globally.
The report with the theme “Collaborating for Global Impact”, details Sahara Group’s activities and projects in 2018 which traverse partnerships and collaborations, investments, expansion into further international markets and outreach linking Sahara’s employees with the global landscape.
“Our people have been pivotal to the growth and global impact of our organization by effectively establishing, managing and sustaining these international collaborations.
It is critical to our sustainability that we attract and retain the right talent to achieve this feat,” said Pearl Uzokwe, Director, Governance and Sustainability while presenting the report to the media.
Uzokwe said Sahara expanded its talent pool from 3,281 employees in 2017 to 3,630 in 2018, noting that the Group enhanced the recruitment and selection processes of pre-existing programmes to cultivate a workforce capable of growing and sustaining the business impact.
She said Sahara had since reviewed its safety mechanism for greater efficiency, with the overarching target being a zero-fatality rate across the Group’s plants and workplaces. “We will continually channel our resources towards embedding a culture of safety and compliance,” she added.
According to Uzokwe, Sahara lent its voice to the rule of law in 2018 with the participation of Oluseyi Ojurongbe, (Manager, Sahara Foundation) at the conference on “The Role of the Private Sector in Fostering Justice, Peace and Sustainable Institutions” at the Bingham Centre for Rule of Law in the Hague.
The director said Sahara seconded Babatomiwa Adesida to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Fund (UNSDG-F) to strengthen private sector participation and collaboration in the attainment of the SDGs.
“Since our partnership with the UN through Babatomiwa’s secondment, we have remained a committed partner to the UN and provided support to the development and implementation of the SDG Fund’s private sector and philanthropy engagement in Africa,” she noted.
She said Sahara Group in the period under review promoted awareness of the activities of the SDG Fund by attending Private Sector related events in Canada, South Africa, India, Nigeria and Rwanda and developing a toolkit on the contribution of sports to the achievement of the SDGs.
“In line with our global thought leadership role in the energy sector, we joined world leaders and other stakeholders to underpin the importance of collaboration in safeguarding the future of Oil at the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) 7th International Seminar in June 2018 in Vienna.
Speaking as a panellist in one of the sessions, Executive Director, Tope Shonubi reinforced the need for cooperation towards achieving transparency, market balance, safety and environmental protection.”
Uzokwe said Sahara Group increased investment in communities and countries where it operates by over 40% from N250 million in 2017 to N350 million in 2018.
This consisted of regional projects with global collaborations.
Similarly, Sahara commenced partnership discussions with the UNDP geared towards the attainment of the UN’s SDG 7 (provision of access to clean and affordable energy) in Nigeria, Ghana and Cote d’ Ivoire. This will be finalized in 2019.
She stated that in 2018 Sahara acquired and expanded its operations in the infrastructure and downstream value chain in Zambia and Tanzania thereby increasing the Group’s international outlook and operation in the Eastern African region with a key focus on introducing greater efficiency and improving intra-African trade. The report can be accessed via the Sustainability section of Sahara Group’s website.