By Ediri Ejoh
Managing Director of Sahara Group, Mr Kola Adesina, has said his emergence as Vanguard’s Private Sector Icon of the Year is a call to do more in efforts at improving Nigeria’s energy sector.
He said this in Lagos while speaking to journalists after receiving the award at a grand award ceremony held at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Adesina, who commended what he described as the resilience of the Publisher of Vanguard Newspapers, Uncle Sam Amuka, hailed him for his commitment to the growth and development of the Nigerian media.
“For this honour, first, I want to thank Uncle Sam Amuka. 87 years on planet earth and doing what he does is not a small job. He deserves to be awarded himself and if there is any award that should be accorded him, he deserves a GCFR which is not a bad idea because of his contribution to journalism and the knowledge journalism has produced in disseminating information and letting the people open their mind to what is going on and those issues they see can be resolved.
“I say a big thank you to Uncle Sam and the editorial board for deeming it fit to choose my organization and myself to receive this award. We say a big thank you,” he said.
Speaking about what the award means to him and his organisation, he said: “The award represents a call to duty. And while we need to celebrate the past, it is more critical for the future we seek to build that we put in more energy. I see the award as a call to more duty, effort, passion, contribution, and determination to make sure that the sector I belong to becomes more central in delivering quality service to the people”.
“Electricity represents the baseline for development in any nation of the world and that is still a missing link and something needs to be done urgently. So for me, it is how we electrify Africa and make the black race equally enlightened and more productive.
“If you see what we have done in Ikeja Discos. The Discos premium power solution represents the templates that give hope to the African race, the black man as to what is possible. We also promised some communities a steady power supply that ranges between 20 and 22 hours of supply and in certain instances they get 23 hours of supply we have been able to replicate it in Magodo, Ikeja GRA, Ogodo and we are doing it currently in some location and we have 17 more community that have signed up to the arrangement.
“If we start to align the system around what matters and ensure that the oxygen the system needs to breathe is readily available then would be improved based on the investment that we would make in the sector.
“I think the basic requirement for success represents first and foremost understanding what is missing and then being able to provide what is missing through the critical talent that we have been able to muster in the sector in the last couple of years.
“For me, the essential requirement for success is for you to have an understanding that will support your vision, clarity of thought that will provide the processes along the value chain and aligning the value chain to deliver the kind of optimum power solution that the consumers need and the talent that we have been able to do that and supported by the oxygen of the system which is the right tariff.”
Earlier, in his welcome address, General Manager/Editor-in-Chief, Vanguard Newspaper, Mr. Gbenga Adefaye said the annual Personality Award which started in 2012 is designed to appreciate excellence.
“The award, an idea which started in 2012 as Vanguard’s way of appreciating excellence in our society, after all, our brand essence is towards a better life for the people.
“Today, we are celebrating a decade of recognition without blemish, in the 2021 edition, tagged, ‘A Decade of Excellence,’ over 20 Nigerians from the public and private sector were honoured.”