The Edo State Government, Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd (NNPC) and leading energy conglomerate Sahara Group have joined forces to drive the construction of the 17km stretch Ikpako-Ajoki road in Edo State, Nigeria to facilitate seamless trade and sustainable development.
The project is the brainchild of the Joint venture between the NNPC and Enageed Resource Limited, a Sahara Group upstream company, in collaboration with the Edo State Government. The project is scheduled to be completed within 18 to 24 months.
NNPC/Sahara JVs have been instrumental to the delivery of various projects in health, education, environment, and capacity building across the nation and Africa. In 2017, the NNPC and Sahara Group unveiled two ultramodern Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) vessels, Africa Gas and Sahara Gas to bolster LPG security in Nigeria and the continent. Both vessels continue to enhance access to clean energy, with Sahara Group targeting further $1 billion investment in LPG infrastructure.
Speaking at the project’s flag-off ceremony, Governor Gowdin Obaseki said the road will among others boost trade, agricultural activities and facilitate oil and gas operations for the benefit of the state and the nation.
NNPC GMD, Mele Kyari said, “What we are witnessing here today is an endorsement of collaboration as a viable means of promoting national development. The successes realized from working with Sahara on various ventures reinforce the efforts of the Federal Government aimed at transforming the economy through credible and innovative partnerships. We commend the Edo State Government for playing a strategic role in this collaboration and we believe that the best is yet to come.”
Also speaking at the event, Temitope Shonubi, Executive Director, Sahara Group said the responsible energy giant was delighted to join forces with the NNPC, the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) and the Edo State government to deliver the road that is expected to enhance tourism, trade, and support the movement of people, goods, and services to and from the communities.
Shonubi assured the residents of Ikpako and Ajoki communities as well as Edo State as a whole. He further stated that the State Government assures him that the project is being handled by a first-rate constructing firm and supervised by a professional consulting firm which will provide an additional layer of quality control to cover all the phases of the construction and extend to post construction.
“Like the all-important arteries in the human body, the Okpako-Ajoki road is set to open a mine of opportunities that will connect almost one million residents in the region to new horizons and shared prosperity. In line with our commitment to bringing energy to life responsibly, Sahara Group and it’s partner NNPC is eagerly awaiting the huge volumes of trade, commerce and accompanying sustainable value generation the road will bring to the communities, Edo state, and the nation,” he said.
According to Shonubi, Sahara continues to provide a major role in power generation and distribution across the Nation and in a bid to boost power supply in Ajoki, Sahara launched the Rural Electrification project, an innovative initiative focused supplying electricity to the community through the conversion of flared gas from the flow station into power using gas-powered generators with future collaboration with the Benin Distribution Company for the excess power.
In addition to a reduction in the amount of gas flared in the environment which supports all our Energy transition initiatives. A new source of clean energy will be provided, directly powering tens of thousands of beneficiaries, including businesses, hospitals, schools, and households in the Ajoki community.
Shonubi said: “Sahara Group continues to leverage its robust stakeholder relations and collaboration to positively impact communities where we operate and help create ecosystems that support shared prosperity through sustainable interventions. It is in our DNA to embark on the road less travelled in our quest for being an integral part of the machinery that weaves prosperity into the communities we operate. We are committed to going the extra mile for our host communities, responsibly and sustainably.”
He added: “Roads take us to our destinations but create the memorable journey which we are all here today to facilitate responsibly.”