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Oil Mogul Tonye Cole of Sahara Group shares Lessons learned from Failure in Forbes Africa April Edition | Read & Watch Video



Tonye Cole_Sahara Group_Forbes Africa CoverThe April edition of business magazine, Forbes Africa features Tonye Cole, co-founder and Group Executive Director of Sahara Group. Sahara Group is a leading privately owned Power, Energy, Gas and Infrastructure Conglomerate established in 1996 with operating companies active in the downstream, midstream, upstream, infrastructure and power sectors.

In the exclusive interview with Forbes Africa Correspondent for West Africa, Peace Hyde, Tonye Cole shares his journey overcoming bankruptcy as a young man to establishing the leading indigenous oil conglomerate, Sahara Group. The company celebrates its 20th anniversary, which has seen it establish the corporate social responsibility arm, Sahara Foundation impacting lives all over Africa.

“Failure teaches you a lot. If you are an entrepreneur, you are going to have bad days and if you are a successful entrepreneur, you are going to have even more bad days. It is important to remember the value of relationships and never give up.” Says Cole in the exclusive cover interview.

Sahara Group’s strategy is to replicate its successes in Oil and Gas sector in the Energy & Infrastructure sector. To achieve this, Sahara has set out a roadmap for investing in people, processes, strategic acquisitions, principal investments and continuous expansion within, initially, the West African energy & infrastructure space, and then globally.

Watch the exciting behind the scenes below and pick up your latest copy of Forbes Africa Magazine and read his story.


  1. Angry Sahara Wife

    April 11, 2016 at 6:07 pm

    Abeg- invest in your staff o… they havent paid my husband’s march salary! They give off a “powerful” perception of a great oil company …but on the inside… the oga at the top plays God with the lives of their staff .. smh .. Oga Tonye.. keep up the great work sha..

    • kemi

      April 11, 2016 at 7:48 pm

      Perhaps you should divorce your hubby o as he must have been lying to you!!my brother has worked in Sahara for about 8 years and never ceases to speak about how young people in the company are trained and given platforms beyond their dreams to become excellent professionals. We have even rocked his march salary and looking forward to April!

    • Angry Sahara Wife

      April 11, 2016 at 8:11 pm

      maybe you should divorce your head from your ass and do some meaningful research and lets have some proper dialogue… I speak for my household not yours… #differentsectors #differenttreatments

    • lorenz

      April 11, 2016 at 11:03 pm

      Kemi, is it just me? You sound like a publicist. You can tell a honest write-up when you read one. You don’t sound truthful.

    • coded

      April 12, 2016 at 7:15 am

      I really just want to work in Sahara Group…. Please help me tell your brother naaa. I admire them.

    • kemi

      April 11, 2016 at 9:04 pm

      So sorry if the joke came out badly. I challenge you however to state the name of your hubby who has not been paid. Else it’s all a ruse

    • Nana Ote

      April 12, 2016 at 2:39 am

      She should state the name of her husband? Do you have sense?

  2. tee

    April 11, 2016 at 7:22 pm

    But we are just in April… wah o…relax

  3. james

    April 11, 2016 at 7:35 pm

    The making of the interview and the interview proper should give anyone aspiring to something great some inspiration. Most people relinquish their dreams when failure shows up, Tone and his friends didnt and the rest like they say….i checked out sahara’s website after reading the forbes article and came across this:

    The founders of Sahara truly have a unique story . I think we need more ‘Saharas’ ,,,,something tells me they might just be imparting this DNA into their staff….failure is just an event….doesn’t define you….amen somebody!

  4. Funke

    April 11, 2016 at 8:03 pm

    Has anyone noticed how hot the Forbes writer is? Peace Hyde! Na wa for this big men ooo! Hips don’t lie!

    • Lawson

      April 12, 2016 at 1:57 pm

      All I see is Peace Hyde!


    April 11, 2016 at 8:04 pm

    Good way to learn from the actual players in the industry. Nice interview.

  6. Barrister

    April 11, 2016 at 9:19 pm

    @ BN,Is he Monalisa Chinda’s husband?!

    • tee

      April 11, 2016 at 9:41 pm

      No he is not…he has his own wife

    • Fifi

      April 12, 2016 at 1:27 am

      If Mona see this kind husband she would serve in house of the Lord for eternity , i doubt she would have anything in common with him

  7. FM

    April 12, 2016 at 8:47 am

    I used to work for Sahara and trust me those guys are fantastic. Sahara does not owe salaries even in the face of difficulty they will get money from elsewhere to pay and I’m sure everyone there is very well paid more than their counterpart elsewhere. And trust me Tonye is a God fearing man-so ditch that impression. This is my first ever online post but I could not go by without commenting. Sahara is a place to be and work trust me.

    • Here4AMinute

      April 12, 2016 at 11:41 am

      … And yet you left? I couldn’t help but comment too …

    • Ejiro

      April 12, 2016 at 12:09 pm

      Please just shut it, you sounding like a broken record already. They are NOT well paid #fact. They provide a nice working environment and thats it

    • Hey hey hey

      April 12, 2016 at 12:18 pm

      Please stop!! Tonye was dating Kenya Moore of atlanta housewives just last year while his wife was in naija.
      Na wah for our big men

    • nikky

      April 12, 2016 at 1:01 pm

      Allegedly. No proof except that they were seen at a public even at the same time.

    • Truthbetold

      April 13, 2016 at 11:29 am

      Well i worked for Sahara as well and you lie…
      I still have many good friends too who are seriously job hunting and most lose their job when that fact is known.
      I have described Sahara to many people as a window…the flies inside want to get out and the ones outside want to get in…
      And you all know Tonye is the king of wash…

  8. Ejiro

    April 12, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    9 out of 10 of their staff will tell you, the experience is awesome even though errmmm the money is not alot. Will the experience feed your family????

  9. nene

    April 12, 2016 at 5:27 pm

    this feature is too amateurish. for a company like forbes, i expected something better. it looks very cheap and low quality

  10. FM

    April 13, 2016 at 9:30 am

    @here4aminute yeah I left the country if I have my way I will stick around for a looooooong time. @ Ejiro prove your statement.
    Everything is not about money, if you don’t like what Sahara or anything gives you then create your own Sahara. Those guys are barely older than you but look what impact they have made.

  11. Former Contractor

    September 22, 2016 at 7:25 pm

    I have worked for Sahara at the time they were at Adeola Odeku
    They pay big as long as you get results beyond their expectations. I don’t know of their Salary scale or performance. But I made my first millions as a young tech contractor with Sahara Group

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