Socio-economic growth prospects in Ajoki community, Edo State, have soared following the delivery of uninterrupted power supply to the community by Enageed Resource Limited, a Sahara Group upstream company and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPCL).

Available to tens of thousands of beneficiaries, the Enageed Resource Ajoki Gas-to-Power project generates a combined capacity of 1Megawatt round-the-clock electricity from gas, in keeping with Sahara Group’s commitment to promoting access to clean energy and spearheading seamless energy transition in Africa. The project had the NNPC Upstream Investment Management Services (NUIMS) and the Edo State Government as key partners.

“What we initially thought was a pipe dream has eventually become a reality,” said Scott Omasan, Secretary of Ajoki community at the handover ceremony. “The test run has been on since December last year and now the project is in full gear. Now, small businesses, healthcare, and commercial activities will be transformed in Ajoki. Even residents of neighbouring communities now flock into Ajoki to do one business or the other because of the uninterrupted power in our community,” Omasan added.

According to Olubunmi Lawson, Head Sustainable Community Development, who represented Bala Wunti, Chief Upstream Investment Officer, NUIMS, the project will foster increased agricultural and economic productivity, higher revenues, better healthcare, and make the environment cleaner. “NNPC Ltd is committed to timely delivery of social impact projects across the nation. I want to encourage the good people of Ajoki community to continue to collaboratively work with Enageed Resources Limited to ensure the sustainability of this laudable project,” she said.

Henry Menkiti, Chief Operating Officer, Asharami Energy (A Sahara Group Upstream Company) said, “what we are witnessing today is the product of Sahara Group’s unwavering commitment to seamless stakeholder relations everywhere we operate. We enjoy the support of our host communities where we call home because we continue to work with a shared vision that is centred on making a difference responsibly.”

Menkiti said Asharami Energy remained committed to effectively adapting and responding to climate change trends and positioning the business to harness emerging opportunities. “Consequently, we measure and monitor Green House Gas (GHG) emissions to effectively manage our Scope 1 emissions and ESG metrics to ensure alignment with best practices and global disclosure standards”.

Also speaking at the event, Ejiro Gray, Director, Governance and Sustainability, Sahara Group, described the project as an outstanding achievement for the energy conglomerate, considering the endless opportunities it offers the Ajoki Community. “As a responsible organization, one of the key parameters for measuring our progress is to also measure how well our communities are doing. This Gas-to-Power project is so important to us because we’re essentially taking a resource that is available in the community and using it to produce something that is beneficial to Ajoki and its environs” she said.

Elated by the project, Shegun Eloa and Esther Koma, the Youth and Women Leader respectfully of Ajoki, commended Enageed Resource and Sahara Group for giving the community “a new lease of life.” The Olareaja of Ajoki Community, Pa Joseph Agbaga said the community would ensure the safety of the power plant and continue to work with Enageed harmoniously. “Enageed and Sahara Group have always stood out in their approach to working with the community and Ajoki is grateful for this power project that will now make Ajoki stand out in the Niger Delta,” he added.

Babatomiwa Adesida, Head, Stakeholder and Community Relations said the gas-to-power project was the most recent sustainable project which Enageed had implemented in Ajoki. He said the firm had previously executed other sustainable projects in the areas of health, education, capacity building and infrastructural development. He further stated that these projects have resulted in the significant development of the community, promoted a sense of ownership amongst the people and led to peaceful operations of Enageed within the community.

Enageed Resource, the operator of Oil Mining License (ML) 148, commenced the Ajoki Electrification Project in 2019 with the aim of converting flared gas (at the flow station) to electric power for 24-hour electricity supply to Ajoki Community.

The Gas to Power Project has since replaced the use of diesel generators in the community, a development that is expected to impact positively on the quality of air and life in Ajoki.

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