Tonye Cole, mni is co-founder of Sahara Group, an energy conglomerate founded in 1996, employs over 4,000 persons in 38 countries across Africa,
Europe, the Middle East and Asia. In 2018, Mr. Cole resigned from Sahara to contest the 2019 elections and is now the gubernatorial flag bearer for the All Progressives Congress in Rivers State for the 2023 general election. His various National assignments include Governing Council, Nigerian Chamber of
Shipping. Honorary Senior Adviser on Energy, Rivers State Government (2009- 2011). Member, Nigerian Development Forum (NDF) 2007. Member, National
Committee on Job Creation (NCJC) 2010. Chairman, Greater Port Harcourt Development Authority (2013-2016). Chairman, Presidential Council
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2017. Advisory Board, The Nigeria Blueprint: Imagine the Future 2021, chaired by Vice President HE Prof. Yemi
Osinbajo SAN, GCFR. 

His international assignments include Member, World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Advisory Council on Energy. Advisory Board Member, UN’s Sustainable Development Goals Fund (SDG-F) Private Sector Advisory Group 2014-2018. Member, WEF Pact Against Corruption Initiative (PACI) 2017- 2018. Advisory Council Member, World Bank Group’s Expert Advisory Council on Citizen Engagement 2018.

He has been recognised as Oil & Gas Council Lifetime Achievement and Executive of The Year Award, 2017. Forbes/Ebonylife TV Best of Africa
Award, 2013. Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of The Year Finalist, 2011. Thisday Award As ‘Young Global Champions in Oil and Gas’, 2010. Role Model
Award by ‘We Are the Future of Our Nation’, 2009. University of Lagos Alumni Association Merit Award for ‘Outstanding Contributions and
Commitment to National Development’, 2007.

Tonye Cole is a philanthropist whose activities include Chairman, Enactus Nigeria. Founder, The Nehemiah Youth Empowerment Initiative. Founder, Nehemiah Leadership Institute. Founder, Behavioural Health Institute. Founder, The REACH Nigeria Foundation. Founder, Rivers Professional Forum. Board Member, Slum2 School Foundation. He is also a motivational speaker, ordained minister, and published author. He is married to Dr. Sylvia
Cole and has three children.