Tonye Patrick Cole is the co-founder and former Group Executive Director of Sahara Group, an energy conglomerate with operations spanning the entire energy chain in Nigeria, West Africa, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. He resigned from all board and executive roles held in Sahara Group in 2018, in order to contest for the gubernatorial seat of Rivers State, on the platform of All Progressives Congress. Cole won the APC ticket, but the party was prevented from contesting in the gubernatorial elections. He is an entrepreneur, architect, philanthropist, motivational speaker and author.
He was born on 11th January 1967, in Abonnema, Rivers State, Nigeria, to Mr Patrick Dele Cole, former managing director of the Daily Times Newspaper and former ambassador of Nigeria to Brazil. He is married to Dr Sylvia Cole and they are blessed with three children. Cole is an ordained minister of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, and the author of “Morning Reflections”, a daily devotional published in 2013.
|National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, Jos, Plateau State||Certificate in Public Policy||2018|
|Harvard Business School, Massachusetts, USA||Advanced Management Program Certificate||2014|
|Universidade de Brasilia, Brazil||Certificate of Proficiency in Portuguese|
|University of Lagos, Lagos State||B.Arch; B.Eng|
|King’s School, Ely, Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom|
|King’s College, Lagos Island, Lagos State||West African Senior School Certificate|
|Corona School, Victoria Island, Lagos State||First School Leaving Certificate|
|Bloomberg TV Africa||Board Member|
|National Committee on Job Creation||Member||2018|
|World Bank Group (WBG)||Member, Expert Advisory Council on Citizen Engagement||2018|
|Presidential Council on Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s)||Inaugural Member,||2017|
|World Economic Forum’s Future of Trust and Integrity Project||Steering Committee Member||2017|
|United Nations Sustainable Development Fund (UN SDG-F)||Member, Private Sector Advisory Group||2014-2018|
|Enactus Nigeria||Vice Chairman|
|Atlas Mara Co-Nvest Limited||Board Member||2013-2018|
|Ikeja Distribution Company Ltd||Board Member||2013-2018|
|Excel Charity Foundation||Board Member||2013-2016|
|Greater Port Harcourt Development Authority||Chairman||2013-2016|
|GLEEHD Foundation for Leadership and International Development||Advisory Council Member||2012|
|Afica 2.0||Governing Council Member||2011|
|Volunteer Corps Ltd||Board Member||2010-2018|
|Rise Network Youth Foundation||Advisory Council Member||2010|
|Nehemiah Youth Empowerment Initiative||Founder||2010|
|Office of the Rivers State Governor||Honorary Senior Adviser on Energy||2009|
|Nigeria Chamber of Shipping||Governing Council Member||2008|
|Nigerian Private Sector Advisory Group on SDGs||Chairman||2007-2018|
|Digital Jewels Ltd.||Board Member||2007-2018|
|Servant Leaders Association||Board Member||2006-2016|
|Empressa Sul Americana de Montagens S.A. (Nigerian Branch)||Director of Operations||1993-1996|
|Grupo Quartro SA, Goiania Brazi||Architect||1990-1992|
Cole’s political interest came to the fore in September 2018 when he formally resigned from all board and executive roles held in Sahara Group and other corporate bodies, to contest for the gubernatorial seat in Rivers State, on the platform of All Progressives Congress.
Although he won the APC primary elections, the party was removed from the ballot and prevented from contesting in the elections by the courts due to some internal party legal issues.
In 2022, he was chosen as the consensus candidate of APC to run for the governorship seat of Rivers State in the forthcoming 2023 general elections.
However, a lawsuit from delegates supporting former senator Maagnus Abe who alleged that they were refused the ability to vote in primaries led to the annulment of the APC primary by a Federal High Court on 25 October.
Awards & Honours
- 2017 Lifetime Achievement and Executive of the Year Award conferred by the United Kingdom Oil and Gas Council
- 2014 Wharton Club of Africa Award for Best Company To Work For
- 2013 African Property Awards/Bloomberg TV for Highly Commendable Office Architecture
- 2013 Forbes/Ebonylife TV Best of Africa Award
- 2011 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist
- 2010 This Day Award as Young Global Champion in Oil & Gas
- 2009 We are the Future of our Nation Role Model Award for Contributions to the Oil & Gas Sector
- Instrumental to the Lagos Water Corporation project, a World Bank-financed water project valued at about $5.8m
- Set up the Behavioural Health Institute (BHI) for the study and management of behavioural health issues, especially among the youths in Nigeria.