When an award conferment has the exhilarating imprimatur of Mr. Don Ebubeogu, chairman/CEO of Tiger Foods Limited and president of Onitsha Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ONICCIMA), one needs not look into the crystal ball to know that the recipient has paid his dues and is eminently deserving of such honour, for the Tiger Food boss is not one to hug charlatans and venerate inanities.
Mr. Ebubeogu and his team, therefore, merit a resounding applause for selecting the chairman of Ejison Group, Chief (Dr.) Sir Joseph. I. Ukeji, for an award by ONICCIMA.
Ebubeogu and Sir Ukeji are like minds. Like the Tiger Foods boss, Sir Ukeji is a business mogul who has contributed so much to the growth of ONICCIMA and economic development of the South East, nay, Nigeria.
Come Wednesday, October 23, 2019, all roads will lead to CJ Paterson Auditorium, All Saints Cathedral, Onitsha, as ONICCIMA bestows on Sir Ukeji the Most Outstanding Businessman of the Decade Award. The epoch event will be chaired by Chief Sir GUO Okeke (Onwa), chairman, GUO Transport, while Anambra State governor, Willie Obiano, is the chief guest of honour.
An illustrious son of Oraukwu in Idemili North LocalGovernment Area of Anambra State, Nigeria, Sir Ukeji is the chairman/CEO of J.I. Ejison International Limited, a fast moving consumer goods marketing and distribution company with presence in the 36 states of the federation and the FCT.
His success in business was not a one-step movement. Sir Ukeji’s dexterity, perseverance and diligence played key roles in the growthof his business into the conglomerate it is today. Born in Oraukwu on June 7, 1959, to the Christian family of the late Mr. Raphael Ukeji (Ezeudo), Sir Ukeji is a native of Otta village, Oraukwu, in Idemili North LGA, AnambraState. He ventured into business after his secondary school education. Within this period, the young Joseph developed business standard anchored on the pillars of truth, integrity, honesty, quality service deliveryand determination. From his initial importation business, he has diversifiedinto manufacturing, oil and gas, hospitality and real estate.
The business mogul’s sphere of influence and frontiers of business have since gone beyond the shores of Nigeria. For example, in 2014, he received the excellence in business award from the former British Prime Minister, David Cameron.
Also, in 2015, the Ejison boss received the excellence in business award presented by Mr. Edward Hobart, Her Majesty’s Consul General, Dubai.
Unassuming, Sir Ukeji is a silent doer. He is not loud about his achievements and detests trumpeting them. It will, therefore, surprise manyto learn that he is a philanthropist of immense pedigree who has used hiswealth and business connections to help those in need.
He is a silent achiever, a philanthropist who has improved greatly the living standard of his people and touched the lives of many, particularly the needy and less privileged in the society.
A devout Catholic who was knighted by the Catholic as Knightof St. Mulumba some years back, the Outstanding Businessman of the Decade Award by ONOCCIMA is only an addition to his litany of awards. Sir Ukeji’s success in business and his selfless service to humanity and God have earned him a deluge of awards in the past, including Basilica of the Most Holy Trinity, an award of PILLAR in recognition of his many contributions and many services to the growth of the parish, Nigerian Red Cross Honour of Volunteer-General for services to humanity, award of excellence by former British Prime Minister David Cameron, award of excellence presented by Mr. Edward Hobart, Her Majesty’s Consul General, Dubai.
Others include, Award of PILLAR of APGA in recognition of his dedication and services, Philanthropist Extraordinaire and Business Titan Award by the Government of Anambra State, UN Ambassador of Peace Award by United Nations Peace and Positive Living Awareness Center and the prestigious Mayor for World Peace Award of the United Nations Peace Advocate.
Also in his kitty are Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary International, patron, Orabuike Age Grade, Otta village, Oraukwu, patron, Holy Family Catholic Parish, Oraukwu Choir, patron, Onitsha City Marathon, Holy Trinity Cathedral Jubilee Merit Award, His Holiness Benedict XVI Apostolic Blessing, the Holy Father Pope Francis Apostolic Blessing, Exemplary Worthy Brother of Knight of St. Mulumba (KSM) and patron/life member – Honorary Award – Angelic Voice Choir Group.
Sir Ukeji is also the proud recipient of numerous traditional titles in recognition of his community development and philanthropic efforts. Some of these titles include: Chinyelugo of Oraukwu, Chimalunzu of Oraukwu, Ukpaka na-agbalu Ora nile of Aguleri and Ozoigbondu of Umueri.
A loving, caring and dutiful father and husband, Sir Ukeji is married to his heartthrob of many years, the delectable Lady Loretta Nwanneka Ukeji, and the marriage is blessed with wonderful children, male and female.Certainly, Chief Ebubeogu has eyes for the best. He has eyes for an achiever. Chief Ebubeogu and his team have done ONICCIMA proud by going for a goldfish for an award. It is indeed an important milestone for Ebubeogu, Sir Ukeji and ONICCIMA. For the award is truly fitting and deserving. Yes, the cap fits Sir Ukeji!
•Osigwe is MD/CEO of Full Page International Communications Limited