The glory of God was again made manifest yesterday, at the corporate headquarters of The Sun Publishing Ltd, Kirikiri, Lagos, when the management and staff of the organisation gathered to praise and worship God for His uncountable blessings, grace and mercies on the company and staff in 2017.
It was the company’s 2018 Annual Thanksgiving Service and Staff Award ceremony, with a theme, “The Faithful God”.
Leading the thanksgiving is the renowned minister of God, Pastor Ituah Ighodalo, Senior Pastor, Trinity House, Victoria Island, Lagos, who declared that the successes recorded by the publishing company in the last 15 years confirm the fact that The Sun is an evidence of God’s faithfulness.
In his opening remarks, the Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief of The Sun, Mr. Eric Osagie, noted that the thanksgiving service was an annual event, which the company has kept faith with for 14 years. He said though the past three years have been very tough but the faithfulness of God has seen the company through the harsh business climate. “We were able to pay salaries, meet most of our commitments to the staff, and kept the organisation running”, he added.
While thanking the staff for their support and cooperation, he reminded them that they needed to work harder to enable the company meet more of their expectations. “If your expectations were not met last year, 2018 will definitely be different”, he assured.
He was equally optimistic that the year was going to be rosy for the company and urged the workers to rededicate themselves to the ideals of the organisation, which included, hard work and resilience, and urged them never to give up to any challenge.
Mr. Osagie also read the first Bible passage, taken from Lamentation 3: 21- 25, while the second passage taken from Luke 12: 22 – 30, was read by the Deputy Managing Director/ Deputy Editor-in-Chief, Mr. Steve Nwosu.
To set the ball rolling for the day’s event, the MD formally introduced the guest preacher, Pastor Ighodalo, to the excited gathering. According to him, Pastor Ighodalo “is admired for his eloquence and stylish ways of delivering God’s words to his audience. He is many things in one, a corporate guru, a pastor, an accountant, a thinker, social reformer and a writer. A fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria and Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria.
“He is a member of the Nigerian Institute of Management and American Institute of Management, and he is also, chairman of many companies and sits in the board of a lot of others, including NGOs. No wonder some people refer to him, as Pastor of Corporate Nigeria. He is a sports enthusiast and a member of the prestigious Ikoyi Club”
Ighodalo praised the management and staff of The Sun newspapers for the good works they have been doing. He noted that the fact that The Sun has been soaring high when others were going down was a manifestation of God’s faithfulness, stressing that the company was going to witness an unprecedented growth and breakthrough this year.
He cited Deuteronomy 7:9; Thessalonica 3:3; I Corinthians 10: 13; I John 1:9; Numbers 23:19: Lamentations 2:23, among other Bible references to anchor his sermon entitled, “God is Faithful”.
According to him, faithfulness means being dependable, supportive, loyal, constant and reliable. He reminded the congregation that God was committed to them, and would never forsake them.
He highlighted five reasons to show that God is faithful.
The first, he said, “for the fact that you are alive today is because God is faithful”.
Secondly, “the enemies have not overcome you is because God remains faithful” (Exodus 7:6 -10)
Thirdly, “God makes a way where there seems to be no way for you”
The fourth he noted is,” God makes impossible possible for you”, and lastly, “God never leaves you or forsake you”
He made prophetic declarations for the staff and the company with the congregation echoing thunderous hallelujah. He equally prayed for the Publisher of The Sun, Dr Orji Uzor Kalu and other members of the board of the company.
The thanksgiving, which has the trapping of a church service started with praise and worship led by the The Sun Christian Fellowship as both management and staff sang and wiggled to the exciting gospel tunes of the band.
It was the 14th edition of the yearly affair. In recent years, religious leaders such as, Rev Dr. Wilson Badejo (Foursquare Gospel Church), Pastor Sam Adeyemi (Daystar), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor (Word of Life Bible Church), Pastor Osondu Anyalechi (Evangel Pentecostal Church); Bishop Humphrey Erumaka (Word Base); the National / International Coordinator of Christian Pentecostal Mission (CPM), Rev Mercy Ezekiel; Pastor J.T. Kalejaye, a regional evangelist with The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), and Bishop Mike Okonkwo, Bishop of TREM, have presided over the event.
The second part of the service was the award to staff who have shown outstanding performance on their job in 2017, as well as those who have served for 10 years.
The winners include: The Sun Journalist of the Year, Ayodele Ojo;
Features Writer of the Year, Sunday Ani; Most Creative Page Planner, Peter Bakare; Most Diligent Sub-Editor, Zika Bobby; Best Performing Sales Executive, Eze David Chukwu; Most Outstanding Distribution Staff, Sunday Odunsanya; Most Outstanding Route Driver, Adio Olaniyan and Most Outstanding Printing Staff, Saheed Salisu.
Others are Most Outstanding Pre-Press Staff, Onyewuchi Ekwedike; Most Outstanding Technical Staff, Chibuike Nwaigwe Stephen; Most Outstanding Advert Executives, Ogechukwu Orizu and Ojingwa Jessica Onyike; Most Outstanding Advert Production Staff, Dayo Kuti; Most Diligent Account Staff, Vincent Momoh and Most Diligent HR/Admin Staff, Daniel Anokwuru.
Most Diligent Security Staff, Dennis Akano; Most Diligent Audit Staff, Chuks Kanu Nwadinobi; Most Diligent Support Staff, Francess Okonkwo; Best Managed Production Plant, Aba Plant and Most Productive Bureau, North Central.
The long service awardees are: Uche Ifeanyi, Tessy Igomu, Bisi Olaleye, Chioma Igbokwe, Vincent Ukpong Kalu and Moses Akaigwe. Others are: Olufemi Hunsu, Tope Adeboye, Momoh Vincent Onomheye, Joseph C. Odimba and Uju D. Chiekezie.
The rest are: Chikwado Larry, Chinedu Chukwunwejim, Michael Madukwea and Igwe Kalu.
In attendance at the event were Managing Director/ Editor –in- Chief, Mr. Eric Osagie; Deputy Managing Director/ Deputy Editor-in-Chief, Mr. Steve Nwosu; Mr. Bolaji Tunji, (Executive Director, Special Duties); Onuoha Ukeh (Editor, Daily); Femi Babafemi (Editor, Saturday); Abdulfatah Oladeinde (Editor, Sunday) and Ikenna Emewu.
Others are: Obioma Ogukwe (GM, Finance) Wole Sokunbi (Chairman, Editorial Board), Neta Nwosu (GM, Corporate Services), Ogechi Uche (GM, Human Resources); Johnson Ogwumike (Senior Manager, Internal Auditor), Damola Lajumoke ( GM, Operations) and Obinna Kalu (General Counsel).