Chairman of Chicason Group Limited, Dr. Alexander Chika Okafor, has described The Sun Business Person of the Year 2017 award, which he won, as a pleasant surprise that has underlined his modest contributions in the socio-economic development of the country.
Okafor and 21 other outstanding Nigerians will receive various awards at the prestigious The Sun Awards on February 24 at the Convention Centre of Eko Hotel & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Speaking in Lagos yesterday, while receiving a delegation from The Sun Publishing Limited, led by the Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief, Mr. Eric Osagie, who had come to formally notify him of his choice as winner of the award, the Chicason Group’s chairman said it was gratifying that the quiet achievements of his company were being recognised by a reputable newspaper such as The Sun.
Confessing that he was not expecting The Sun award, Okafor said: “Let me start by thanking you for recognising my little contributions in the development of Nigeria’s economy. Let me thank God Almighty who made it possible for us at Chicason to do what we are doing. We did not set out to win awards, but to do business, help the country’s economy and create employment. However, since what we have done over the years in the business world has attracted your recognition, we found it a pleasure to thank and identify with you.
“I really appreciate this award. It came as a pleasant surprise. It is not everyday that people tell companies they have done well. Whenever such commendation comes, it gives us the impetus to do more for the development of Nigeria.”
Earlier, Osagie said The Sun Business Person of the Year award, “acknowledges outstanding contributions of an entrepreneur, chief executive of a business organisation, or a top business manager, who, despite obvious challenges that confront businesses in Nigeria, has displayed unparalleled acumen at value creation and service delivery in ways that have impacted positively on the nation’s economy.”
He said Okafor emerged as The Sun Business Person of the Year 2017 because of his “sterling achievements as one of the key players in the manufacturing, oil and gas, construction, mining, real estate, travel and health sectors.”
Outlining Okafor’s feat, Osagie said: “When, at a very youthful age, in 1980, you set out to float a private enterprise, not many gave you the chance in the business world, but you came, saw and conquered.
“Thirty-sevenyears thereafter, with unwavering business strategy, that small trading company has metamorphosed into Chicason Group of Companies, one of Africa’s fastest growing conglomerates, with more than 13 companies and affiliated business.” The Sun MD said Okafor has become one of the foremost industrialists in Nigeria, whose “signature investment in the oil and gas sector can be seen in the successes recorded by the A-Z Product Limited incorporated in 1994,” adding: “Your conglomerate is also into mining and its activities are run under Resource Improvement and Manufacturing Company Limited.” Osagie acknowledged Chicason Group’s “hard work and partnership with various stakeholders, with the aim of not only industrialising Nigeria but also creating jobs for citizens.”
Also on the MD’s entourage are Editor, Daily Sun, Onuoha Ukeh; GM, Marketing, Mrs Neta Nwosu; Editor, Sunday Sun, Alhaji Abdufatah Oladeinde; Editor, Saturday Sun, Femi Babafemi and Mrs. Oge Orizu, Assistant Manager, Business Development.