President of Coscharis Group of Companies, Dr. Cosmas Maduka, yesterday described The Sun Awards as prized recognition, saying that the newspaper has not only distinguished itself in honouring excellence but also in outstanding publishing.
Speaking in Lagos, when the Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief of The Sun Publishing Limited, Mr. Eric Osagie, led a team to present a letter formally notifying him of his choice as The Sun Investor of the Year, Maduka described The Sun as a brand everybody wants to read to get balanced reports.
The Coscharis boss said although he is not crazy about being honoured, he cherishes The Sun Awards, as it is an honour not solicited for nor got with money.
Said he: “I’m one individual who naturally prefers to be denied an honour that I deserve than to get one I do not deserve. Long before now, when they were talking about national honour, some people said I must go for it. I told them l was not ready to buy honour. I was eventually awarded the Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) shortly before President Goodluck Jonathan left office.”
Praising The Sun, Maduka said: “Those of you from The Sun have actually distinguished yourselves from Day One.”
On the state of infrastructure at Kirikiri Industrial Layout, where subsidiaries of Coscharis Group, The Sun and other companies are located, he said a time had come when enterprises in the area have to come together to make representation to the Lagos State government, especially as it concerns roads.
He said the companies in the area, as corporate entities, pay taxes, just as their workers, which qualify them to enjoy good amenities provided by the government.
Maduka pointed at the bad state of HappyHome Avenue and a link road between the street and the end of Old Ojo Road in the area, which he said deserve government’s attention.
Talking about his investment in rice plantation, Maduka said he acquired the large expanse of land about 29 years ago, revealing that he plans to establish a mill within the farm, create four artificial lakes, for irrigation, and employ about 3, 000 people for the project.
He disclosed that he was holding talks with experts on irrigation, as he is planning a three-cycle planting season in one year.
Earlier, while presenting the letter, Osagie said Maduka was chosen as The Sun Investor of the Year because of his business ventures that have contributed immensely towards economic growth in the country and in area of job creation.
He said: “Your brainchild, Coscharis Group, has grown in leaps and bounds. And it is now one of Nigeria’s foremost and fastest growing conglomerates, with interests spanning manufacturing, ICT, petrochemical, auto care and auto components, automobile sales and services, agriculture and agro-allied businesses.”
According to Osagie, Maduka had built a global brand that secured franchise of BMW, Fords, Rolls Royce, Jaguar Land Rover premium brands and Abro USA auto care, among others.
He said: “Your Coscharis Group is now a household name in Nigeria, across Africa, Asia, Europe and the United States of America, through its various partnerships for distribution of Ford brand of automobiles in Nigeria. You are an ardent believer in Nigeria projects despite its harsh operating environment. You have continued to venture. Sometimes, one wonders what drives you. At the time when some investors are going away, you are investing more and more.