Founder and chairman, Unubiko Foundation, Chief James Ume and Chairman, Sublime Group, Chief Kelvin Jombo Onumah have vowed to continue to render humanitarian and top level hospitality services respectively, while expressing surprise that The Sun discovered their quiet business and philanthropic activities.
They declared that their nomination for The Sun Humanitarian Service Icon award 2022 and Hospitality Personality Award 2022, will reinvigorate them to do more in their endeavours.
Ume, Onumah and 24 others will be honoured at The Sun Awards ceremony on January 28, 2023, at the Expo Convention Centre, Eko Hotels & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Speaking in Abuja when he played host to a delegation led by the Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief, The Sun Publishing Limited, Mr. Onuoha Ukeh, Ume said: “I believe we are serving humanity; we are serving God; so, we don’t need any self-seeking attention. When you give to people, you are giving back to God.”
According to him, as a media owner, it was easy to have taken the path of self-adulation but that would have defeated the essence of setting up the foundation to impact meaningfully on the lives of others quietly.”
He expressed appreciation to The Sun for the recognition, stating: “It is a surprise that The Sun Newspapers discovered what we are doing to help humanity, because we have been working quietly.
“On behalf of my late mother, my dear wife, my children and those who have donated to what we are doing, I thank you. We have a lot more projects ongoing. This award is a clarion call to do even more as a foundation in serving our people and humanity.”
Onumah, on his part, said he enjoys taking care of people, stressing that playing big in the hospitality sector has afforded him the opportunity to make scores of people happy.
He said: “I am very excited to be a recipient of the prestigious The Sun Hospitality Personality Award for 2022. I have followed The Sun Awards for about six years now. I did not see this award coming, but I want to say thank you for the nomination of Sublime Group for the award. I pledge that we would do much more to justify the award and keep our trademark visible in the country.”
Earlier, The Sun MD, commended Ume and Onumah for deploying their resources to engender development.
Explaining what qualified Ume to win the award, he said: “We know that as a way of giving back to the society, you set up the Unubiko Foundation to reach out and give hope to the needy. Ever since, you have made giving a culture, which has been demonstrated without boundaries.
“Last month, you handed over a Customary Court rebuilt at the cost of over N150million. You also handed over the Presbyterian Church you rebuilt, women development centre, and Ovukwu-Abam Secondary School, Atan-Abam, which you rebuilt at over N500 million.
“You have empowered hundreds of widows, awarded no fewer than 200 scholarships for students in Arochukwu Local Government Area, paid WAEC fees for all students in Atan-Abam in 2020, and donated 100 brand new laptops to trainees in digital economy.
“You have also provided transformers to aid rural electrification, financed 44 boreholes for the 27 villages that make up Abam, among other philanthropic projects.
“We are aware that in 2020, at the peak of COVID-19, you distributed PPEs to all the communities in Abam, Arochukwu LGA of Abia State, donated PPEs to Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Umuahia, donated books worth over N6 million to the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) National Secretariat as well as the Abia and Abuja Councils, paid medical bills for the indigents and sponsored several journalism capacity building trainings.”
In the case Onumah, Ukeh explained that he was nominated for the award because of the achievements Sublime Group has recorded in the hospitality sector.
He said, “Over the years, you have developed excellent analytical and leadership skills while nurturing your Sublime Group of Companies. With years of experience across the globe, you have also been exposed to luxury and that translated to the establishment of Sublime Hotel and Suites, which is now a name to reckon with in the hospitality industry. The same goes for your Real Estate businesses where you have exhibited uncommon taste for luxury.
“Within a short time in the hospitality industry, you have invested and developed Sublime Hotels to become one of the choice destinations for those who long for luxury and class in the Lekki/Ajah axis of Lagos.”
On Onumah’s business expansion prowess, Ukeh added: “We note that aside from your luxury Sublime Hotels & Suites; you are also Managing Director of Jombo & Mark Investment Limited located in Aba, Sublime Luxury Homes Limited, Lagos; Sublime Star Pharmaceutical Company; and Sublime Industries Limited.
Apart from Ume and Onumah, others who will also receive awards are, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State and Mallam Mele Kyari, Group Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (Man of the Year); Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, Governor of Abia State; Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State and Governor Umaru Fintiri of Adamawa (Governor of the Year); Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State (Courage in Leadership); Governor Darius Ishaku of Taraba State (Political Icon) and Dr. Zainab Shinkafi-Bagudu (First Lady of the Year).
Other award winners are, General Overseer, Omega Power Ministries, Apostle Chibuzor Chinyere (Humanitarian Service Icon); Mr. Festus Mbisiogu, Chairman, Shanghai Engineering Works Limited, Lady Ada Chukwudozie (Industrialistof the Year); Barr Ngozi Ekeoma, Chief Benjamin Igwe (Entrepreneur of the Year); Dr. Stanley Uzochukwu, Chairman of Stanel Group and Dr. John-Kennedy Opara, Chairman, CSS Integrated Farms Limited (Investor of the Year).
Also to receive awards are, Mercy Johnson-Okojie (Nollywood Personality); Chief Gabriel Igbinedion, Esama of Benin Kingdom, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, ex-Anambra State governor; Alhaja Sinatu Ojikutu, ex-Lagos Deputy Governor, and Alhaji Sule Lamido, former Jigawa State governor (Lifetime Achievement).
Others are, Prof. Mohammed Sani Haruna, Executive Vice Chairman, National Agency for Science, Engineering Infrastructure; Dr. George Moghalu, MD, National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA); Dr. Richard Okoye, Chief Medical Director, Save A Mission Hospital Group, Port Harcourt (Public Service) and Mr. Olukayode Pitan, MD, Bank of Industry (Banker of the Year).