By Ingram Osigwe
When an award conferment has the exhilarating imprimatur of Mr. Don Ebubeogu, Chairman/CEO of Tiger Foods Ltd and President of Onitsha Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mine and Agriculture (ONICCIMA), one needs not look into the crystal ball to know that the recipient has paid his dues and eminently deserving of such honour for the Tiger Food boss is not one to hug charlatans and venerate inanities.
Mr. Ebebeogu and his team, therefore, merit resounding applause for selecting Chairman of Ejison Group, Chief Dr. Sir Joseph. I Ukeji for an Award by ONOCCIMA.
Ebebeogu and Sir Ukeji are like minds. Like the Tiger Food boss, Sir Ukeji is a business mogul who has contributed so much to the growth of ONOCCIMA and economic development of South-East 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 Local Government 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 thirty-six states of the federation and the FCT.
His success in business was not a one-step movement. Sir Ukeji’s dexterity, his perseverance and diligence played key role in the growth of his business into a conglomerate it is today. Born in Oraukwu on 7th June, 1959 to the Christian family of late Mr. Raphael Ukeji (Ezeudo), Sir Ukeji is a native of Otta village, Oraukwu in Idemili North local government area Anambra State. He ventured into business after completion of his secondary school education. Within this period, the young Joseph developed business standard anchored on the pillars of truth, integrity, honesty, quality service delivery and determination. From his initial importation business he has diversified into manufacturing, oil and gas, hospitality and real estate.
The business mogul’s sphere of influence and frontier of business has 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 many to learn that he is a philanthropist of immense pedigree who has used his wealth 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 a knight of 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 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 the recognition of his dedication and services, Philanthropist Extraordinaire and Business Titan Award by the Government of Anambra state, UN Ambassador of peace Award (AMBP) by United Nations Peace and positive living Awareness center and the prestigious Mayor for World Peace Award (MP-UN) 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 Francis-Apostolic Blessing, 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 a proud recipient of numerous traditional titles in recognition of his community development and philanthropist 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, both male and female.
Certainly, Chief Ebubeogu has eyes for the best. He has eyes for an achiever. Chief Ebubeogu and his team has done ONICCIMA proud by going for a goldfish for an award. It is indeed an important milestone both Ebebeogu, Sir Ukeji and ONOCCIMA for the award is truly fitting and deserving. Yes, the cap fits Sir Ukeji!
Ingram Osigwe is the MD/CEO of Full Page International Communications Ltd