BY EMEKA EJERE
Founder of Peace Mass Transit (PMT) Limited, Dr. Maduka Onyishi, has revealed that his firm belief in the fact that God is the giver of wealth makes him to avoid unethical practices in his business transactions.
Onyishi, who displayed a rare integrity in August when he returned the sum of ₦2.2bllion ($7 million) mistakenly paid into his First Bank account, was speaking after receiving the Business Integrity award at the 2019 Business Hallmark People of the Year Awards Dinner on Sunday in Lagos.
The foremost transporter, who caused the highest stare at the elaborate dinner amid a standing ovation, urged Nigerian businessmen and women to shun sharp practices and learn to play by the rules.
Recalling how he started life as a bus assistant, Onyishi said he could not have invested or kept an amount of money that did not belong to him as that was against his principles and at variance with biblical injunctions.
“The amount they paid in was ₦3,219,500,000 but my own money there is ₦1,000,000,000, so the balance is not my money”, he stated to a thunderous applause..
“I said that I cannot invest this money and be gaining from another person’s money and I can’t also keep it. I can’t keep $7million that doesn’t belong to me. ”
Recall that the PMT boss had in August this year disclosed that he returned the sum of N2.2billion, wrongly paid into his First Bank of Nigeria account.
The cheque, according to a statement by Onyishi, was received on behalf of First Bank by the Business Manager, Commercial Banking, Mr. Kokelu Ben; and the Branch Manager, Unity Bank, Enugu Branch, Mrs. Ifeoma Eleanya.
Onyishi, who explained how he discovered the huge sum in his First Bank account, said that he had requested for $3million from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), through the Unity Bank Plc, only to be paid $10 million instead, which is about N3,219,500,000, representing an excess of N2,219,500,000.”
He thanked Business Hallmark for the award, saying that the value he places on the honour informed his decision to appear in person, not minding who the givers were.
Gov. Willie Obiano of Anambra State, was the 2019 Business Hallmark Man of the year.
Other distinguished Nigerians and organisations were also honoured.
Among the individuals were, Chief Mike Ozekhome, who was honoured for professional excellence, First Bank of Nigeria Image Maker, Mrs. Folake Ani-Mumuney, who got the Professional Excellence – Marketing and Corporate Communications award, Group Managing Director, UBA, Kennedy Uzoka, who got the Banker of the Year award and Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, who was honoured for outstanding public service achievement.
Fidelity Bank got the Special Product award while Air Peace and the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), got the Airline of the Year and Parastatal of the Year awards respectively.
Organised by the Hallmark Newspapers Group, the Business Hallmark Peole of the Year Awards is an annual event used to recognise individuals and organisations for outstanding achievements in various areas of endeavour