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National awards: 5000 nominees received, 447 selected – Minister



The Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, George Akume, on Tuesday, said over 5000 nominees were presented to the National Honours Awards Committee for consideration. Akume said this in his opening address at the National Honours Awards Investiture holding at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.

According to him, the nominees were drawn from various walks of life across the public and private sectors. However, only 447 persons made the hallowed list. The National Honours Awards was established by the National Honours Act of No 6 in 1964. It took retroactive effect from October 1, 1963.

The Act empowers the President by warrant, the Nigerian Order of Dignity to honour deserving citizens who have contributed to the development and progress of the country in any field of endeavour. In 2022, 447 citizens and foreigners labelled as “Nigerians and Friends of Nigeria,” received various honours ranging from the Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger and Federal Republic Medals.

The GCON category include: former Nigeria’s Finance Minister and current Director-General of the World Trade Organisation, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, current Chief Justice of Nigeria, Olukayode Ariwoola, former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Tanko Mohammed; Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Amina Mohammed, and former President of the United Nations General Assembly, Tijjani Mohammed-Bande.

Some of the 13 persons who will be honoured posthumously include former Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari (CFR), former Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, and Aircraft Man Matthew Oyedepo, the latter two who died in a fatal plane crash in May 2021.

In attendance are Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Senate President, Ahmed Laman, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, Chief Justice of Nigeria, Olukayode Ariwoola, the President’s Chief of Staff, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, Service Chiefs, the Inspector-General of Police, several ministers including the Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, George Akume.

Others are Traditional Rulers including the Emir of Lafia, Sidi Mohammad, who is the Chairman of the National Honours Awards Committee.

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