President Muhammadu Buhari has declared that Nigeria’s survival and collective future depends on active participation on the active participation of its citizens in global developmental efforts, especially in science and technology.
Buhari Expresses Optimism On Nigeria’s Future
The president spoke on Tuesday at the State House, Abuja while conferring the Nigerian National Order of Merit (NNOM) Award for years 2020 and 2021 on three Nigerians who distinguished themselves in the field of medicine and science.
According to a statement by Femi Adesina, presidential spokesman, Buhari conferred the award on the recipients namely Dr. Oluyinka Olurotimi Olutoye, Medicine (2020); the late Prof. Charles Ejike Chidume, Science (2020) and Prof. Godwin O. Samuel Ekhaguere, Science (2021).
The president said he was very proud to welcome the three new Laureates to the prestigious league of highly honoured citizens.
He also enjoined the youth to emulate the good works of the laureates by dedicating themselves to ”excellence and strive to contribute their quota to the arduous task of getting Nigeria on the top bracket of outstanding nations”.
According to him, the nation would continue to celebrate and echo the scholars’ achievements as a shining example worthy of emulation by the upcoming young men and women in the country.
He said: ”Please endeavour, at all times, to serve as beacons of hope and aspiration for the younger generation of Nigerians, reminding them that our survival and collective future as a nation ultimately rests on our being active participants in global developmental efforts, especially in science and technology.”
The president noted that since the Nigerian National Merit Award (NNMA) was established 43 years ago, the addition of the three recipients would bring the total number of recipients to only 79, confirming the high standards of the award and undeniable testimony of the strict adherence to quality and the merit-driven evaluation procedure for selecting laureates.
He added that the integrity of the award also underscores the high expectations of the nation that the new recipients, like their predecessors, would continue to hold the banners of creativity and intellectual excellence very high.
While congratulating the three awardees, the president expressed the government’s appreciation for the patience of the 2020 award winners, who had to wait close to two years to receive their award due to the emergence of Covid-19 in 2020.
President Buhari recounted that the total lockdown of the country in 2020, made it difficult for the assessment process to hold then, but was later held concurrently last year alongside with the 2021 applications.
He congratulated members of the Governing Board of the NNMA under the Chairmanship of Prof. Shekarau Yakubu Aku, as well as members of the Four Specialized Committees of Assessors and External Assessors for their integrity and transparency and for the excellent work they have done.
His words: ”The noble idea of constituting the Assessors Committees, whose membership is not disclosed to the public, ensures credibility that could be emulated by other government agencies performing similar functions.
”The fact that transparency and love for the nation have been the hallmark of your stewardship is well borne out by the fact that the NNOM Award is one of the enduring national legacies that are held in high regard globally and nationally and your decisions have been well acclaimed and controversy-free over the years.
”Let me assure you that the Government and People of Nigeria appreciate your efforts and I enjoin you all to keep up the good work.”
On the request by the Chairman of the Governing Board over the dwindling budgetary allocation to the Agency and how it is constraining the agency in carrying out its mandatory functions, President Buhari promised that the federal government would provide special intervention as was done in year 2020 to the NNMA, within the limited resources available.
Acknowledging the focal place that NNMA occupy and the calibre of all laureates produced by the agency, the president assured them that the federal government would do everything possible to maintain and sustain the agency.
”I wish to reassure you that this administration is fully committed to giving the NNMA the recognition that it deserves, by immortalizing its recipients who have taken this country to greater heights both in Nigeria and in the Diaspora.
”We are a nation keen on fostering excellence across board and we will continue to celebrate those who have attained measurable levels of excellence in their professional life,” he said.
KanyiDaily recalls that President Buhari had also directed all security institutions to leverage the 5G technology, when deployed, to enhance security in the country.