NIGERIAN NATIONAL MERIT AWARD
36 YEARS OF REWARDING INTELLECTUAL, ACADEMIC AND
PROFESSIONAL EXCELLENCE FOR NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA
The NNMA was established by Act no. 53 of 1979 under the then military administration as amended by Act 96 of 1992 (now known as CAP122 LFN, 2004). In line with section 2 of the Act, the NNMA Award shall:-
(a) be an order of Dignity
(b) entitled a recipient to:
(i) use the designation Nigerian National Order of Merit (NNOM) after his name
(ii) receive a cash prize, a certificate and medal;
(iii) such other privileges as are enjoyed by recipients of high levels of National Honours.
The primary responsibility of the MMNA is to confer the Nigerian National Order of Merit (NNOM) Award on deserving Nigerians who have contributed outstandingly to national development in the areas of Science, Medicine, Engineering/Technology, Humanities, including Arts and culture and other fields of human endeavor. The Award is usually conferred on the recipients by the President, Commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on the first Thursday of December every year. The NNOM Award, which is distinct from the National Honours Award, is a separate Order of Dignity that specifically aims at recognizing, promoting and rewarding academic achievements in all fields of human endeavor. It is important to note that this award is not an exclusive preserve of the academics alone, as being erroneously held in some quarters. On the contrary, non academics who have distinguished themselves in their chosen field of endeavour have also received the award, e.g. late Hajiya (Dr.) Ladi Kwali, the world acclaimed pottery expert from Niger State.
1. OBJECTIVES OF THE NNMA
· Conduct the award of the NNMA for the promotion of intellectual and academic excellence among Nigerians;
· Accord proper and due recognition to outstanding intellectual and academic attainments as well as contribution to growth and development of the nation;
· Manage the Nigerian National Merit Award Endowment Fund established by section 9 of the Act, and
· Institute measures designed to promote intellectual and academic excellence among Nigerian for this purpose and shall liaise with academic, professional and research institution in Nigerian.
It is equally important to state that since its inception in 1979 to date, the NNMA has so far conferred the award on only seventy (70) distinguished Nigerians who have been adjudged to have made outstanding contributions to the academic, intellectual and their various chosen endeavour to the development of Nigerian and the world at large.
2. MISSION STATEMENT OF THE NNMA
The NNMA is an institution “Committed to Stimulating and Rewarding Intellectual, Academic and Professional Excellence for National Development in Nigeria”
3. STRUCTURE AND FUNCTIONS
It should be noted that, the NNMA is categorized by the National Incomes, Salaries and Wages Commission as a Federal Government Parastatals under “Category A”. Accordingly, and in order to achieve its tasks, the NNMA has been carefully structured into five organs as follows:-
i) The Governing Board;
ii) Four Specialized Committees of Assessors in Science, Engineering/Technology, Medicine, Humanities, including Arts and Culture and other fields of human endeavour.
iii) The Committee of Chairmen of Specialized Committees;
iv) NNMA Policy Group
v) The NNMA Secretariat.
4. AWARD WINNERS’ LECTURE
(i) This is one of the most important programmes of the NNMA, designed primarily to assist in creating the enabling environment in which healthy and intellectual discourse and exchange of ideas are fostered.
(ii) The basic objective of the Award Winners’ Lecture are too officially and publicly promote the platform for the best and brightest of Nigeria intellectual laureates to share with their compatriots, the fruits of their intellectual enquiry for the national development.
(iii) The lectures are often held in different parts of the country and are mostly organized within University Communities in order to afford the general public and other stakeholders the opportunity to interact with the laureates, while contributing to the discussion on national programmes and priorities. Essentially, each laureates of NNOM is expected to deliver an Award Winners’ Lecture at least once in his/her lifetime.
5. ANNUAL FORUM OF NNOM LAUREATES
The Governing Board of the NNMA, in its bib towards providing an enduring platform for all Awardees of the NNOM Award to meet and exchange ideas on some salient and burning national issues instituted the Forum of NNOM Laureates. The Forum has always attracted almost all the living NNOM Laureates, Captains of Industry and the Executive arm of Government. The 1st annual Forum was held in 2007 and declared open by the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, able represented by the Secretary to the Government in his capacity as Chief Host of the forum, to continue to provide full support for the annual convening of the forum of the Laureates of the NNOM. So far the Forum has continued to wax stronger as it has become an annual event. It should be noted that proceedings of the Annual Forum of NNOM Laureates. Meanwhile the Proceedings of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th Forum have been published and copies distributed to the Laureates, members of the Federal Executive Council and the Academia. They are also available for the public
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