Don’t compromise integrity of national awards – Jonathan

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President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday warned against any attempt to compromise the integrity of the 34-year-old Nigerian National Merit Award (NNMA).

Jonathan gave the warning in Abuja at the onset of a lecture series organised by the NNMA board, as part of the activities lined up to mark the 2013 National Merit Awards.

The president, who was represented by Ms. Olajumoke Akinjide, the FCT Minister of State, said that the annual awards must be given only to deserving awardees.

He stressed that the awardees should be people who had distinguished themselves in their various fields of endeavours.

“I congratulate the board of NNMA for their ability to organise this event in the last 34 years.

“For us to successfully implement our Transformation Agenda, we must imbibe the spirit of merit. NNMA represents excellence.

“It must never be compromised; it should only be given to deserving awardees,’’ he said

Prof. Syvester Adegoke, a member of the board, said that the board chose the theme: “The ICT Revolution as a Platform for National Transformation” to create public awareness on the myriad benefits of ICT in today’s world.

Adegoke also spoke on the annual forum of the NNMA laureates.

He said that the forum would harness the collective wisdom of the laureates, the academics and other researchers to proffer solutions to important national problems.

“It is my sincere hope that all the ideas generated during the sessions will help to mould the youth and overtime, assist the nation to more rapidly achieve the goals of the transformation agenda.

“This will also help to propel Nigeria to greater heights, especially in the vital area of technology development,’’ he added.

Adegoke said that the draft copy of the recommendations of the seminar would be formally presented to President Jonathan along with the proceedings of the 5th Forum on the 2012 document.

The NNMA on Nov. 21 approved the conferment of the 2013 awards on three Nigerian academics.

The recipients are: Prof. Seth Ajayi, Prof. Francis Irele and Prof. Hillary Inyang. (NAN)

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