BY DANIEL IDONOR
ABUJA—PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday, said government has raised the monetary value of the Nigerian National Order of Merit Awards, NNMA, from N5 million to N10 million.
President Jonathan, who made the announcement at the investiture for the conferment of the awards for 2010 and 2011, at the Presidential Villa, said the increment will take effect from 2010.
Professor Andrew Jonathan Nok and Prof. Isidore Okpewho received the NNMA awards for 2010, while Prof. Ebiegberi Alagoa, Prof. Francis Idachaba and Dr. Effiong Ibok Etukudo received the awards for 2011.
Speaking after the conferment of the awards, Jonathan said the Federal Government will continue to do everything possible to encourage scientific and technological research because of its importance for national development.
He said: “I personally attach great importance to research and development as I am convinced that no nation can prosper without them. We will continue to support potentially ground-breaking work in our tertiary and specialised research institutions.
“We will also continue to push for collaboration between the private and public sectors to boost cross-sectoral research undertakings.
“I wish to reassure you that this administration is fully committed to giving the recognition that NNMA deserves, by immortalising 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,” the President added.
Commending the five recipients, President Jonathan said they had all made the nation proud through their work in various fields.
He said: “By your achievements, you have all done Nigeria proud and it is my hope that you will continue to be a source of inspiration to the rest of us at home and the world at large.”
“I enjoin all our youths to emulate your good works 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,” he said.
The 2010 and 2011 awardees were honoured for their works in the fields of science, engineering, technology, humanities and social sciences.