The Federal Government has tasked the Nigeria National Merit Award (NNMA) to remain a positive force of transformation and excellence.
Sen. George Akume, Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, made the call at the formal inaugural ceremony of eight members of the Governing Board of the NNMA on Friday in Abuja.
Akume, who acknowledged the contribution of the agency, said it had made steady progress in terms of rewarding citizens excellently since its inception.
“In retrospect, I must proudly say that the NNMA has been able to record innumerable successes and has made significant strides in its determined efforts to make Nigeria standout.
“I therefore, charge you to continue in such spirit by being positive forces of transformation and enlightenment agency to the country, “ he said.
He expressed optimism that NNMA, with the caliber of people chosen as board members would refuse to engage in any form of mediocrity, no matter the challenges confronting them in the course of their operations.
“The endless opportunities being harnessed by the NNMA cannot be overemphasized.
“As newly appointed and reappointed members of the NNMA who are being celebrated today, it is our sincere hope that your productivity and integrity will shine throughout your tenure.
Earlier in his welcome address, Mr Festus Dauda, Permanent Secretary in the ministry, tasked the board members to be patriotic in their services, while assuring them of the ministry`s commitment to assist them in whatever way.
In his response, Prof. Shekarau Aku, Chairman of the board expressed appreciation to the Federal Government and the ministry for carefully selected them to run the affairs of the agency.
According to him, NNMA is a value-driven agency of the Federal Government mandated with the responsibility for identifying, recognizing/awarding citizens for their demonstrated ability to innovate and invent for progress of the country and the world.
He said the core value of the NNMA included promotion of excellence in academic system, intellectual honesty, transparency, accountability and due process among others, hence the need for intelligibility in their functions.
Aku, therefore, pledged that their administration would be centered on the implementation of a corporate strategy to reposition of the NNMA for higher operational effectiveness and continuous relevance in the larger Nigerian society.
“I have no doubt in my mind of the expectations of my colleagues, family and friends as well as well-wishers as I take up once again, this exalted position of chairman of NNMA.
“This is particularly so as we strive to do with all vigour and sincerity of purpose, the task of rewarding excellence in all walks of life, “ he said.