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The Nigerian National Merit Award (NNMA) was established by Act No. 53 of 1979 under the then Military Administration of General Olusegun Obasanjo, to confer the Nigerian National Order of Merit (NNOM) Award on deserving Nigerian citizens 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 endeavour. The aforementioned legal instrument was later amended by Act No. 96 of 1992, which placed emphasis on according due recognition to outstanding intellectual and academic attainments, as well as contributions to the general development of Nigeria. The Act No. 96 of 1992 recognized the NNOM as an Order of Dignity that permits the recipient to use the acronym. The Award is usually conferred on the recipients by the President, Commander-in-Chief of Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. 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 endeavour. It is important to note that this award is not an exclusive preserve of academics alone as being erroneously held in some quarters. On the contrary, non-academics who have distinguished themselves in their chosen fields of endeavour have also received the Award e.g. Late Hajiya (Dr.) Ladi Kwali, the world acclaimed pottery expert from Niger State. The award is usually conferred by law, by Mr. President on the first Thursday of December of each year.
OBJECTIVES OF THE NNMA
The NNMA was established among other things to:
2. NNMA ENDOWMENT FUND
The Act also provides for the establishment of an Endowment Fund from:
The Board cannot accept any gifts if:
It is important to note that donations made by any company in Nigeria to the Board, are treated under the company Income Tax Act and thus shall be tax exempted within the meaning of the said Income Tax Act.
STRUCTURE AND FUNCTIONS:
Composition Of The NNMA Board
The Governing Board, appointed by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; is made up of eight members who are eminent and distinguished Nigerians including the Secretary to the Government of the Federation or his representative. The Secretary of the NNMA serves as the Secretary to the Board.
THE INVESTITURE ACTIVITIES NORMALLY INCLUDE:
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