Two hundred and seventy five Nigerians were yesterday honoured in Abuja with various categories of national award.
The award ceremony which was presided by President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua recorded the highest number of recipients since the beginning of the investiture ceremony in 1963.
At the ceremony which witnessed the personal presence of all the honourees save for Pastor Enoch Adeboye who received the Commander of the Order of the Niger(CON) award through his representative and Pastor Temitope Joshua who received the Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR) award also through a representative, others were there in person.
While delivering his address, President Yar'Adua urged the recepients to continue to contribute to the development of Nigeria even as he encouraged them not to relent in their service to humanity.
He assured that vision 2020 was realizable even as he restated the commitment of his administration to adherence to the rule of law at all times.
The president commended the National Honours Committeee for doing a good job and tasked them to continue to go for the best.
To the Honourees,the president commended them for their contributions asking them to continue with their good work noting that the award is government's little way of appreciating and recognizing their contributions to their father land.
While responding on behalf of all the recepients,Cardinal Francis Arinze who received the Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic[CFR] Award,thanked the Federal Government and the Administration of Umaru Musa Yaradua for recognizing them.
Arinze also noted that there is hope for the success of the country even as he noted that the federal government cannot honour every Nigerian at the same time.
He however encouraged the FG to continue to reward its citizens as that would encourage the citizens to do more.
He also tasked Nigerians to play down on what they shold get from the country but to concentrate more on what it can contribute to the nation.
Abreak down of the National Honours Award for 2008 shows that seven people got the CFR,twenty six for CON,forty nine for OFR,ninety four were for OON while sixty five were for MFR.Others include twenty five that got MON and twelve others who got the Federal Republic Medals 1 and 2.
The recognition of 275 Nigerians Monday has brought the number of Nigerians so honoured since the inception in 1963 to three thousand seven hundred and twenty six.