ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS
- Establishment of the Nigerian National Merit Award
- Establishment of the Governing Board.
- Functions of the Board.
- Powers of the Board.
- Proceedings of the Board.
- Procedure for making nominations.
- Committee of assessors.
- Making of awards.
- Establishment of the Nigerian National Merit Award Endowment Fund.
- Investment of moneys in the fund.
- Accounts and audit.
- Savings and transfer of liabilities, staff, etc.
- Short title.
NIGERIAN NATIONAL MERIT AWARD ACT
An Act to re-enact the Nigerian National Merit Award Act and to specify among
other things, the privileges of the recipient of a Nigerian National Merit Award.
[1992 No. 96.]
[28th December, 1992]
- Establishment of the Nigerian National Merit Award
(1) There is hereby established a Nigerian National Merit Award (in this Act referred
to as “the Award”) to be given to deserving citizens of Nigeria for intellectual and academic
attainments that contribute to national endeavours in science, technology, medicine,
the humanities, arts and culture and any other field of human endeavour whatsoever.
(2) The Nigerian National Merit Award established by subsection (1) of this section shall-
(a) be an order of dignity;
(b) entitle a recipient to-
(i) use the designation Nigerian National Order of Merit (NNOM) after his name;
(ii) receive a cash prize, a certificate and medal; and
(iii) such other privileges as are enjoyed by recipients of high levels of National Honours.
- Establishment of the Governing Board
(1) There is hereby established a Governing Board of the Nigerian National Merit
Award (in this Act referred to as “the Board”) which shall be a body corporate with perpetual
succession and a common seal and may sue and be sued in its corporate name.
(2) The Board shall consist of a chairman and not less than four or more than seven
other members who shall be citizens of Nigeria to be appointed by the President and one
of whom shall be the Secretary to the Government of the Federation or his representative.
(3) The persons appointed to be members of the Board shall be persons appearing to
the President to be suitably qualified by reason of their professional, academic or administrative
qualifications or by their attainments in any field of human endeavour.
(4) Subject to subsection (5) of this section, a person appointed as a member of the
Board shall hold office for three years and shall be eligible for re-appointment for one
further period of three years.
(5) The President may terminate the appointment of a member of the Board on
grounds of misbehavior or inability to discharge the duties of his office by reason of
physical or mental incapacity.
3. Functions of the Board
The Board shall-
(a) conduct the making of the Award in accordance with this Act;
(b) institute measures designed to promote intellectual and academic excellence
among Nigerians for this purpose and shall liaise with academic, professional
and research institutions in Nigeria;
(c) manage the Nigerian National Merit Endowment Fund established by section 9
of this Act; and
(d) do such other things which in the opinion of the Board are necessary to ensure
the efficient performance of its functions under this Act.
4. Powers of the Board
(1) The Board may, if it considers it necessary for the due and proper execution of its
functions under this Act, appoint a Secretary and such other staff as it thinks fit.
(2) The Board, in relation to any employee thereof, shall have power-
(a) to exercise disciplinary control (including dismissal) over such employees; and
(b) with the prior approval of the Federal Civil Service Commission, to determine
the remuneration and allowances (and in appropriate cases, pensions, gratuities
and other terminal benefits) to be paid to such employees and such other
conditions of service of the employees as it may think appropriate.
(3) The Board shall have power to acquire and hold property of any description.
(4) The Board may appoint one or more committees to carry out on behalf of the
Board such functions as the Board may determine.
(5) A committee appointed under this section shall consist of the number of persons
determined by the Board, of whom not more than one third shall be persons who are not
members of the Board and a person other than a member of the Board shall hold office on
the committee in accordance with the terms of the instrument by which he is appointed.
(6) A decision of a committee of the Board shall be of no effect until it is confirmed
by the Board.
5. Proceedings of the Board
(1) The Board shall have power to regulate its own proceedings and may make
standing orders for that purpose and, subject to any such standing orders and
to subsection (2) of this section, may function notwithstanding-
(a) any vacancy in its membership or the absence of any member;
(b) any defect in the appointment of a member; or
(c) that a person not entitled to do so took part in its proceedings.
(2) Notwithstanding its standing orders, the quorum at any meeting of the Board shall
be the chairman and two other members; but in the absence of chairman, the members
present at any such meeting shall elect one of their number to preside and reference
herein to chairman shall be construed accordingly.
- Procedure for making nominations
(1) The nomination for consideration of a person by the Board for an award may be
made by any citizen of Nigeria to the Board and any person may by himself, where not
sponsored by another person, apply to the Board for this purpose.
(2) A candidate for an award shall also be qualified to be nominated by some other
person or organisation not being an alien.
(3) Every nomination under this section shall be in writing addressed to the Board
and shall set forth in respect of each person nominated-
(a) his full names and address and his brief biological data;
(b) his personal attainments and specific contributions to science, technology,
medicine, the humanities or arts and culture and any other field which the
Board may select generally or specially in each year; and
(c) such other particulars as would, in the opinion of the person making the nomi-
nation, assist the Board in arriving at a determination in respect of each nomination.
7. Committee of assessors
(1) In order to enable the Board arrive at a proper determination in respect of
nominations nations made pursuant to section 6 of this Act, the Board shall appoint an ad hoc
specialised advisory committee of assessors to assist the Board in the selection of candidates
proposed for any award under this Act.
(2) The Board shall have power to regulate the proceedings of any committee set up
by the Board and the quorum of any such committee shall be as may be determined by
the Board in each case.
(3) Every committee of assessors set up under this section shall be made up of such
persons (who shall not be members of the Board) appearing to the Board to be suitably
qualified by reason of their professional or academic or administrative qualifications or
by their attainments in any field of human endeavour.
8. Making of awards
Where the Board, after consideration of the report of the committee of assessors
mentioned in section 7 of this Act, is of opinion that the circumstances are such as to render it
expedient that an award be made to a particular person or that a joint award should be
made to two persons in the field concerned, it shall transmit its decision to the secretary
to the Government of the Federation not later than 1 September in each year so as to en-
able the President to make the Award to the recipient or recipients concerned on the first
Thursday in the month of December: Provided that where the Board, by reason that none of the persons nominated
should be given an award or for any other sufficient reason, is of opinion that no award
should be made in a particular year, then there shall be no obligation on the Board to
make an Award in the year concerned.
9. Establishment of the Nigerian National Merit Award Endowment Fund
(1) There is hereby established a fund to be known as the Nigerian National Merit
Award Endowment Fund (in this Act referred to as “the Fund”) for the purpose of the
award annually of prizes known as the Nigerian National Merit Awards to citizens of
(2) The fund shall comprise-
(a) moneys, from time to time, granted to the Board by the Federal, States or
Local government in Nigeria or by any statutory body (corporate or unincorporated) set up by any such government;
(b) subject to subsection (3) of this section, all sums accruing to the Board by way
of gifts, testamentary disposition, contributions from persons or philanthropic
organisations or otherwise howsoever; and
(c) interest on investments made by the Board.
(3) The Board may accept gifts of property (including interests in land), money or
other assets upon such trusts and conditions (if any) as may be specified by the person or
organisation making the gift; but the Board shall not accept any gift if-
(a) the conditions attached by the person or organisation making the gift to the
acceptance thereof are inconsistent with the objectives of this Act; or
(b) such gifts are made by any person or organisation not being a citizen of
Nigeria or an organisation established by or pursuant to any law not in force in Nigeria.
(4) For the purpose of the Companies Income Tax Act, any donation made by any
company in Nigeria to the Board under this section shall be a deductible donation within
the meaning of that Act.
10. Investment of moneys in the fund
Moneys in the fund which may at any time be surplus to the current needs of the Fund
shall be invested by the Board in securities specified in the provisions of the Trustee In-
vestments Act and such other securities as the Board may, from time to time, approve.
11. Accounts and audit
(1) The Board shall keep proper accounts of the fund and proper records in relation
(2) The accounts of the fund shall be audited by an auditor appointed annually by the
Board from the list of auditors and in accordance with the guidelines supplied by the
Auditor-General for the Federation.
The Nigerian National Merit Award Act is hereby consequently repealed.
[Cap. 319 L.F.N. 1990.]
13. Savings and transfer of liabilities, staff, etc.
(1) The statutory functions, rights, interests, obligations and liabilities of the fund
existing before the commencement of this Act under any contract or instrument, or in law
or in equity apart from any contract or instrument shall by virtue of this Act, be deemed
to have been assigned to and vested in the Board established by this Act.
(2) Any such contract or instrument as is mentioned in subsection (1) of this section
shall be of the same force and effect against or in favour of the Board and shall be
enforceable as fully and effectively as if instead of that Fund, the Board had been named
therein or had been a party thereto.
(3) The Board shall be subject to all the obligations and liabilities to which the fund
was subject immediately before the commencement of this Act and all other persons shall
have the same rights, powers and remedies against the Board as they had against the fund
immediately before the commencement of this Act.
(4) Any proceedings pending or cause of action existing immediately before the
commencement of this Act, by or against the fund, in respect of any right, interest
,obligation or liability of’ the fund may be continued or as the case may be, commenced and
any determination of a court of law, tribunal or before any other authority or person may
be enforced by or against the Board to the same extent that such proceedings or cause of
action or determination might have been continued, commenced or enforced by or against
the fund established under the repealed Act.
(5) All assets, funds, resources and other movable or immovable property which im-
mediately before the commencement of this Act, were vested in the fund established under
the repealed Act shall by virtue of this Act and without further assurance, be vested in the Board.
(6) Any person who immediately before the coming into force of this Act is the
holder of any office in the fund shall on the commencement of this Act, continue in office
and be deemed to have been appointed to his office by the Board under this Act.
In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires-
“Award” means the prize designated as the Nigerian National Merit Award to be be-
stowed periodically upon citizens of Nigeria as specified in section 8 of this Act;
“Fund” means the Nigerian National Merit Award Endowment Fund established by
section 9 of this Act;
“Governing Board” or “the Board” means the Governing Board of the Nigerian
National Merit Award Endowment Fund established by section 2 of this Act.
15. Short title
This Act may be cited as the Nigerian National Merit Award Act.
No Subsidiary Legislation