The Nigerian National Awards are a series of ceremonial awards given to outstanding individuals for their exemplary service and contributions to the country. These honours are divided into different ranks and categories, showing their hierarchy and significance. 

The National Awards were established by the National Honours Act No. 5 of 1964 and have been conferred yearly to deserving individuals since October 1963.

The National Honours Awards Committee, the body in charge of nominations and award presentation, selects nominees according to different criteria, including efforts in nation-building, community development, service to humanity, professional excellence and the upholding of national integrity.

Here is a list of the National Awards in descending order: 

  1. Grand Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic (GCFR)

This is the highest award that can be conferred to civilians. The award is mostly held by presidents and past presidents, with the last individual to attain it being the current President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Notable non-presidential holders of the award are Queen Elizabeth II, Chief Obafemi Awolowo and Moshood Kashimawo Abiola (MKO) for their contributions to nation-building.

  1. Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON)

This is the second-highest award on this list. Its holders are usually vice presidents, chief justices, senate presidents, and monarchs in Nigeria. However, there have been exceptions to this rule, and they include Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, Godwin Emefiele, Chief Bisi Akande, and Amina Jane Muhammed who were awarded for their work internationally and as nation-builders.

  1. Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic (CFR)

This award is given to present or past speakers in the House of Representatives or top cabinet Members in the Executive Council, police chiefs, significant traditional rulers, and distinguished military generals.  It is also esteemed to individuals esteemed to have contributed immensely to politics, philanthropy in the society and community development. Past awardees include Tony Elumelu, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, and HRM Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II.

  1. Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON)

This national honour is often presented to state governors, exceptional members of the legislature, cabinet members of the executive council and any other individuals who have contributed immensely to society as deemed fit by the President and award board.  Past awardees include Sen. Abubakar Kyari, Prof Ishaq Oloyede, Prof Ali Pate, and Dr Herbert Wigwe

  1. Office of the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR)

This is one of the highest civilian national award in the country. It is awarded to individuals who have shown great leadership and have recorded achievements in the country. This list of awardees ranges from individuals in the business, education and industry to legislature members. Past awardees include Tony Ezenna, Hon. Adebayo Adelabu and Sam Ohuabunwa.

  1. Office of The Order of The Niger (OON) 

The Order of the Niger is the second-highest civilian honour in Nigeria, and it’s awarded to individuals who have made immense strides in sectors such as Agriculture, Business, Arts and Culture. Notable past recipients include David Adeleke aka Davido, Kunle Afolayan, and Tiwatope Savage.

  1. Member of the Order of the Federal Republic (MFR)

The award is for individuals who have shown significant commitment and support to the country and its ideals. The award is presented to public servants, community leaders, and worthy individuals in the society.

A notable recipient of this award is musician Damini Ogulu aka Burna Boy. Other recipients in the entertainment industry include Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, Joke Silva, Kanayo. O. Kanayo, Osita Iheme, Genevieve Nnaji, Patience Ozokwor.

  1. Member of The Order of the Niger (MON) 

This award is conferred on individuals who have made admirable contributions to the country in their respective fields. The MON has in the past been awarded to professionals in sports, entertainment, journalism, social or legal advocacy, etc. 

 The most recent recipients of this award are the officials and players in the National team after their impressive performance in the 2023 African Cup of Nations (AFCON), as well as musicians: Innocent Idibia, K1 De Ultimate, and Teniola Apata. 

Another award in Nigeria that you should learn about is the Nigerian National Merit award.



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