Tuesday, February 21, 2017 11:31 pm
Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has advised the committee for the National Productivity Order of Merit (NPOM) Award, to extend the selection to people from the private sector and organisations.
At the presentation of the awards in Abuja to 15 individuals and five firms, Osinbajo commended the innovation and creativity of the recipients.
“But I’ll like to encourage that the selection criteria is extended so as to include more private sector persons.
“Especially some of our young people in technology and even now in Agriculture, who are doing creative and innovative things in entrepreneurship and who are promoting the Nigerian brand and enterprise.
“And so, on behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari and the Federal Government, I congratulate you individually and collectively.
“Our nation is greatly enriched and ennobled by your hard work, enterprise, creativity and remarkable productivity.’’
Osinbajo expressed gratitude that the selection was based on merit which according to him, is what the nation needs to remain great.
He cited the exploit of the football National Team where selection was purely done on merit without creating disaffection in the minds of fans.
According to him, “we know what we do when we want to win in football and no one has complained that the team does not include one from his state.
“We win by recognising and rewarding merit not by qualifying people by ethnicity or some other parochial considerations.
“I am extremely pleased to hear from the chair of the commission that the choice of the NPOM laureates is based purely on merit, and this is as it should be.”
Osinbajo said that great nations and economies attained their heights not by their natural resource endowments but by the predominant values of their societies.
On the promotion of Made-in-Nigeria initiative at the event, Osinbajo called it a good move towards reducing the fund resources spent by government in importing goods that can be produced locally.
He thanked the recipients for promoting the Nigerian brand and enterprise.
Also, Sen. Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment said it is time to reflect on ways of energising all the sectors of the economy toward our goal of institutionalising productivity consciousness and excellence in service.
“Successive governments in Nigeria have identified the critical role of productivity in the economy.
“However, what was lacking was walking the talk on the issues of productivity improvement.
“This government will, therefore, ensure that all obstacles to productivity promotion are tackled headlong. In this light, the National Productivity Centre will be supported to actualise its mandate,‘’ he said.
Ngige reaffirmed the current government’s commitment toward ensuring better life for all Nigerians
According to him, the change mantra is aimed at promoting positive change in all sectors.
“Employment generation remains one of the cardinal programmes of this administration aside resuscitating the economy and eliminating corruption.
“You will all agree with me that this can only be realised by encouraging creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship.
“We are here today to celebrate and reward excellence in service by recognising individuals and organisations that have made significant contributions to the growth and development of the nation.
“The event is therefore designed for the conferment of the National Productivity Order of Merit Award on these deserving individuals and corporate organisations,” he added.
The minister said that the awardees have distinguished themselves through hard work, dedication and high productivity in their various fields of human endeavour, urging them to continue working for greater productivity.
Ngige also commended the members of the National Productivity Order of Merit Award committee for a job well done.
He said that more emphasis should be placed on creativity, innovation, high performance, efficiency, discipline and patriotism in the choice of recipients.
Earlier, Mr Ikechi Uko, Acting Chairman, National Productivity Order of Merit Award, said that the selection of the awardees was guided by the principle of integrity, openness, honesty and transparency.
Uko said that the assessment of nominees was based on a 16-point performance criteria which include job performance, expertise, dedication, creativity, initiative, responsibility, leadership and quality, among others.
He noted that corporate organisations were assessed based on an eight-point criteria including local sourcing of raw materials, employment generation, staff training, profitability, capacity utilisation and corporate social responsibility, among others.
“A total of 1,978 nomination forms were sent out to all Ministries, Departments and Agencies at the Federal and State levels and also the private sectors.
“Out of this number, only 1,122 were returned and vetted for the screening exercise.
‘‘I am delighted to disclose that 15 individuals and five organisations were found outstanding and subsequently recommended for government conferment of the award, ‘’he said.
Responding, the National Manager of Olam, owners of Mama’s pride, Mr Shuaibu Mohammed, said the award was timely and well-deserved.
Mohammed said that the organisation has been existing for the past 26 years in the agricultural sector.
He said Olam has the biggest rice farm in Africa, which is 10, 000 hectares and has over 3,000 workers. (NAN)