Buhari confers 2017 NNOM award on Adesina, Onobrakpeya
• Minister greets celebrated artist
It was reward for excellence as President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday conferred the 2017 Nigerian National Order of Merit (NNOM) award on the celebrated artist, Prof. Bruce Obomoyema Onobrakpeya, and Prof. Adesoji Adesina at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo who decorated the two outstanding Nigerians on behalf of President Buhari said the Federal Government would continued to support research and innovation in the country.
Buhari who noted that the award is conferred on unique persons described Onobrakpeya and Adesina as “milestones of Nigeria’s checkered history.” He challenged them to further deploy their huge experiences to advance the course of the society.
The president praised the governing board of the Nigerian Merit Award (NMA) that has so far identified 75 recipients of the honour “which epitomises the finest of Nigerian innovation.”
He said the works of Adesina in engineering and technology spanned over three decades in various fields, including mining, defence and manufacturing, with over 400 publications and competitive research grants.
“To date, Prof. Adesina is credited with nearly 450 refereed publications, patents and books. He has supervised more than 100 graduate students to completion, including 42 PhD alumni with a truly global hue.
“Among these former students are university professors in highly-ranked institutions, executives of the petrol-chemical processing industries, government dignitaries and captains of engineering design and consulting firms located throughout China, South-east
Asia, Middle East, Europe, USA, Canada and Australia.
“He has won over $15 million in competitive research grants from government and industry sponsors,” Buhari said.
The president noted that the works of Onobrakpeya in arts and humanities had spanned six decades, describing the ace artist as a painter, initiator of art, author and philantropist.
President Buhari said Onobrakpeya had received over 30 awards and appointments in recognition of his excellent and intellectual contributions to humanity. He further described him as a social commentator, whose works dated back to 1957, during early development of arts in the country.
According to the president, Onobrakpeya’s artworks, including paintings on divine prayer for help, have addressed political instability and sociological problems, while his contemporary works on the murder of Ken Saro-Wiwa and broken pipes are commendable.
Adesina who spoke on behalf of the duo expressed gratitude for the honour. He described the event as memorable.
He lauded efforts by the NMA to make the event a success.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has congratulated Onobrakpeya for the award.
In a statement yesterday, the minister said the honour accorded Onobrakpeya would go a long way to inspire young artists in particular and the entire creative industry in general.
He said the award has put him in the same league as other great creative minds like Prof. Wole Soyinka, the late Prof. Chinua Achebe, Mr. Laz Ekwueme and the late Ladi Kwali, all past winners of the most-coveted award for distinguished academicians and intellectuals.
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