Dr. Oluyinka Olutoye, Professor Charles Chidume and Professor Godwin Ekhaguere have received the Nigeria National Order of Merit Award for years 2020 and 2021 as announced by the Federal Government of Nigeria on 21 January 2022.
Dr. Oluyinka Olutoye was named winner in medicine (2020), Professor Charles Chidume clinched the award in Science (2020), while Professor Godwin Ekhaguere emerged winner in Science (2021).
Dr. Oluyinka Olutoye, a renowned surgeon and scientist was selected for the award for having performed in-utero surgery on foetus with large tumours while still in their mother’s womb, making him the first African and indeed the first Nigerian to perform this feat.
Professor Charles Chidume, a Professor of Mathematics at African University of Science and Technology, Abuja, was selected for the award for introducing a new and powerful interactive algorithm, which is the only one in the literature that does not involve the resolvent, for approximating a zero of the maximal monotone map.
Professor Godwin Ekhaguere, a Mathematician was selected for creating new directions in Mathematics and deploying the outcomes to solve outstanding problems in a branch of Mathematical Physics called Axiomatic Quantum Field Theory.
Announcing the winners at a press conference in Abuja, the Chairman, Governing Board of the Nigerian National Merit Award, Shekarau Yakubu, said the three winners were found worthy of the award for distinguishing themselves in the various areas of their chosen careers.
According to him, they were selected out of 46 nominations by specialized committees, including external assessors, and considered by a committee of chairmen and the Governing Board of NNMA before the approval of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).
The award was established by Act No. 53 of the 1979 constitution and was amended by Act No. 96 of 1992 now LFN 122 of 2004, organised by the Governing Board of the NNMA.
It was named Nigerian National Order of Merit and is a separate Order of Dignity in the Highest Honours Category in the fields of Science, Medicine, Engineering/Technology, and Humanities including Arts and Culture.
Each awardee takes home ₦10 million, a medal and NNOM certificate.