Six Nigerians, on Wednesday, received Niger Republic’s highest civilian awards, Order of Merit of Niger and Great Master of National Awards, for their roles in promoting better relations between the two countries.
The awardees include two Businessmen, President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, and President of BUA Group, Abdulsamad Rabi’u, Governors Badaru Abubakar of Jigawa State and Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State.
Those honoured from the Presidency are the Senior Special Assistant (Household and Domestic Affairs) to the President, Sarki Abba, and the State Chief of Protocol, Lawal Kazaure.
This is according to a statement signed by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, titled, ‘Six Nigerians get Niger Republic’s highest civilian honours.’
The award ceremony was to mark the nation’s independence from France in 1960 and since 1975 has been recognised as “tree planting day” as trees are planted across the nation to aid the fight against desertification.
In giving the awards, Niger’s President Mohammed Bazoum said his country cherished Nigeria as one of its closest neighbours and friends.
In various citations read by the country’s leader, Bazoum praised the efforts of “brother Nigerians” who had made great strides in increasing understanding between the two nations and for acting as agents of social and economic development.