President Muhammadu Buhari has presented awards to 44 Nigerians whose contributions to nation-building have been recognised.
The beneficiaries are mostly former and serving public officers, including members of the opposition PDP.
Foremost amongst the recipients are former President Goodluck Jonathan, Governor Bala Muhammad of Bauchi State, and Nyesom Wike of Rivers State.
Senate President, Ahmad Lawan; Speaker House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila; and Service Chiefs as well as 16 state governors also received various awards for their service to country.
At the event, President Buhari emphasised that the introduction of the Nigeria Excellence Award in Public Service (NEAPS) would encourage patriotism and selfless service to the nation.
Commenting on the introduction of the awards, former President Jonathan expressed gratitude to the government for recognising his service to the nation, but queried why local government officials were not recognised.
Dr Jonathan requested that government should also include teachers in the next list of recipients to give them a sense of belonging.
Earlier, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, said the objective of NEAPS was to recognise and reward innovation, purposeful leadership, and other exceptional deserving individuals that had contributed to the betterment of the country.
Reporting by Abdullah Bello; Editing by Omotola Oguneye and Tony Okerafor