Delta Governor and Vice-Presidential Candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Deputy President of the Senate, Ovie Omo-Agege, Director-General of World Trade Organisation (WTO), Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, were among illustrious Deltans honoured at the National Honours Award Investiture for 2022.

Also honoured are Olu of Warri, Ogiame Atuwatse III; Dein of Agbor, Dr Benjamin Ikenchukwu, Kiagborekuzi I; Ovie of Agbon Kingdom, Ogurimerime Ukori I; Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor; Chairman, Zenith Bank, Mr Jim Ovia and Chairman, UBA, Mr Tony Elumelu.

Others are Chairman, ThisDay and Arise Group, Prince Nduka Obaigbena; Minority Leader, House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Ndudi Elumelu; Chairman, RainOil, Mr Gabriel Ogbechie and Kenneth Gbagi.

They also include Professor Itse Sagay, Julius Dediare Rone, AVM Charles Owho, Professor Emmanuel Nwanze, Elton Edorhe, Deputy Managing Director, Access Bank Plc, Mr Victor Etuokwu and Mr Dike Chigbue.

The ceremony which held on Tuesday at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in attendance.

In his remarks shortly after the ceremony, Governor Okowa said that the Award was for Nigerians who had contributed  to nation-building and I thanked God that he met the criteria to receive the award.

He expressed gratitude to President Buhari and the National Honours Awards Committee for the investiture and congratulated other Deltans and Nigerians on their well-deserved honours.

Okowa pledged to continue his contribution to nation-building to make Nigeria to realise its full potential.

“I thank President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Honours Awards Committee for my investiture as a Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON), in recognition of my contributions to the development of the nation.

“I congratulate all Nigerians and distinguished Deltans who were also honoured with the various categories of National Awards.

“This award makes me to realise that I have contributed my bit and I hope it will spur me to think more about the growth and development of this country.

“I hope that together in commitment to this nation we will all continue to work with our people across Nigeria to find the growth path that can take us to Nigeria of our dream.

“I must say that I am humbled by this recognition and pledge to continue to play my role to make Nigeria a better nation that lives up to its full potential,” he stated.

Okowa also affirmed that the award would spur him to do more for Delta in the years ahead, adding that the “award is a call to duty for me and I thank God that i have the opportunity of being the Vice-Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party.

“We are working very hard and we expect that Nigerians will be in a position to truly realise that the PDP team is the best team at this very critical time in the development of our nation.

“By the grace of God, upon victory in 2023, I will work with the President, Atiku Abubakar and other stakeholders of this nation to find solutions to the current challenges that we have in our nation.

“There is no doubt that the challenges are truly numerous and frightening in terms of disunity, insecurity and economic downturn which is affecting human capital development.

“I believe that when God, through the elections helps us come to power that we will work with all sections of this country to begin to restore hope and to rebuild the cracked foundations of this country,” he stated.

On her part, Director-General of World Trade Organisation Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said no award could be more gratifying than the one from one’s country and lauded President Buhari for the honour.

She said the honour was a call to do more in her endeavours and expressed satisfaction with Governor Okowa’s human capital and infrastructural transformation in Delta in the last seven years.

She urged him to do more in the remaining months of his administration.

Responding on behalf of the award recipients, President of the Senate, Dr Ahmed Lawan, pledged their readiness to work with the President in surmounting the nation’s challenges in the remaining period in his tenure.

He described the recipients of the awards as patriotic Nigerians that had impacted positively on the nation in all sectors.

A total of 447 Nigerians were invested with award in various categories by the Federal Government.