Nigerian National Honours are a set of orders and decorations conferred upon Nigerians and friends of Nigeria every year. They were instituted by the National Honors Act No. 5 of 1964, during the First Nigerian Republic, to honour Nigerians who have rendered service to the benefit of the nation.[1]

These honours are distinct from the honours that are part of the country's ancient chieftaincy system, which is a separate (but also legally defined) entity. National Honours are the highest honours or awards that a citizen can receive from his or her country for service to the country.


Service to country is when one has done something very good for the country or that makes the country proud. For example, a citizen may receive a national honour for inventing something useful to other citizens, for performing well in an important job, or for writing a brilliant book.

The Nigerian government decides which citizens get honours. Everyone may not always agree on who deserves national honours. Sometimes the person receiving the honour may decide that he or she does not want it. In 2004, the famous Nigerian author, Chinua Achebe, was awarded a national honour by the Nigerian government but rejected it because he was disappointed with the way the government was ruling Nigeria at the time.


The Nigerian National Honours, in descending order of importance, are:

Order of the Federal Republic

Order of the Niger

The GCFR and GCON are customarily respectively bestowed on former occupants of the office of President of Nigeria and Vice President of Nigeria including former military heads of state of Nigeria and Chiefs of General Staff. The GCON is also customarily bestowed on the Chief Justice of Nigeria and the President of the Nigerian Senate during their first year in office, while the CON is customarily bestowed on Justices of the Supreme Court of Nigeria



  1. ^ "Nigerian Culture Kids | For Kids from Nigeria". nckids. Retrieved 2021-04-18.