President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on Saturday conferred the National Award for Public Service on 148 long-serving government employees for their dedicated service to the nation. The prestigious awards were presented in a special ceremony held at the Maldives Centre for Social Education (MCSE).

The recipients included those who had served the nation for more than 35 years. Three of the recipients had surpassed the extraordinary milestone of 50 years of service, while 45 recipients had served for more than 45 years. An additional 32 individuals had committed over 40 years to public service, and 68 more were recognised for their contributions spanning over 35 years.

The National Award for Public Service, introduced in 2021, aims to acknowledge and honour public servants who have exhibited unyielding devotion to their responsibilities. With the latest awardees, a total of 457 deserving individuals have now been recognised for their invaluable contributions to the nation’s growth and development.

Some of the exemplary long-serving individuals who were honoured on Saturday included Ms. Aminath Waheedha, Director of the Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) Blood Bank, for her remarkable 52 years of service; Mr. Ahmed Rasheed, former Chief Magistrate of Raa Atoll, who served for over 51 years; and Lt (Retd) Ahmed Manik, a retired serviceman of the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF), who served the nation for over 50 years.

In his address at the ceremony, President Solih highlighted the instrumental role played by these long-serving officials in the development of the Maldives. He commended their diligence and integrity, encouraging younger generations of government employees to draw inspiration from their distinguished careers.

President Solih also acknowledged the efforts of young individuals in government positions and encouraged them to continue fulfilling their civic responsibilities with zeal and persistence. He advised the youth to view serving their country as a personal achievement and to find joy and fulfilment in their work.

Ms Aneesa Ahmed, the recipient of the Order of the Distinguished Rule of Izzuddin (ODRI) and the chairperson of the National Awards committee, also addressed the gathering. She expressed gratitude to President Solih for initiating this award to honour long-serving individuals. She assured that the committee’s decisions were based solely on the applicants’ merits, considering their performance, competence, diligence, sincerity, and outstanding contributions to the institutions they represented.

The National Award for Public Service, as per the government, stands as a symbol of appreciation for the tireless efforts of public servants who have dedicated their lives to the nation’s growth and prosperity. In doing so, the government hopes to inspire future generations to follow suit and serve the country with pride and integrity.

The ceremony was attended by First Lady Fazna Ahmed, Vice President Faisal Naseem, cabinet ministers, state dignitaries, and high-ranking officials from various government offices and state institutions.