· State NIPR boss says task force soon to swing into action
By Helen Chimezie
A task force may soon crack down on persons practicing the noble profession of public relations without belonging to the body empowered by an Act to regulate it.
This is as the Honuorable Commissioner for Information and Communications in the state, Warisenibo Joe Johnson, has not only picked his own form to process his membership but has also called on all public relations practitioners to regularise their membership with the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), the professional body which regulates the practice in Nigeria.
He made the call while obtaining his registration form to regularise his membership with the institute at the NIPR Rivers State Chapter’s monthly business meeting.
He also expressed the willingness of the State Ministry of Information and Communications to work with the NIPR.
The state chairman, Rev. Francis Asuk (fnipr) lauded the gesture of the Honourable Commissioner as a step in the right direction as the chief information manager in the State.
Rev. Asuk called on public relations managers in government and private establishments to regularise their membership with the NIPR as it is the only institute recognised by law to regulate public relations practice in Nigeria.
He emphasised that a special task force set up by the president of the institute would begin enforcement for non-members who are in the practice, saying such amounts to quackery and punishable by law.
According to Rev. Asuk, the NIPR was established in 1963 and became an Act in 1990. “This mandates every person who practises public relations both in government and private organisations to belong to the institute, otherwise you are a quack.
“You are not just becoming a member but you would be equipped with professional support and ethics that guide the profession and you have many training opportunities to build your capacity.
“So, we are glad that the Honourable Commissioner has taken this bold step and we are sure all information officers in the State Ministry who are not yet members would follow suit as well as others in other government and private organisations because soon the task force set up by the national leadership would begin work. We enjoin those who are yet to comply to regularise their membership with the institute,”
He also noted that Nigeria was in dire need of PR professionals who are properly armed to tackle the various public relations challenges in the country and NIPR is there to fill that gap.