By Victoria Onehi
The Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) has appointed Gen. Chris Olukolade (Rtd), DIG Frank Mba and Dr. Peter Afunanya to lead its Compliance and Enforcement Committee.
The appointment made up of thoroughbred professionals is part of the Governing Council’s response to the growing demand by certified public relations practitioners to rid the profession of unlicensed interlopers, otherwise known as quacks.
Inaugurating the Committee recently in Abuja, the President of the Institute, Dr. Ike Neliaku, charged the Committee to be firm, decisive and uncompromising in enforcing to the fullest, the content of the 1990 NIPR Practitioners Act, now Cap N114 Laws of the Federation, 2004.
“For emphasis, the Act in section 19 (2) prohibits any person from practising public relations without certification from the NIPR, and in same section 19 (4a & b) prescribes appropriate punishments for offenders, which include fine, imprisonment or both”.
Neliaku in a statement said that with the inauguration of the NIPR Act Compliance Committee, any fresh appointment of a non-registered member of the Institute from today, Tuesday, 24th October, 2023 will be prosecuted in accordance with the provisions of the law. He called on defaulting organisations to ensure that the appointees register and regularise with the Institute between now and 31st December, 2023 as the full enforcement regime for this category of offenders will commence from 1st January, 2024, in a manner never imagined.
The NIPR boss in strong term condemned the consistent violation of the Act by many government establishments who appoint non-registered persons as Spokespersons, Officers of Public Relations, Corporate Affairs, Public Affairs, etc., especially in this present dispensation.
“The NIPR has noticed with great displeasure, the increasing trend of corporate rascality in appointing Spokespersons by most agencies of government, which we must all rise to stop forthwith, noting that every institution of government ordinarily should be a ‘respecter’ of the law and not a violator.”
The NIPR has for several years embarked on advocacy campaigns to enlighten members of the public on the provisions of the Act.