To reduce quackery and continually promote professionalism and excellence in the practice of public relations, the Akwa Ibom State Chapter of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) has warned unregistered practitioners in the state to steer clear the practice or face wrath of the law.
Chairman of the State Chapter, Mr. Nsemeke Udoakpan, gave the warning on Monday shortly after leading the State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Comrade Ini Ememobong, and Chairman of the NIPR Education Advisory Board, Professor Emmanuel Dandaura, to inspect students undergoing examination at the Uyo Study Centre of the Institute.
While urging members of the public to take advantage of the Uyo Study Centre, Mr. Udoakpan said “I will like to sound a note of warning to those who are practicing Public Relations without being certified. There is a Study Centre that is now inherent in Uyo. The Institute will come for you, if you are not professionally certified. One way of being professionally certified is to enrol in the Study Centre.”
Mr. Udoakpan advised government institutions and private organizations with Public Relations Departments as well as unregistered practitioners in the state to contact the Institute and get certified as required by law.
He explained that “Once it is your schedule to relate with members of the public and once it is your schedule to project the image of your organization, what you are doing there is PR and to be able to do that professionally, you need to be certified. So, if you are not certified, it means what you are doing is illegal. And if you are doing something that is illegal, the onus is on us to chase you and make you do it legally. We will certainly do that.”
“For those who are practicing Public Relations, who are not certified, the news I have to tell you is that you are a quack. And because you are a quack, we will come for you. So, I invite you to come over to Uyo Study Centre, get enrolled and get professionally certified to do that which you are doing illegally,” he stressed.
The Chapter Chairman further expressed profound appreciation to members of the Chapter, particularly members of the study centre committee, headed by Mr Uduak Obot, and Comrade Ini Ememobong, for their support and for making the Centre a reality.
In his remarks, Chairman of the NIPR Education Advisory Board, Professor Emmanuel Dandaura, who was represented by a Fellow of the Institute, Mr. Sam Uko, hinted that the ongoing professional examination was a national event and that he was at the Uyo Study Centre to ensure uniformity and the highest level of professionalism.
He also noted the need for every organization to ensure that its public relations officers and managers acquired the required professional certification to enable them be in tune with the standard of public relations practice.
“Uyo Study Centre is very special to the Institute. Now that it has come to stay, it is incumbent on the state and professionals in the state to ensure that the purpose for establishing the Uyo Study Centre, which is to groom professionals in the practice, is achieved,” he maintained.
On his part, the State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mr. Inyang Jameson, wished the students, bulk of them being Information Officers, success in their examinations.
While thanking the national official and members of the Institute, the Commissioner expressed optimism that the Uyo Study Centre will mould the students to become professionals that will project government image to the desired attention.
He added that the Ministry will continue to enhance its partnership with the Institute for human capacity development, excellence and professionalism.
Also speaking, the Uyo Study Centre Coordinator, Mr. Uduak Obot, who explained that “the Centre is for the training of professionals in the field of Public Relations,” said the ongoing examination was for students admitted by the Centre into its Certificate and Diploma programmes.
He said “the examination is a professional examination and it is a week-long event. It is running simultaneously in Abuja, Lagos and Port Harcourt. The Certificate and Diploma programmes offer the baseline for the practice of Public Relations in Nigeria as recommended by the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations. So, it is illegal to practice Public Relations in Nigeria in any guise without due certification by the Institute. The students here are trained to be certified professionals.”
Akwa Ibom State Chapter
Nigerian Institute of Public Relations