The Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Joe Johnson, has advised information officers and communication specialists to register with the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), the professional body that regulates the practice in Nigeria.
The commissioner spoke after obtaining a registration form to regularize his membership with the NIPR, during the monthly business meeting of the institute at Rivers State chapter.
He also expressed the willingness of the State Ministry of Information and Communications to work with the NIPR.
In his remark, the Chairman of the institute in Rivers State, Francis Asuk lauded the gesture of the Commissioner, adding that he has taken a step in the right direction, being the chief Information manager of the State.
He called on Public relations managers in government and private establishments to regularize their membership with the NIPR as it is the only Institute recognized by law to regulate public relations practice in Nigeria.
Asuk emphasized that a special task force set up by the President of the Institute would begin enforcement for non-members who are in the practice as it amounts to quackery and it’s punishable by law.
“The NIPR was established in 1963 and became an act in 1990 and this mandates every person who practices Public relations both in government and private organizations 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 guides 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 on the State Ministry who are not yet members would follow suit as well as others. “in other government and private organizations because soon the task force set up by the National would begin work, but we enjoin those who are yet to comply to regularize their membership with the Institute.”
Rev. Asuk noted that Nigeria is in dire need of Public Relations professionals who are properly armed to tackle the various public relations challenges in the country and NIPR is there to fill that gap.