The Guardian

NIPR again warns security chiefs against appointing unqualified spokespersons

The Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) has reiterated its stand against the appointment of unqualified and unregistered professionals, especially as public relations officers in the country's security agencies.

The institute said its recently launched Enforcement and Compliance Committee will proactively drive the process of identifying organizations and individuals operating in violation of the law and ensure appropriate prosecution.

The letter, sent to security chiefs on Friday and witnessed by Nigeria, was signed by the NIPR Chairman and Chairman of the Governing Council, Dr. Ike Neriaku, and the Chairman of the NIPR Compliance and Executive Committee, Major General Chris Olukolade (rtd). .

The memo, titled “Warning Against Violations of the Law Concerning Appointments of Public Relations Officers and Related Positions in Government Agencies,” emphasizes NIPR's commitment to maintaining professionalism and protecting the enviable reputation and image of federal agencies. We proposed a partnership to build and sustain this.

It was addressed to the Chief of Defense Staff (CDS), General Christopher Musa. Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lieutenant General Taolid Raghbaha. Air Marshal Hassan Abubakar, Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ogala, Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) and other heads of security and paramilitary forces.

The institute called on institutions to comply with its recommendations by the end of March to bring their operations in line with the provisions of the Nigerian Public Relations Practitioners Association Act, 1990 (now the Federal Law Cap N114 Act, 2004).

The memo reads: “Article 19(2) of the NIPR Act states that “If a person who is not a member of the Institute acts or offers himself to act as a spokesperson for remuneration or in anticipation of remuneration; or for remuneration.' Or he commits an offense if he uses a name, title, addition or description that suggests that he is actually carrying out public relations work.'' Article 19 ( Paragraph 4) states: “Any person found guilty of an offense under this section shall be liable to a fine or imprisonment or both.”

“Section 19(5) states: “If it is established that an offense under this section committed by a corporation was committed with the consent or connivance of the corporation or resulted from negligence on the part of the corporation.'' A director, manager, secretary or other similar officer of a legal entity, or any person attempting to act in such capacity, shall be deemed guilty of the offense and liable to be prosecuted. and shall be punished accordingly.”

“The above provisions shall not apply to officers who are not registered with the NIPR as public relations officers, public relations officers, public relations officers, corporate affairs officers, regional relations officers, communications officers, press officers, corporate communications officers, protocol officers, or information officers and related officers. Makes it an offense for the hiring, recruitment or appointment of any person as a service representative by any public or private organization in Nigeria.

“The recent appeal by the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Alhaji Mohammed Idris Maragi, to the Council to give effect to the Federal Government’s determination to enforce this important law regulating public relations, The purpose of the Compliance Committee is to identify organizations and individuals committing violations and ensure their arraignment in special courts established for that purpose.

“Given your firm's high reputation, we ask that you take steps to ensure that the appointment of a public relations officer and the staff who oversee your communications and public relations functions is in line with the provisions of the NIPR Act. I think you need to ask.

“Between now and March 31, 2024, the names of defaulters, individuals, and organizations are published and prosecuted, we will ensure that unauthorized individuals conducting public relations activities within your organization We strongly encourage you to correct your posts by any name. This is important to protect our reputation as a responsible and law-abiding institution.

“If you have staff who are currently working in violation of the NIPR Act and they do not correct the violation by March 31, 2024, we will notify them before publishing their and your organization’s names. Please note that no further notice will be given.'' Court's Note.

“Please be assured that the NIPR National Secretariat stands ready to provide any further clarification, guidance and assistance necessary to ensure your organization is fully compliant with the law by March 31, 2024,” the memo concluded. It is.


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