In a decisive move to uphold the integrity of the Public Relations profession, the Compliance and Enforcement Committee of the Nigeria Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) has unveiled a comprehensive plan to tackle unlicensed practitioners.
Chaired by General Chris Olukolade (Rtd), the committee is set to establish NIPR Tribunals, signaling a robust crackdown on individuals practicing Public Relations without proper certification.
This was disclosed in a statement issued by the Barr. Paul Abraham, Assistant Secretary NIPR Act Enforcement & Compliance Committee on Monday.
According to the statement, during the inaugural meeting, General Olukolade, a former Director Defence Information, outlined the committee’s strategies, emphasizing the nationwide enforcement of NIPR laws.
The committee, composed of top public relations practitioners from diverse sectors, plans to conduct sensitization campaigns, monitor advertisements, and scrutinize recruitments related to public relations practice.
Dr. Igwe Chibueze, the committee’s secretary, highlighted key objectives, including collaboration with state chapters to establish monitoring teams and taking corrective actions against organizations recruiting non-NIPR members.
Noteworthy attendees included former Army, Navy, and Police Spokespersons, as well as representatives from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Customs, underlining the seriousness of the NIPR’s commitment to eradicating unlicensed practitioners.
NIPR President, Dr. Ike Neliaku, urged committee members to be firm and decisive in enforcing the 1990 NIPR Practitioners Act.
The Act prescribes punishments for offenders, including fines, imprisonment, or both. To address the growing violations, the NIPR Act Compliance Committee announced that, effective October 24, 2023, any appointment of a non-registered member will result in prosecution.
Defaulting organizations have until December 31, 2023, to ensure their appointees register and regularize with the Institute, with full enforcement for non-compliance commencing on January 1, 2024.
Dr. Neliaku strongly condemned the trend of government establishments appointing non-registered persons, labeling it “corporate rascality.”
The committee’s efforts align with the NIPR’s longstanding advocacy campaigns to enlighten the public on the Act’s provisions.
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