Unlicensed PR practitioners to be prosecuted
The Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) said it would soon commence the prosecution of persons, including governments’ spokespersons, practicing public relations without license.
National Vice President of the institute, Alhaji Mukhtar Suraju, made this known at a news conference in Ilorin on Monday to herald the National Conference/Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the institute for 2017.
He said that it was an offence for anyone to practice the profession without registration and obtaining a license from NIPR.
Suraju said that things had been allowed to go wrong that many characters were referring to themselves as public relations practitioners without knowing what public relations was about.
“NIPR is not an association, but an institute to regulate the public relations profession in Nigeria.
“It is a regulatory body and part of the things that it regulates is the practice and profession of public relations.
“As for the statutes, it is an offence in Nigerian books to practice public relations without registration or license from the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations.
“When we came into office two years ago, we inherited this worrisome situation, though the previous administrations had tried hard to curb quackery in the profession.
“We also took up from where they stopped. We are not where we should be, but certainly we are not where we started,’’ he said.
The vice president stated that the present leadership of the body was working hard to give public relations profession the image and regard it deserved in the country.
“It is a profession that makes the image for others. So, to make image for others, you have to have that image too.
“We will try as much as possible to ensure that we reposition the institute to make it have the quality it was established for in the first place.
“One of the things we intend to do soon is to publish names of people that refer to themselves or are being referred to as spokespersons, without being on the register of the NIPR.
“There is a penalty for that, including imprisonment. We may not be able to deal with them all because of the big people involved, but we would have succeeded in embarrassing them,” he added.
Suraju urged members of the institure to always rectify their membership to be full members of the profession.
He said that various programmes had been lined up for the week-long conference that would hold in Ilorin, with the theme “Communicating Values for Development and Sustainability”.