NIPR Cautions Military, Others Oganisations Against Contravention Of Law On Appointment Of Spokespersons and Allied Positions in Government Establishments

. It The Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) has cautioned the Armed Forces of Nigeria and organisarions against contravention Of the Law on appointment of Public Relations Officers and allied positions in government establishments.

In a joint memo signed by the President of the Institute, Dr ike Neliaku, President, who is also the Chairman of Governing Council and General Chris Olukolade (Rtd), Chairman, Compliance and Enforcement Committee, encouraged all service Chiefs to align their operations with provisions of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) Practitioners Act of 1990 now Cap N1 14 Laws of the Federation 2004. 

The memo stated: "The Institute has observed with interest your transformative efforts since assumption of office. In line with our commitment to uphold professionalism and excellence, we offer you our partnership and support towards building and sustaining an enviable reputation and image for you and your organization.

"Permit us to draw your attention specifically to Section 19 (2) of the NIPR Act which states that,

"If,...any person who is not a member of the Institute practises or holds himself out to practise as a public relations practitioner for or in expectation of reward, or takes or uses any name, title, addition or description implying that he is in practice as a public relations practitioner, he shall be guilty of an offence...". Section 19 (4) of the Act states further that, A person guilty of an offense under this section shall be liable to a fine, imprisonment or both, while Section 19 (5) states that, "Where an offence under this section which has been committed by a body corporate is proved to have been committed with the consent or connivance of, or to be attributable to any neglect on the part of any director, manager, secretary or other similar officer of the body corporate or any person purporting to act in any such capacity, he, as well as the body corporate, shall be deemed to be guilty of that offence and shall be liable to be prosecuted and punished accordingly."

"The provisions above criminalises the employment, hiring or assigning of any officer who is not registered with NIPR as Spokesperson, Public Relations, Public Affairs, Corporate Affairs, Community Relations, Communication, Press Relations, Corporate Communication, Protocol or information functionary and allied services by any public or private organisation in Nigeria

"The NIPR Council has observed with deep concem the violation of the Law by some government establishments in the past. Owing to the recent charge by the Honourable Minister of Information and National Orientation, Alhaji Mohammed Idris Malagi, for Council to give effect to the Federal Government's resolve to enforce this important law regulating the practice of Public Relations in Nigeria, Council has established and mandated its Enforcement and Compliance Committee to identify organisations and individuals operating in contravention of the law and ensure that they are arraigned before the special tribunal established for that purpose by the Act.

"In view of the high regard we accord your office. we consider it necessary to invite you to kindly take steps to align your appointment of Spokespersons and staff overseeing your communication and public relations functions with the provisions of the NIPR Act. We strongly counsel that you ensure that between now and 31st March 2024 when names of defaulters, individuals and organizations, will be published and prosecuted, you kindly correct the posting of any unlicensed individual performing public relations functions, under any name, in your organisation. This is important to protect your reputation as a responsible, law abiding institution.

"Should you have any staff currently working in contravention of the NIPR Act, kindly take NOTICE that if by 31st March 2024 such staff does not remedy the deficiency we shall NOT give any further notice before publishing the names of the staff and your organisations for attention of the tribunal

"Be assured that the NIPR National Secretariat is open to provide any further clarifications, guidance and support that your organisation may require to be fully compliant with the law before 31st March 2024."

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