…..As Institute inducts 47 new members

From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Keffi

Acting Vice-Chancellor of Nasarawa State University, Keffi (NSUK), Abdullahi Modibbo has urged the Nigeria Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) to take action against institutions employing unqualified individuals as spokespersons. 

He emphasised the importance of all practitioners registering with the institute to uphold professional standards in the field, describing the fishing out of those he referred to as quakes as a good omen for the profession.

He made the call at the induction of 47 new members into the NIPR and opening of the 5th annual International Conference on Communication and Development in Africa, organized by the Institute of Strategic and Development Communication (ISDEVCOM), Nasarawa State University, Keffi, with the theme:”Communication, Climate Change and Resilience in Africa”.

Modibbo commended the new members and highlighted the significance of identifying and addressing unqualified practitioners to enhance the credibility of the profession.

He emphasised that individuals who are not registered with the institute should not serve as spokespersons, as they may not meet the required standards.

Modibbo who said the theme of the two-day conference was apt; assured that the resolutions from the conference will be circulated and implemented by the university.

President of NIPR, Ike Neliaku, had earlier in his remark, said that any public relations practitioner not registered with the institute was a quack “no matter his or her position, and regardless of his or her level of education or training”.

He had urged communicators to sign up for registration to equip themselves with the necessary tools to combat the surge of misinformation and falsehoods that have become prevalent, particularly on social media platforms.

The Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) recently held its National Spokespersons Summit and Award in Abuja, with the theme “Change Narratives, Change Society”. The event emphasized the importance of a national consensus on the country’s narratives and the need for spokespersons to enhance their skills and knowledge of global trends and best practices. The summit aimed to equip spokespersons with the necessary tools to craft effective messages, create acceptable content, and manage expectations of their principals, organizations, and society.

Minister of Information and National Orientation, Idris Mohammed, at the opening ceremony of the conference said “everybody needs some level of training in order to communicate properly and NIPR is doing well in that respect by ensuring their members are inducted and receive certain training before they practice”.

He underscored the importance of effective communication in addressing the impact of climate change.

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Represented by Director-General, Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Salihu Dambos,  the Minister emphasised the importance of promptly and accurately sharing climate-related information for communities to build resilience against climate change impacts.

He also said the conference was apt, given the challenges many communities were facing due to climate change.

“Proper and timely dissemination of information about climate change will help people to seek out proactive measures.

“This conference is coming at a crucial time in our nation’s history as we face the challenges posed by climate change and the urgent need to build resilience in our communities.

“It is imperative that we recognise the importance of effective communication in addressing the impact of climate change on food security, health and socioeconomic development.

Managing Director, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Ali Mohammed Ali, who also spoke at the event, said that timely communication on climate change would help guard against global warming and other related problems.

He added that communication experts had a great role to play to help address problems associated with climate change, and blamed the trend on human activities.

He further said that the conference would help expand the frontiers of knowledge and provide stakeholders the opportunity to share information and ideas.

Director-General of Voice of Nigeria (VON), Jibrin Ndache, on his part, urged Journalists to become members of NIPR from day one of practice.

According to him, Journalism is the key ingredient in the practice of public relations and commended those who have embraced PR, noting that in the profession you either speak to defend yourself or others.

He appealed to stakeholders to support and rely on public platform like NTA, NAN, VON especially in this dangerous time of fake news, adding however, “If you are not sure, don’t share. You are more guilty if you share”.

Governor of Nasarawa State, Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State, who was represented by his Special Assistant on Strategic Communication, Yakubu Lamai, assured of support to all partners interested in the development of the state.

The highlight of the event was presentation of 5th anniversary ISDEVCOM conference by the MD of NAN, ISDEVCOM Journal Vol.8, No. 1 and the unveiling of ISDEVCOM book by the governor of the state, Sule.