Minister welcomes MoU to establish degree-awarding PR academy in Nigeria

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Photo: Former President of African Public Relations Association, (APRA), Yomi Badejo-Okusanya; President of NIPR, Dr. Ike Neliaku; President of APRA, Mr. Arik Karani; Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris; President, Global Alliance for Public Relations, Mr. Justin Green and Deputy President of the NIPR, Prof. Emmanuel Dandaura during a visit to the minister in Abuja on Wednesday

Nigeria’s Minister of Information, Mohammed Idris, has hailed the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations and the Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management, to establish a degree-awarding academy for public relations practice in Nigeria.

“I welcome the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations and the Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management, to establish a degree-awarding academy for public relations practice in Nigeria.

“I equally welcome the recent election of a Nigerian, Dr. Omoniyi Ibietan, as the Secretary-General of the African Public Relations Association (APRA).

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Idris added,”Also worthy of note is the fact that Public Relations (PR) has now been designated as a cadre in the Federal Civil Service, with effect from December 2023. The Information Officer Cadre has been re-designated to ‘Information and Public Relations Officer Cadre’, and the Executive Cadre to ‘Executive Officer (Information and Public Relations)’. The NIPR played a critical role in championing this, and deserve commendation.

The Minister assured that “Nigeria will continue to play a leading role in strengthening and elevating public relations practice at home and across Africa. Recently, when I received the President of the African Public Relations Association, Mr. Arik Karani, he commended Nigeria in this regard.

He said, “[Nigeria] was, for the longest time, the only country in Africa that had a law that professionalized public relations. It was Nigeria that started it on the continent, and only last year did Zambia come out with its own law. So now we have two countries on the continent, and only now in Kenya, the bill for professionalizing public relations is at the second reading in Parliament.”

“Encouraging remarks. Rest assured that the administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu will continue to provide the enabling environment for everybody within Nigeria’s communications industry to thrive.

A statement by Rabiu Ibrahim , the minister’s aide last week noted that Idris, had stressed the imperative need to leverage the power of public relations in the collective efforts to forge unity, understanding, and shared prosperity across the African continent.

Idris said this last Wednesday whenhe received a delegation comprising the new President of the African Public Relations Association, Mr. Arik Karani, the President of Global Alliance for Public Relations, Mr. Justin Green and the President of Nigerian Institute of Public Relations, Dr. Ike Neliaku.

“It’s important that we work together not just to advance the cause of public relations on the continent but also to ensure that we use public relations to forge unity on the continent, understanding and shared prosperity that we all aspire to so that not just Nigeria and Africa but the world will be bound by common humanity,” he said.

The Minister, who expressed delight at hosting the President of the Global Alliance for Public Relations, pledged the commitment of the Tinubu Administration to create the enabling environment for the media and public relations to thrive in the country.

“I assure you that this administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu will continue to provide the enabling environment for everybody within the communication industry and public relations practitioners to thrive in this country,” he said.

Idris said President Tinubu is desirous of ensuring that all democratic principles are observed in the country in order to advance the cause of democracy.

He used the occasion to announce that Public Relations has now been designated as a cadre in the Civil Service and hailed the commitment of the NIPR President, Dr. Neliaku, for championing the elevation of Public Relations in Nigeria.

The Minister is hopeful that with the entrenchment of public relations in Nigeria and Africa, the continent would be aspiring to occupy top positions in the Global Alliance for Public Relations.

In his remarks, the President of the African Public Relations Association (APRA), Mr. Karani, praised Nigeria for trailing the blaze in public relations as the first country in Africa to enact a law that professionalize public relations practice.

He said APRA would copy the example of Nigeria with a view to promoting the enactment of public relations legislations in other African countries.

“This is for the longest time the only country in Africa that had a law that professionalize public relations. It was Nigeria that started it on the continent and only last year that Zambia came out with the law. So now we have two countries on the continent and only now in Kenya the bill for professionalizing public relations is at the second reading in parliament. We are also taking note not only in terms of reputation and communication but how we can replicate it across Africa,” he said.

On his part, President of Global Alliance for Public Relations, Mr. Green, said he is in Nigeria to celebrate the successes of NIPR in Africa and that the Alliance had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Institute to establish a degree-awarding academy for public relations practice in the country.

The President of NIPR, Dr. Neliaku used the occasion for formally introduced the newly elected secretary general of the African Public Relations Association, a Nigerian, Omoniyi Ibietan.

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