NIPR, NUJ Set To Tackle Professional Quackery In Nigeria

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L-R – NUJ President, Comrade Christopher Isiguzo, and NIPR President, Dr. Muhktar Sirajo after the meeting

The Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) in partnership with the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has said both associations must collaborate to stamp out quacks in the professions to promote professionalism that would help Nigeria.

This was disclosed on Wednesday, when the NIPR president, Dr. Muhktar Sirajo paid a courtesy visit to the NUJ president, Comrade Christopher Isiguzo to discuss the unethical and unprofessional conduct of journalists and public relations persons, exposing their lack of capacity for their respective roles to build the society.

The duo said with the prevailing situation in the country, Nigeria would need professionals in perception management to be able to keep the country united while the facts are promoted.

Speaking on the goal to strengthen professionalism, the national president of NIPR, Mukhtar Sirajo said his mission at the national headquarters of the union was to canvass support and partnership to fight unprofessionalism and birth a new narrative of perception of the Nigerian state.

He highlighted that the NIPR may be forced to publish names of non-members who are doing the job illegally where they fail to respond to the opportunity the association has created for them to regularise their membership and gain sound professional training.

According to Sirajo, “We have taken our advocacy to various agencies and various governmental spokespeople, who by law are not qualified to practice the profession.

“We have tried to reach out to them, letting them know that we are not out to embarrass anybody but if it gets to that we have a job to do, we’re going to have to do it but then as relationship builders, we have to ensure that we will do all that we cannot rupture the relationship except if it becomes inevitably necessary,” Sirajo stated.

In furtherance of the discussion “I want to say here that we have already compiled a very long list of people that are not practicing public relations in Nigeria by law and the names are going to interest Nigerians.”

He said this development called for collaboration as both professionals are related especially, in their tasks; therefore, the need to sanitize the profession was critical

However, the president of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Christopher Isiguzo said the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) has begun the process by setting up mechanisms at the various councils across the country to combat and weed out these quacks and the move has informed the legislative effort of the journalist enhancement bill to protect the journalists.

He added, “We are doing a whole lot. I can assure you that with you joining us, I want to believe that we’re going to achieve something better. It is so sad like you have lamented that you have some spokespersons of very important institutions that are quacks going by the established law guiding the institute.

“It is also sad that you have a system where people have been appointed into media-related organizations and they don’t have anything to do with the media. Just because they have enjoyed the full dosage of media support at one point or the other, you churn out press statements and become so popular in the media.

“At some points in Nigeria’s history, pharmacists were appointed ministers of information. And I can assure you that there is no way any of us (media men) will be appointed minister of health or attorney general of the federation and minister of justice. These are special areas and that same special status ought to be accorded to the media.”

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