INEC Drums Support For NIPR’S New Vision of Repositioning Nigeria

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has thrown its weight behind the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) in her quest to reposition Nigeria through image laundering.

The Secretary to the Commission, Mrs. Rose Oriaran-Anthony made the pledge when the new President of the Institute Dr. Ike Neliaku led a high-powered delegation to the INEC headquarters, Abuja on Wednesday, 6th December 2023.

Mrs. Oriaran-Anthony who is also long-time Member of the NIPR lauded pivotal role the Institute plays in nation building. She noted “that the Commission at this point cannot do without the NIPR, we just must work together to achieve what we desire as a Commission; the help we need rests on the NIPR”.

The Secretary who was responding to some of the proposed projects and plans of the new administration of the NIPR which include Rebirth Nigeria, National Spokespersons Summit, setup of Nigeria Reputation Management Group and Commencement of Enforcement and Compliance with the NIPR Act, she noted with interest that the country was in dire need of a new image.

She lamented the sorry state of the country’s reputation and image internationally, arguing that Nigeria is rich with great people with talents, skills, and potentials. Mrs. Oriaran-Anthony said “This is one of the nations with great potentials and by mere mentioning of the name Nigeria, the world should show some respect; but see what we have done to ourselves as a nation” 

She further asserts that “the redemption rests with your Institution (NIPR) and I am happy to say that you have identified the problem of Nigeria. There have been some attempts before but without the will to speak truth to power, amounted to nothing.” 

She stated that “Rebirth Nigeria project coming from an Institution such as NIPR will not only reposition this country and give us a new image, but remove the negative tag attached to us as a people while it will also avail us new confidence when we travel abroad because we have the best of brains”

Speaking further, the INEC Secretary said the new leadership of the NIPR has set ambitious targets, but they are what we need as a country, if we are truthful to ourselves; we need to support this Institution to achieve not just what you have stated here but even more.”

She however advised that the NIPR leadership must be courageous and firm in implementing its programmes and plans because there would be challenges.

According to her “I must tell you that you will experience some challenges because many Nigerians are resistant to change as anyone in his comfort zone who is not being challenged will not want to give it up, and that is why we are being labeled as one of the most corrupt nations which shouldn’t be because we have some of the brightest and brilliant men and women who can and should effect the change.”

Earlier the NIPR President, Dr. Ike Neliaku said that the delegation was at the Commission to welcome the Secretary back to her base as a prominent member among those frontrunners who had pushed the Institute’s cause some 30 years ago.

He explained that the new management of the Institute under his leadership has adopted a new vision which he tagged “vision of the new dawn” and is determined to ensure that the profession and the practice take its place in Nigeria. “We are trying to ensure that the practice of Public Relations begins to contribute to nation-building.”

To drive the new vision Dr. Neliaku said, the Institute had come up with three programs - the Rebirth Nigeria, the Spokespersons Summit, and the Enforcement of the provisions of the NIPR Act on all members.

He noted with regret that the Issues of value orientation have collapsed in this country as things we call values are no longer what they ought to be, and the ones that are not are the ones we have embraced as values.

The NIPR President was optimistic that with the support of Organizations such as INEC, the Institute will play a great role in reinventing the essence, beauty, integrity, resourcefulness, and traditional heritage of Nigeria. He disclosed that they are already partnering with the Federal Ministry of Information and National Reorientation and other relevant Agencies to actualize the vision.

According to him “There are four (4) pillars we want to ensure that we cover under this programme, first is value re-orientation, citizens education, service delivery and promotion of made-in Nigeria goods.”

Dr. Neliaku also spoke of an upcoming Summit for spokespersons of MDAs and private sector organizations. He said “We have realized that in Nigeria, many people answer spokespersons, but they just end up talking and speaking without communicating, and we know that communication is both an art and a science. So, when people keep talking and they are not communicating they end up causing confusion.”

“Those who take responsibility to be spokesperson should not just be allowed to continue to go on with the challenges of communication, therefore; we have begun the process of having spokespersons’ summit. We are bringing veterans from the industry to come and help us build this capacity. We are having this next year in March.”

Another area the NIPR President spoke strongly about is the issue of enforcement and compliance. He said the Institute has already setup two committees, one to ensure professional discipline and the other to enforce the law against non-professionals, those who are eating the breakfast and taking the job of Public Relations professionals.

“The law is very clear, NIPR is not a product of Corporate Affairs Commission, it is a product of an Act of Parliament so those who are not qualified but are practicing, we are going to clamp down on them from 1st of January 2024,” Dr. Neliaku said.

He further hinted at plans to establish the Nigerian Public Relations School and a Public Relations University of Nigeria, the first of its kind anywhere in the world.

The NIPR President requested INEC to take advantage of what NIPR has to offer in terms of synergy, strengthening the corporate identity and reputation of the Commission. 

He said “We believe NIPR has a lot to offer INEC. We have our structures across the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and we have human and material resources to do that.”

Other members of the NIPR entourage were Vice Chairman of the Institutes Advisory Board, Prof. Okey Ikechukwu; Council Members Mrs. Olubunmi Badejo and Brig. Gen. S K Usman; Registrar of the Institute, Uzoma Onyegbadue; a Fellow of the Institute and immediate past Deputy Director of Publicity, INEC, Lady Chinwe Ogbuka; and the FCT Chapter Chairman, Stanley Ogadigbo.

Editor-in-Chief: Mrs. Mary Nkem 

Editor: Mrs. Adenike Tadese

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