By Ifeanyi Olannye
Asaba, – Mr Charles Aniagwu, Delta Commissioner for Information and 144 others were on Friday inducted as associate members of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) in Asaba.
Malam Mukhtar Sirajo, President, NIPR while addressing the inductees, charged them to build peace, eschew violence and shun political and religious inclination as professionals.
He said that the profession which was established in 1963 and chartered by Decree 16 of June 1990 had windows of opportunities for members to achieve great heights as professional in both public and private organisations.
He noted that by the law establishing the profession that it was illegal for anyone to practice as Public Relations Officer without a license by NIPR.
“However, there are windows of opportunity to enable those who have practiced this profession but deficient because they have no license.
“We have the master class which was designed for those who have practiced for about five years to become members of the profession,” he said.
While congratulating the 145 inductees for choosing the right profession, the President, said that plans were in progress to ensure that Public Relations Officers (members) who are in the public service were placed on special package to rank with that of the permanent secretaries.
“As professionals, we have to work to get things better in the country; use the public relations to rebuild the cracks in the country, eschew political and religious sentiments by realising our strength as homogeneous country.
“If you must remain relevant as a professional you must continue to learn because public relations is dynamic as the society,” Sirajo said.
Earlier, Chief Frank Tamunor, former Chairman, NIPR Council, while presenting the inductees, said that public relations had translated to digitals, adding that PROs who wished to remain relevant must key into the digital world.
In an interview, Aniagwu expressed joy for being inducted while urging other practitioners to enlist into the profession.
He said that his desire was to rise from associate to become a full member of the institution.
“I feel honoured to become a member of this noble profession, even when some of us have tried with the knowledge of mass communication to have performed in that direction.
“Since the institution has become chartered and legally recognised, it pays anyone in the profession to get registered and become recognised.
“So, we feel honoured and we appreciate the institution for finding us worthy to become one of them.
“To me, public relations is about making friends for the organisation, institution or the community where you find yourself in order to build peace, unity and relationship among people in the society.
The highpoint at the occasion was the presentation of certificates to all the 145 inductees.