The Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) has disclosed that the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to President Bola Tinubu, Ajuri Ngelale, is not its certified member.
The NIPR noted that the law establishing the NIPR makes it a criminal offense for any individual to practice public relations without the necessary certification and licensing.
Speaking with newsmen, the newly elected governing council members under the leadership of Dr. Ike Neliaku of the institute revealed that Ngelale, without the basic knowledge and requisite training in PR, is ordinarily not ‘fit’ to hold the exalted position he now occupies in the Tinubu-led administration.
“We have checked our records and membership register, and we could not find Ajuri Ngelale on the list. One can be a good writer, broadcaster, or journalist, but there are set parameters of knowledge a communicator needs to acquire, including qualification, before he or she can practice public relations in Nigeria.
“The law establishing NIPR provides laid-down rules about appointing spokespersons, which also makes it a criminal offense for anybody to practice public relations by whatever name without certification by the Institute.
“In fact, the NIPR Act stipulates punishment for illegal practice, including imprisonment, a fine, or both,” said one of the governing council members who spoke in confidence.
Ngele, a Nigerian broadcast journalist and politician, is currently serving as presidential spokesman for Tinubu.
Until then, he served as presidential senior special adviser on public affairs to President Muhammadu Buhari and was a co-principal spokesperson of Tinubu’s presidential campaign council for the 2023 Nigerian presidential elections, which they won.
Ngelale was a senior reporter and presenter at Africa Independent Television (AIT) and Channels Television.