By; PATRICK TITUS, Uyo
The National President/Chairman in Council of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), Malam Mukhtar Surajo has described communication management as a function that is not an all-comers affair nor task.
Surajo, who spoke at the 4th Director’s Conference in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, on Thursday, maintained that good communication and lack of it have impacts on the way the nation is run.
He called for adoption of strategic communication in the management of the nation’s communication sector, in view of the ravaging COVID-19 and economic recession.
Justifying the conference with the theme: “Changing the Dynamics of Governance through Strategic Communication (a new normal for Directors”) Surajo said the Institute took such deliberate steps, to strategically position practitioners for better information management.
The NIPR President called on Chief Executives of various states and even at the national level to go for highly knowledgeable and professionally sound communication and Public Relations Experts as Chief Press Secretaries and Media Advisers.
“We deliberately decided to Institute this annual events for people to come together with a view to come up with better strategies of communication in their various offices.
“Many have expressed how strategic communication or lack of it have impacted in the way things were handled. I must stress that communication management is not an all-comer affair,. it is a function, not task.
“So leaders must ensure that those they appoint as Chief Press Secretary, Media Advisers and other media managers are not just those who speak good english, but highly knowledgeable communicators and Public Relations experts”. he said
Declaring the conference open, the Deputy Governor, Akwa Ibom State, Mr Moses Ekpo identified leadership of NIPR as stakeholders in governance who must join hands to deliver good governance to Nigerians.
Such need, Ekpo said has become more urgent and desperate than ever before, given the recent EndSars protest and looting of public property.
His words “A properly diagnosed ailment, it is said, is problem half-solved. from your choice of a theme for this conference, it is evident that the institute is well aware of its role in the new governance dynamics and paradigm so critical for the present time”.
On his part, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Akwa Ibom State, Comrade Ini Ememobong considers the theme of the conference, which harps on strategic communication management as apt, especially coming at the time when the world is hit by by the twin forces of Covid-19 and economic recession.
Ememobong therefore stressed the need for government and leaders to subject themselves to all-round management by professionals. “We are very lucky in Akwa Ibom because we have a government that listens to professional advice”. he said
Chairman of the Director’s conference, 2020 planning committee, Nkechi Ali-Balogun in her opening remarks drew a link between communication, governance and development.
She said the institute aims at growing a new class of Information and communication Directors who specialize in understanding and influencing the human and social dynamics of conflict and cooperation to achieve positive outcomes on behalf of employers.