NIPR Honours Richard Ikiebe, Akiotu, Labaran Maku, others As Fellows.

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By Ogie Eboigbe.

Nigeria Institute of Public Relations Governing Council has conferred Fellowship award on some distinguished Nigerians in Information and Communications sector.

Among those honoured include; Richard Ikiebe, Tony Akiotu, two former Ministers of Information, Labaran Maku and Frank Nweke 11 and thirteen others.

Mr.Ogie Eboigbe, a Fellow of NIPR since 2001, narrated his long lasting relationship with Dr .Richard Ikiebe, in the article below.

He said:”It felt good and pleasant to travel to Abuja last week to support my friend and brother, Dr. Richard Ikiebe, as he was decorated as an Honorary Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations, NIPR, as part of the institute’s Diamond Anniversary Celebrations.

“Richard and I have had a friendship of almost 50 years, having met as classmates in 1976 in our first year at the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, NIJ, Lagos. Apart from both of us preferring to sit at the back of the class and looking at the back of the heads of the younger, sometimes ‘rascally’ classmates, we were privileged to have had some little, prior media experience and therefore able to guide the rookies.

” We became roommates in the second year, outside of the main hostels and had more time to bond and strengthen our relationship which has lasted till now, with him becoming best man at my wedding in 1989.

“Our two families have also tuned into our friendship and while the relationship has also added a business collaboration dimension, the mutual respect we have for each other makes us think alike or accept the other’s line when there is a need to harmonise.

“So, to Abuja we went, in solidarity and in recollection of similar trips we had embarked on together in the past.

“If anyone deserves to be honoured with a Fellowship of NIPR, it is Dr. Richard Ikiebe and those who nominated him to the NIPR Governing Council all felt that he is a distinguished candidate worthy of recognition as an Honorary Fellow.

“This was because his unparalleled contributions to the advancement and regulation of Public Relations practice in Nigeria, particularly during the critical years of the profession, exemplified the qualities and dedication befitting of the honour.

“In reflecting upon Nigeria’s journey towards establishing a comprehensive National Mass Communication Policy, it is imperative to recognise the pivotal role played by the likes of Ikiebe in shaping its inception and subsequent operationalisation.

“As early as 1987, Richard Ikiebe
was an important part of the team that was instrumental in crafting the initial draft of this policy, laying the groundwork for its eventual implementation in 1990.

“His steadfast commitment to excellence and his foresight as an important part of Tony Momoh’s Ministry of Information in understanding the significance of effective communication strategies propelled Nigeria’s media and communication institutions towards unprecedented growth and professionalism.

“Notably, Richard Ikiebe’s influence extended beyond the confines of policy formulation. During the historic moment in June 1990, when Decree No. 16 of 1990 officially recognized NIPR as a chartered professional body, Ikiebe’s invaluable contributions behind the scenes cannot be overstated.

“As the Policy Adviser to Prince Tony Momoh, the Honourable Minister at the time, Ikiebe worked tirelessly to ensure the successful realization of this pivotal decree. His strategic guidance and unwavering dedication were instrumental in navigating the complexities of the political landscape, thereby securing a bright future for the Public Relations profession in Nigeria.

“Prior to the enactment of Decree No. 16 of 1990, the field of Public Relations in Nigeria was plagued by a lack of regulation, allowing for the proliferation of both professionals and charlatans. “Ikiebe’s visionary leadership and advocacy for regulatory frameworks, including the establishment of NIPR By-laws, codes of conduct, and ethics, laid the foundation for a more structured and reputable practice of Public Relations in Nigeria. “His efforts served as a catalyst for professionalisation within the industry, ensuring that practitioners upheld the highest standards of integrity and professionalism.

“In the area of training, Dr. Richard Ikiebe who, until 2021, was a full-time faculty for over 10 years, and pioneer Director of the Centre for Leadership in Journalism at the School of Media Communication, SMC, at Pan Atlantic University in Lagos, has taught and mentored many NIPR members and fellows.

” He continues to work with the University as an adjunct Senior Fellow, teaching courses in Media History, Media Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Public Policy and the Media, and many of our members continue to be beneficiaries and mentees in the broad communications field, and Public Relations occupies a huge place in the course system.”

Photo:
Left to Right: NIPR Fellows Tony Akiotu, Ogie Eboigbe and Richard Ikiebe in Abuja.

“With a Ph.D. in Media & Communication from the University of Westminster, London, United Kingdom – where he also served as a Visiting Scholar in 2018 – Richard Ikiebe’s enduring commitment to excellence, his instrumental role in shaping policy, and his unwavering advocacy for the advancement of public relations practice in Nigeria exemplify the qualities of a true leader and visionary within the Public Relations profession.

“Bestowing him with the Honorary Fellowship is therefore seen as a recognition of his outstanding contributions to the field and his lasting impact on the profession.

“Richard was joined in receiving the Honorary Fellowship by 16 other men and women, including our mutual friend, Senior High Chief Tony Akiotu, the Group MD of Daar Communications, five Senators and two former Nigerian Ministers of Information – Frank Nweke II and Labaran Maku.

Culled from EPA News Blog and edited by Goodluck Ikiebe.

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