The Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) has declared that Ajuri Ngelale, the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to President Bola Tinubu , is not qualified for the job because he is not a certified member of the institute.
The NIPR is the regulatory body for Public Relations(PR) in Nigeria, and its law forbids anyone from practicing public relations without the necessary certification and licensing.
The institute’s revelation is coming after incessant gaffe by Ngelale in his official press release.
Ngelale had recently committed major blunders when he claimed that President Tinubu was the first African leader to ring the bell at the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations, NASDAQ, during a visit to the United States.
The presidential spokesperson had also made a similar mistake when he claimed that the United Arab Emirates had lifted the visa ban on Nigerians after a bilateral meeting between President Tinubu and UAE President Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
The Presidency later acknowledged it goofed in both instances as UAE did not issue any statement on the Visa ban while former President of Tanzania, Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, and other notable leaders had rang the NASDAQ bell before President Tinubu.
The embarrassing situation apparently prompted the NIPR to check its record and discovered that the presidential aide does not possess the required certification to practice public relations in the country.
According to a member of the NIPR governing council, the absence of formal PR training and certification raises questions about Ngelale’s suitability for his position in the Tinubu Presidency.
Speaking with PRNigeria, the newly elected governing council members under the leadership of Dr. Ike Neliaku of the institute disclosed Mr Ngelale, without the basic knowledge and requisite training on PR, is ordinarily not ‘fit’ to hold the exalted position he now occupies in the Tinubu Presidency.
“We have checked our records and membership register and we could not find Ajuri Ngelale in 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/she can practice Public Relations in Nigeria.
“The law establishing NIPR provides laid-down rules about appointing spokespersons which also makes it a criminal offence 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, fine, or both,” said one of the governing council members who spoke in confidence.