Maritime journalist, Mr. Sylvanus Ekpo has advocated for the establishment of a Chartered Institute of Protocols Management by Act of the National Assembly to cater for training, consultancy and networking of thousands of practitioners scattered across Nigeria.
Ekpo who made this call while delivering a lecture titled “Protocol Management in Modern Corporate Branding”, in the just concluded 3-Day training for PR and Protocols Staff of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) organized by the Maritime Media Limited in conjunction with NIMASA in Lagos stated that Protocols function was critical and should be given attention it deserved.
He noted that presently, protocol function was considered as a sub sect of PR function as according to him, it was embedded in PR because as a person to person communication, they were dealing with the Head of the agency and so on.
“But look across the entire country, you have protocol people working in their thousands and there is no institute that they can lay claim to as their own, they fall under the NIPR and that is not enough. I am advocating for the establishment by an Act of Parliament of the Chartered Institute of Protocol Management in Nigeria because it will help to situate the professionals for trainings, for consultancy services, for networking of those involved in the protocol department.
“To see how important protocol is, right up to Presidency, protocol function is recognized and it is involved. At the state level, it is there, in major agencies, it is there, it is not only about going to procure tickets and book hotels for Heads of agencies. It goes beyond that and this is the time we should sit down and evolve something that is as good as we see in other places, that is why I am advocating for a Chartered Institute of Protocol Management”, he said.
Ekpo who is also the Managing Editor of Shipping World Magazine added that it would only take the coming together of like minds to kick-start the process saying that it would require getting up to ten protocol practitioners, right from the Presidency to sit down, get a name for themselves and advocate for it.
In his words,” If you advocate for it, then get a lawyer to draft a private member bill and send to the National Assembly and then it will go through the normal processes. It is not all about money, it is about the willingness of the practitioners because practitioners who are in protocol business are not recognized, they are not even known and they see their work as a sub sect. Is it not to go and buy ticket? Is it not to go and book a hotel? It is beyond that, so, they need a full institute. So, that narrative is what I am canvassing now, to run their own game.
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