Professionals in Nigeria belong not only to some international professional bodies optionally, they also belong compulsorily to the local professional body known as the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), one of the few in the world backed by a state statutory instrument in Decree 16 of 1990. The institute’s codes of practice has 12 articles which include the following:
Every member of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations shall:
a. respect the moral principles of the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights” and the freedoms entrenched in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the performance of his/her own duties;
b. recognise that each person has the right to reach his own judgement by himself;
c. respect the right of parties in a dispute to explain their respective points of view;
d. encourage the free circulation of public information and preserve the integrity of channels of communication;
e. put trust and honesty of purpose before all other considerations;
f. safeguard the confidences of his present/previous employers or clients;
g. represent interests which are not in conflict;
h. refuse to enter into any agreement which requires the attainment of certain results before the payment of professional fees;
i. protect the professional reputation or practice of another member, but make it his duty to report unethical behaviour on the part of any member of the institute;
j. not seek to displace any other member with his employer or client, except with the mutual agreement of all the parties concerned;
k. Not operate any front organisation;
l. Co-operate with any other members in upholding and enforcing this code.
These articles are a superb adaptation of some international codes and the British codes of ethics to suit the Nigerian institution. The extraordinary general meeting of the institute held at the Bristol Hotel in Lagos on January 30, 1981 approved the Nigerian codes.