Group Lauds NNPC's Spokesman, Obateru for NIPR Fellow Award.

By Mudiaga Okorodudu, Abuja on July 3, 2021

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Dr. Kennie Obateru

CONCERNED PROFESSIONALS’ CONGRESS (CPC) has lauded the Group General Manager (GGM), Group Public Affairs Division (GPAD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Kennie Obateru on his recent Fellowship Award by the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), describing him as another shining example of the steady development of professionalism in the country.

The group, in a joint statement issued in Abuja yesterday by its Chief Media Strategist, Mr. Emeka Nwankpa and the Chief Rapporteur, Mallam Kasim Baba Kasim described the award to Dr. Obateru as a great achievement in the deepening of the ideals of professionalism in the public and private sectors towards national growth and development.

The group’s statement is coming in the heels of a recent presidential endorsement of the award by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, who described Obateru as an accomplished professional in the field of Public Relations. He spoke as a special guest at a reception by the FCT Chapter of the NIPR for its new Council Members and nine Fellows.

“Obateru is an accomplished professional. Now that he has become a Fellow of the NIPR, he can only get better. He is an old wine that is very tasty and now that he is a Fellow, he can just be tastier”, he stated.

Noting the critical importance of effective public relations is in virtuMudiaally all human endeavours, the group contended that Obateru’s award is a major clarion call to image and reputation managers in the nation’s public and private sectors to evolve more proactive and practical strategies to re-market and re-brand Nigeria’s overall image in their respective activities.

‘’Our comprehensive findings showed that the improved excellent public image of the NNPC in the past two years of Mr. Mele Kyari as Group Managing Director is traceable to active efforts of the public/media relations crack team headed by Dr. Kennie Obateru who has proved that depth, clarity, astuteness, thoroughness and transparency can positively enhance the image of a national oil company like the NNPC in a very short time. 

‘’Today, NNPC has a better public perception index especially in the way it has earned greater stakeholder support and understanding. And the bigger credit goes to Mele Kyari for his diligent choice of Obateru and his team’’, Nwankpa said.

Urging public relations practitioners in the country to devise ways and means of assessing their positive impact on their organizations, the group said that such measures would ultimately change the erroneous perception by corporate executives of public relations as mere cost centres without value addition. It canvassed for appointment of more registered PR practitioners in various organizations in the country.

Dr. Obateru’s well-attended investiture was graced by the President and Chairman of Governing Council of the Institute, Mallam Mukhtar Sirajo, Chief Executive Officers of government establishments, Spokesmen of various organizations, senior professional colleagues, among others.

Industry observers believe Obateru has paid his dues as a public and media relations expert culminating in his appointment on March 16, 2020 as GGM, GPAD of NNPC. 

‘’We can attest that Obateru rose through the ranks to rank as perhaps NNPC’s best spokesman considering the present constraints, challenges and prospects facing the country’s apex oil conglomerate. By sheer tenacity, humility, patience, astuteness and resourcefulness, he has brought more friends and mileage for the company’’, Nwankpa said.  

‘’It is remarkable that hitherto, the NNPC’s spokesmen were largely ‘outsiders’ recruited from either the public or private sectors but his appointment has brought renewed dynamism in the activities of the

GPAD thereby restoring faith, trust and confidence in the ability of the staff to deliver’’ he said.

Dr. Kennie Obateru’s career in the NNPC began in 1992 when he was employed as a protocol/consular officer at the Public Affairs Department of the corporation. He has held key positions such as Deputy Manager, Media Relations, GPAD; Manager, Media Relations, GPAD; Manager, Public Affairs, Port Harcourt Refinery; Manager, Public Affairs, NAPIMS-NNPC and also General Manager/Head NNPC London Office from where he was appointed as GGM, GPAD.

He is an alumnus of the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Ogba, Lagos, University of Ilorin and University of Stirling, Scotland, United Kingdom. Obateru holds a certificate in News Reporting, a Bachelor’s Degree in Performing Arts and an M.Sc in Public Relations. In 2012, he bagged a doctorate in Management [Honoris Causa], by the Commonwealth University, Belize.

He is a member of the International Public Relations Association, a senior member of the Africa Public Relations Association and a member of the Nigerian Institute of Management.


Source Soundbite NEWS

Posted on July, 3 2021

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