The Unit is headed by an Assistant Chief Public Relations Officer who reports directly to the Executive Secretary through the Special Assistant to the Executive Secretary. The Head of Unit, however, works closely with other Departments and Units in the discharge of its mandates.
The Public Relations and Protocol Unit of UBEC is saddled with the responsibility of initiating and implementing public enlightenment as well as strategizing corporate communication and related activities for UBEC. The Unit has the mandate to create a sustainable positive image for the Commission through enhanced publicity. It is also responsible for initiating and executing programmes geared towards revitalising public trust and confidence in UBEC‟s capacity to lead and mobilize Federal, State and LGA agencies for the implementation of basic education programmes in the country.
- has the responsibility for creating and sustaining a positive image for the Commission;
- provides leadership to the Commission in the maintenance of a cordial relationship with major UBE stakeholders and other segments of the public towards achieving the set goals and objectives of the Commission;
- mediates between the Commission and the public;
- produces UBEC information Magazine, Newsletters and issues Press Releases on the activities of the Commission;
- advises on local and international engagements; transit and other logistics;
- facilitates hotel reservations and transport arrangements for resource persons and official guests of the Commission;
- coordinates hospitality services for guests in the Commission;
- monitors and tracks news stories, documentaries, and feature articles of the Commission in the Newspapers;
- moderates the Commission‟s public functions; and
- anchors briefings, meetings and courtesy calls to the Commission.
Among others, the Unit in the period under review executed the following media related and protocol activities:
- Provided on and off-site media coverage for major UBEC internal and external events including:
- Open Schooling Stakeholders meeting in Kaduna on the 6th-7th February, ;
- Meeting of UBEC Management with SUBEB Chairmen at Barcelona Hotel, Wuse II, FCT, Abuja on 19th March, 2020;
- Interactive Sessions between Management and staff and the newly appointed Deputy Executive Secretaries of UBEC on 25th June, 2020;
- Familiarization meeting between the Board Chairman and UBEC
Management after his appointment as Board Chairman of UBEC on 13th July, 2020;
- Oversight Visit by the House of Representatives Committee on Education on the 26th of October, 2020; and
- Retreat for UBEC Governing Board and UBEC Management; 6th to 10th December, 2020 at Bristol Palace Hotel, Kano State.
- Monitored and tracked news items, documentaries, and feature articles of and on the Commission in the news media.
- Organised and coordinated media and press briefing for the conduct of 2020 Technical and Financial Bidding.
- Compiled and provided direction for the production of critical UBEC informative and advocacy materials.
- Coordinated various print and online advertorial, announcements and publicity of UBEC events especially on the recruitment of Federal Teachers‟ Scheme (FTS).
- Ensured smooth logistics operations and arrangements for UBEC events and activities.
- Facilitated visa processing, documentation and other arrangements for hitch free local and international travels and boarding for UBEC staff on assignments.
- Moderated and anchored all UBEC formal events including:
- meetings and interview sessions with designated media;
- internal Departmental briefings;
- engaged UBEC professional Departments with SUBEB Directors and Desk Officers across the country;
- advocacy visits to major UBE stakeholders at National and State levels; and
- courtesy calls to UBEC Executive Secretary by major government functionaries, UBE stakeholders, Advocacy groups, Media correspondents, International Development Partners, etc.
- Provided still and motion pictures (video materials), documentation and reference materials for major UBEC events.
- Effectively managed the public relations profile and image of the UBE Commission through regular press releases, interviews between UBEC Executive Secretary and key media organs, press briefings, etc.
Through the above listed activities, the Unit succeeded in:
- Maintaining a robust UBE media presence in Nigeria‟s public domain.
- Creating a robust and UBE/Stakeholder-sensitive and people friendly atmosphere for addressing and responding to negative public perception and reportage of UBE programme.
- Broadening access to improved reportage of the UBE programme.
- Innovating improved mechanisms for responding to emerging issues in UBE programme implementation through factual dissemination of information on strategic UBEC interventions, engaging online media and specialized print media platforms.
- Providing and sustaining a vibrant protocol service that ensured smooth logistics arrangement for all UBEC activities as well as travel and boarding arrangements for designated staff.
- Maintaining and sustaining constant information and public enlightenment on Federal Government‟s intervention in basic education delivery through UBEC.
- Acquiring a sabre GPS used in direct airline ticketing.
The Unit was constrained in the exercise of its mandates and set targets due to the following factors:
- Low budgetary allocation and funding for media related activities.
- Increasing cost of media production, broadcast and media related activities.
- Inadequate office space, furniture and equipment for all the entire staff.
- Low stakeholder‟s and public awareness of UBE programme initiatives.
The following are the major on-going activities of the Unit:
- Collating of materials and recording for UBEC documentaries on NTA and selected radio stations and other newsprint and online channels.
- Preparing for the routine engagement of UBEC Executive Secretary with media practitioners.
- Routine publicity of UBEC and UBE related events as they occur. UBEC media presence tracking.
Going forward, the Unit intends to pursue a more vigorous public relations framework that seeks to integrate contemporary and creative mechanisms for publicising the modest achievements of UBEC and creating a robust platform for mobilizing stakeholder support for UBE programme activities. Along this line, the following activities are envisaged:
- Training and retraining of staff of the Public Relations and Protocol Units especially the newly recruited staff of the Unit.
- Public Relations functionaries are being mobilized to offer improved professional services in the coming year.
- Development and production of UBE TV jingle in English and other major language variations (Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo, Pidgin English).
- Production of weekly UBE TV and Radio Documentaries.
- Structured feature writing on UBEC intervention/UBE issues in major national and regional newspapers.
- UBE newspaper publicity on UBE funding, deliverables, contemporary issues and adverts.
- Printing of a quarterly UBEC in-house news magazine.
- Printing and dissemination of UBE posters and other light publicity of advocacy messages on the UBE programmes to mass audience using bulk SMS.
- Creation of social media accounts for engagement with the public (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram).
The concluded activities have generally provided various added advantages to UBEC operations nationwide, including:
- Improved public enlightenment on key issues regarding UBEC activities.
- Increased private–sector and non-public interest in and involvement in UBE processes.
- Improved public perception and general rating of UBEC among its key stakeholders and the general public.
The execution of the aforementioned activities has paved the way for improved UBEC presence in the public domain, stakeholders‟ appreciation of the efforts made by UBEC in achieving its mandate, improved public understanding of the collaborative nature of UBE delivery and the prime importance of States‟ commitment to quality basic education delivery in the country.