Barristers & Solicitors
Boost for Nigeria’s credit industry as Buhari signs NICA Act into law

The nation’s credit management landscape received a major boost recently following the signing into law the Act establishing the National Institute of Credit Administration (NICA) by President Muhammadu Buhari.

NICA hitherto known as the Institute of Credit Administration (ICA) was the brainchild of Prof. Chris Onalo, the doyen and founder of the credit management profession, who for decades was unrelenting in his pursuit of the noble cause.

Shedding light on the milestone achieved thus far, Onalo said with President Buhari’s assent, the institute is now known as the National Institute of Credit Administration (NICA), Act No. 1018 of 2022.

The Founding Registrar/Chief Executive Officer of the Institute who thanked the Buhari administration for making the dream of many years possible after operating without national recognition for three decades, said it is heartening to note that with credit management now into the basket of professions in Nigeria, bad management of trade credit, poor treatment in business credit dealings with SMEs is over, lax  financial credit management, abuse of political credit, unprofessional handling of consumer credit are all over.

According to him, the Institute is enabled to promote the integrity and weigh the capacity of government to borrow for economic development against the backdrop of internal creditworthiness of the overall economy.

Besides, he said, the Institute is poised to handle any form of credit management or credit control functions that will require a person to be academically, professionally and experientially qualified through capacity building and skills development programmes.

“With the robust curriculum modules already developed for the study of credit management by the Institute, Nigerians are set for the attainment of academic and professional qualifications in credit administration which prepares them for credit management functional positions in the labour market of credit industry, both nationally and internationally.”

The National Institute of Credit Administration (NICA), he stressed, will forge a synergy of cooperation with collaborative partner that employers in the credit industry need in order to hold their credit analysts, credit controllers, credit managers, directors of credit, to mention but a few, accountable in cases of unethical credit management conduct or abuse of office.

As part of national awareness creation and to encourage and promote healthy credit/bad debt recovery, NICA will mount “pay your Bill National Awareness Campaign Day” every year which will affect everyone, every institution or organisation indebted to one another.

The Act enabled NICA to assist the federal and state governments in policy formulation to achieve a credible and sustainable regime of industrially supported credit economy. Using credit to produce and sell more goods and services will keep the nation’s production machines running round the clocks which in turn create jobs and wealth for the nation. The present and future governments at federal and state level can collaborate with the National Institute of Credit Administration to achieve national industrialisation and business growth strategy objectives. Globally, the credit economy is known for promoting the culture of integrity and honesty in business or any form of commercial dealings. As a national professional body, NICA will maintain constructive advocacy for national rebirth in terms of trust, integrity and honesty characteristics – it can’t be business as usual anymore.

Professor Onalo further remarked: “As a chartered prestigious body of eminent credit management elites, charged with the national task of controlling, supervising and regulating credit management profession in Nigeria, the Institute will preserve, promote, and protect the integrity, honesty and ethics in credit management profession, locally and globally. This is our token of development covenant with credit management professional internationalisation.

“The Institute serves as the only national body of expertise for all matters relating to credit management, setting professional and ethical standards and awarding professional qualifications in credit management; testing, and assessing those who wish to become members, while enhancing, promoting and protecting the interests of business credit providers and grantors.

“The institute will further encourage and advance education and practical training and research into the credit management profession, helping to foster effective credit administration in the country, amongst others.”

As a registrar and regulator of credit management professional practice activities in Nigeria, NICA is responsible for issuing professional practice license to any person or persons who wish to set up an organisation to offer professional debt recovery services, credit bureau services, credit information services ,credit rating services, credit facility mitigation/arrangement intermediary services, debt factoring and receivables management services, credit management training /education services, credit derivative services, credit management  consulting services, and such other credit management related professional practice services.