Becoming A Fellow of NICA Is Exciting – Humphrey Okposo, FICA

Thursday, 28th March 2024.

CreditEconomy News Interview

The Managing Director of Atlantic Marine & Oilfield Services Limited, Humphrey Okposo, was recently inducted as a fellow of the National Institute of Credit Administration of Nigeria. He speaks on importance of credit availability, and relevance of NICA’s efforts in supporting government’s credit policies.

 

What is your career background?

I started my professional career as a banker. My first training in the first few months of introduction into the bank was a course, we called it then in Citi Bank, ELC (Elementary Credit Administration). I have technically not had any other formal training apart from my school where I have an MBA in Credit Administration.

 

How did you feel when you were inducted as a fellow of NICA?

As the managing director of Atlantic Marine in the past 25 years, I am in charge of our credit administration, basically in risk assets or liability balances.

“So for NICA to come and recognize me in credit administration was like, wow.”

It just more or less cemented how I started professionally, and the work that I have silently done in the past 25 years in my company, managing the company’s risk assets and liability balances.

So it’s like a cementation if there’s any word like that, of that career quietly that I’ve had, it is so very good, fantastic. I feel privileged that I’m properly endowed for this recognition and being a member, being the fellow of a great administration, yes. I feel very good.

 

So, does this mean this induction into NICA is a motivation to you?

I have had a lot of invitations to so many associations that I have turned down,

“but it didn’t take me two minutes to consider this when I was approached; this is what I want.”

To even cement it further, being happy about this, my son who has a first degree in Business Analytics, and a master’s in Project Management, I am trying to sponsor him to become also a member of NICA. So I don’t know if that tells you anything about how excited I am.

 

Have you benefited from a credit system before?

To start with an example, years back, I opened an account with the National Westminster Bank (NatWest Bank) in the United Kingdom. In under six months of my operating that account, I was given a credit card with a credit line of 100,000 Pounds. Basically, a black card, you know, of 100,000 pounds. So I had credit in under six months of me operating that account. I know what I did with that credit, bought equipment, managed my cash flow, extended the operations that I had then in Atlantic Marine, and greatly got myself introduced into commerce within the UK and outside the UK, using that credit. Now coincidentally, in Nigeria, I have never had personal credit except corporate credit.

 

How can transition from a cash-based system to a credit-based system help Nigeria’s economy?

Consumer credit is absolutely different from corporate credit. The drive of the economy is not in corporate credit.

“The most important thing is the commercial credit”,

where the average man will go into a shop and buy his household equipment, where he would go to his bank and take a mortgage and spread both payments over a number of years at a friendly interest rate that will reflate the economy.

Transiting into credit economy will reflate the economy. It will expand the capacity of the economy with people within the rules, 10 times more than we currently see it where it is cash and carry system. So a credit economy for consumer credit mostly is a must that we must do in Nigeria because the average man will not complain again about poverty, because he has the opportunity and openness into credit.

 

How can NICA help the Federal Government to achieve transition from a cash-based economy to a credit-based economy?

First of all, legislate the laws. The National Assembly are not experts in credit; they’re experts in politics, experts in the constitution. So, government should consult NICA,100% in the legislation, in the laws of credit administration in Nigeria. For example. NICA,  more than anything else too must get involved with the Central Bank of Nigeria, the banking committee, to help on how to manage credit because if that doesn’t happen, at the end, there will be too many bad consumer debts based on the lack of proper legislation.

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