By Dipo Olowookere Two senior management executives of Heritage Bank Plc were at the weekend conferred distinguished awards by the Institute of Credit Administration (ICA) at the Nigeria Credit Industry Awards and Postgraduate School of Credit and Financial Management (PSCFM) graduation ceremony. The awardees were Mr Jude Monye, an executive director of the bank who was awarded Credit Management Director of the Year and Mrs Chinwe Ofulue, Regional Head who was recognised as Credit Relationship Director of the Year. Besides this, Messrs Obioma Emenike, Group Head, Market Strategy, Heritage Bank; Imomoemi Ibisiki, Group Head, Legal Services, Heritage Bank were inducted as Fellows of ICA, Lilian Oyinlonye Agada, Head, Marketing\/Team Lead, Commercial Banking, was inducted as Member, while Blaise Udunze, Media Relationship Officer of the bank, was inducted as an Associate of the institute. Commenting on the honour bestowed on the team, Mr Monye, who also badged a Ph.D. in Credit Management, expressed gratitude for the recognition of the professional body of their commitment to efficient credit management in Heritage Bank. According to him, the management at Heritage Bank does and will not go for anything less than premium service delivery for its teeming customers, who cut across different sectors of the aggregate economy. Mr Monye stated that the quality of banking and financial services that customers of Heritage bank are enjoying is second to none when compared to what is available at any other bank in the country. He therefore used the opportunity to encourage credit managers in different industries not to look anywhere else beyond Heritage Bank for quality and efficient financial services. \u201cIn fact, what happened here today, is attestation to our professionalism and staff commitment to quality and efficient financial services,\u201d he said. In a keynote address titled, \u201cMinisterial Review of Credit Management in the oil and gas industry in Nigeria;\u201d the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu said the importance of effective credit management goes beyond sectors to business and individuals. The Minister, who was represented by the Chairman of ICA, Dr Adetunji Oyebanji, remarked that the 2008 financial crisis showed how improper credit management in nation\u2019s housing sector, spilled into individual lives of citizens of multiple countries, adding that the credit management performance of the Nigeria\u2019s oil and gas industry has been noteworthy, with numerous projects in the petroleum value chain attaining completion without incidents of liquidity issues. Mr Kachikwu said the Federal Government has the responsibility of providing the empowering environment for Nigerian credit sources, adding that the focus areas of Short and Medium-Term Priorities to grow Nigeria\u2019s oil and gas industry (tagged #7 BigWins) ranging from policy and regulation to business environment and investment drive to transparency and efficiency were aimed at providing suitable environment for these credit sources to develop. He noted that it was imperative that credit providers carry out due diligence on prospective borrowers to minimize any credit defaulting issues that could arise further down the road. Earlier in his address of welcome, the President of ICA, Dr Oyebanji, said the institute has in collaboration with Postgraduate School of Credit and Financial Management (PSCFM) been in the fore front of endeavours geared towards building an enduring credit management culture in Nigeria through professional and academic development programmes leading to the award of degrees and certificates by accredited foreign universities. \u201cIn driving this vision, PSCFM has built alliances with credible foreign institutions such as the London Postgraduate Credit Management College (LPMC), a renowned ASIC accredited UK credit management institution for the award of foreign degrees up to PhD level in credit management,\u201d Dr Oyebanji said. He noted that a sound credit management advocacy remained one of the cardinal projects of ICA and called on conglomerates and blue-chip companies in the country to design policies that ensure quick payment of confirmed invoices from small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs).