An Executive Director of Heritage Bank Limited, Mrs. Mary Akpobome, has described financial literacy as a strong catalyst to financial inclusion, and wealth creation that will aid the nation’s economic growth.
Mrs.Akpobome stated this in her opening remarks at the Financial Literacy Day Programme organised by the bank at the University of Ilorin Secondary School, Ilorin, Kwara State last Thursday.
Akpobome, who was represented by Mrs. Moji Niran – Oladunni, Divisional Head, Public Sector, Heritage Bank, explained that the Bank’s Financial Literacy Programme is a platform to help children and young adults establish a positive relationship with money.
The Financial Literacy programme, she added, is a key enabler to the achievement of financial inclusion that will sustain economic growth and development in the country.
“At Heritage Bank, the importance of financial inclusion for the youth cannot be over-emphasized. The youth represents a vital force for socio-economic development and hence, the need to begin to work with young people through educational institutions. As a bank, we are here to grow with you and see you create wealth, preserve and transfer wealth across generations. This must begin with being financially literate,” she said.
Addressing the students, Miss Zuriel Oduwole, the education advocate teenager and Heritage Bank’s Financial Literacy Ambassador, noted that financial literacy is about how to earn money and preserve it for the future. Oduwole, who had held meetings with more than 18 Presidents and Prime Ministers on youth and education, averred that education is not only about passing subjects like Chemistry, Biology or Economics, but about learning new things that will help the learner in the future.
Earlier, the Principal of the school, Mrs. Nike Jaiyeola thanked Heritage Bank and the CBN for the initiative and described the programme as a valuable contribution to the life of the youth. “The youth are the most vulnerable group to make wrong financial decision, but with this programme now, the danger can be averted when it is time to make quality decision about finances and the future,” she said.
Some of the topics discussed at the programme ranged from banks, money, Bank Verification Number, BVN, the naira and devaluation. As part of the programme, the bank donated volumes of books on money and finance to the school.
As a key implementation priority of the Financial Inclusion Strategy, the Central Bank of Nigeria developed a Financial Literacy Framework (FLF) in January, 2013. The document articulates a strategic direction for a multi stakeholder approach to the delivery of financial education programmes across various target groups of the population in Nigeria.
Consequently, as part of the Global Money Week celebration, the Bankers’ Committee designated March 13 every year as Financial Literacy Day. The day is being marked to focus attention on children and youth in primary and secondary schools nationwide and to empower them by enhancing their financial knowledge and planning skills.