Children from Down Syndrome Foundation Nigeria at the FirstBank sponsored Chidlren's Day Celebration at Silverbird Cinema, Ikeja Lagos.
To celebrate this year’s Children’s Day, FirstBank of Nigeria prepared the children for a rock-solid financial future, writes Nume Horsfall
It was momentous. The children looked relaxed and expectant as they filed in. Some of them have been customers having opened accounts with the FirstBank, others were not. It was a mixture of physically challenged and able body children. In a moment the light inside the expansive cinema hall went off. Then it began with a sound of music.
At an exclusive cinema screenings in Lagos and Abuja the FirstBank of Nigeria thrilled children with films that the bank hope will help support their future just as it unveiled a comprehensive programme that included three new products, exciting content partnerships, a dynamic and interactive new website and Cooporate Social Responsibilities (CSR) activities.
Perhaps realising the imperative of building financial discipline amongst young people, the FirstBank said the new initiative was aimed at creating a platform that encourages savings culture amongst children while also engaging, entertaining and rewarding them.
Speaking during the cinema show in Lagos, Head of Marketing and Cooporate Communications of the bank, Mrs Folake Ani-Mumuney said the partnership with LEGO signposts the bank’s quest to create a platform for Nigerian children to express their creative talents, deploy their innate abilities to something positive while also instilling in them the culture of financial discipline.
She said: “In choosing LEGO as our partner for this project, we considered their brand values of creativity, fun, learning, caring and quality. All these resonate with us because they are values we hold dear. We are passionate about impacting the lives of today’s children in a positive way because we believe the future of this country is in their hands.”
According to her, the initiative was targeted at children between the age of 0 – 24.
Acknowledging the huge differences in the needs and interests of those within this age segment, she said the bank created sub-segments in order to provide more relevant and useful products and benefits to its young customers.
“These sub-segments are 0-12, comprising pre-school and primary school students; 13-17, comprising junior and senior secondary school students and 18-24, comprising young adults. Each sub-segment has its owned tailored product and 360 engagement programme,” she explained, adding that one of the strongest values of this initiative was the fact that all account holders have the benefit of operating their accounts even after crossing the age bar for each segment.
The Managing Director, Arc Lights Ltd, the exclusive representative and distributor of LEGO Education in Nigeria, Mr. Tayo Obasanya said: “What we are doing is that we are partnering with FirstBank to give children the opportunity to have LEGO which is a creative tool that has positive impacts on the child’s creativity.”
He said: “We have exciting products such as LEGO chima, LEGO friends, and LEGO education which we provide in schools to aid the teaching of sciences such as computer science, technology, engineering and mathematics and it is a lot of fun for us and the FirstBank. The bank is a credible partner with over 100 years history while LEGO is over 85 years as a company and we feel that the children of this generation should also be given that opportunity, especially that the economy is better and there is an emerging middle class just as more people want good education for their children and are looking for quality toy that would help develop a child mentally.”
For Mrs. Remi Falae, a parent whose children were part of the celebration, it was a time to celebrate with the children. She said: “I have three children and they all have kidsFirst account which they have had for the past six years. I pay a certain amount from my salary every month and I am highly impressed with FirstBank so much that I told my children to forfeit the Children’s Day programme in their school and so far it has been quite interesting watching the kids enjoy themselves here.”
FirstBank’s Head of Cooporate Social Responsibility, Ismail Omamegbe said: “This is one of our programmes called kidsFirst and it came about as part of our support for young people as a responsible cooporate organisation. Usually part of our strategy is to have what we call inclusivity and diversity and as such for events like this, we ensure that we have an inclusive event which involves people living with disabilities as part of every event that we organise.
“We do not have a separate event for them which would further exclude them and this is one of the reasons they are here. We partner with disable organizations from time to time and we provide them with support as necessary.
Miss Adetutu Alade, a 16-year-old deaf and dumb teenager who participated in the event expressed her excitement on the gesture by the FirstBank saying: “ thank you to first bank and I’m really happy to be here.”
Also, other children with disabilities expressed their gratitude to FirstBank using sign language.
The first of the three products to be launched was KidsFirst, the product for the 0-12 sub-segment which combines the fun and excitement that children are looking for with the dependability and convenience that parents need.
The partnership with LEGO according to FirstBank will give KidsFirst account holders access to exclusive LEGO events, content and products.
As a popular children’s brand known for both entertainment and educational values, LEGO was indeed the perfect partner for KidsFirst.
In addition to great product features that include low opening and operating balances, an annual scholarship scheme and the convenience of internet banking, through KidsFirst, FirstBank now offer parents useful online tools to help them plan for their children’s future and exciting real world experiences to engage and entertain the kids.
“KidsFirst is a must for any savvy parent looking to build a solid financial future for their child,” said one of the parents who watched the film along with the kids at the cinema