As part of its commitment towards youth empowerment and sustainable economic growth, First City Monument Bank Limited, (FCMB) Limited has kicked-off a capacity building programme for youths in Lagos tagged: “Empowered for the Future (E4F)”.
The initiative is a 12-month peer-to-peer economic empowerment, sexual and reproductive health promotion project for in- and out-of-school adolescents. The financial institution is organising this in partnership with a Nigeria-based Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Youth Empowerment Foundation (YEF).
The initiative, according to a statement, was in line with the bank’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) agenda, which it stated focuses on poverty alleviation, economic empowerment and environmental sustainability.
The programme commenced in August with a week-long training session held at Eric Moore Senior Secondary School, Surulere, Lagos. The exercise involved about 50 youths who were trained on various aspects of human development. The beneficiaries are expected to reach out to 750 peers over a one year period, with focus on financial literacy, skill acquisition, sexual and reproductive health, while undergoing vocational training, job shadowing and knowledge building programmes.
Commenting on the initiative, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Ladi Balogun said, “It is an integral part of our business to make sure that we contribute positively to the community.
“Throughout the country, we seek to have an impact in many different locations, because we believe that it is important for an organisation to have consistent and measurable positive impact on the society with the things that we do. For us, CSR is not a PR tool, but an important vehicle that enables us have real impact on people’s lives – impact that we can measure in terms of the number of lives we have improved.”
Balogun further stated that the bank’s aim is to try and empower those who are otherwise excluded from the economic growth. This is particularly relevant at this point in time, as over the last few years, income inequality and the need to deliver inclusive growth has been highlighted around the world.
Also speaking on the initiative, the Group Head, Corporate Affairs of FCMB, Mr. Diran Olojo said, “the Empowered for the Future (E4F) programme is designed to harness the skills of youths, enhance their employability and income generation capabilities in order to improve their present and future economic status. An initiative such as this is especially important, given the current challenging economic climate.”
He added that “as a responsive and helpful corporate institution, we are using the platform provided by this programme to effectively empower youths and help them achieve their aspirations. We are glad to provide this support which will hopefully go a long way in helping these young Nigerians find their feet in business and other human endeavours.”