Banks Promote Financial Inclusion

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Nume Ekeghe

Some commercial banks in the country last week marked the Global Money Week (GMW) by promoting financial inclusion in selected schools.

For Heritage Bank Plc, the financial institution stated that it joined the world to mark the GMW with series of educational programs targeted at tutoring children on the importance of financial literacy, whilst promoting savings, drive financial inclusion, invariably gain a higher standard of life and attain secured economy.

For the sixth year running, Heritage Bank, explained in a statement that it successfully commemorated the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Financial Literacy Day, which is part of the activity to mark the GMW scheduled this year for 25th to 31st March.

During this year’s GMW, with the theme: ‘Learn.Save.Earn, the CBN mandated all banks to adopt schools to commemorate Financial Literacy Day.

The central bank directed Heritage Bank to adopt schools in seven states: Osun, Bauchi, Kebbi, Niger, Enugu, Delta and Ekiti for Financial Literacy workshops.

According to a statement, addressing some of the participants, the CEO/MD of Heritage Bank, Ifie Sekibo, reiterated the importance for young Nigerians to financially and economically equipped for the development of the nation.

According to him, Nigerian youths and those around the world need to be fortified economically via financial literacy knowledge acquisition, which will aid them on learning, saving and earning money wisely.

On its part, Union Bank of Nigeria Plc disclosed that it tutored over 3100 students from 34 schools across the country.

The bank revealed in a statement that its Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Emeka Emuwa, represented by its Divisional Executive for South-west, Rosemary David-Etim,  visited Community Secondary Commercial School, Ikot-Okubo, Akwa Ibom,to tutor the students on the basics of money, savings, gaining employment and entrepreneurship.

Senior employees of the bank also visited 30 other schools across the country including St. Dominic College Yauri,Galaxy International School Minna, Afara TechnicalUmuahia, and West Itam Secondary School, Uyo. 

As part of activities for the day, 50 students from three  schools in Lagos were hosted  in Lagos for ‘A day at Union Bank.’

The lessons covered the importance of acquiring technical and life skills,gaining access to jobs or opportunities to start small business and access to financial education and savings.

Commenting on the importance of financial literacy,  Emuwa noted that teaching the basics of financial literacy to children and youths was a targeted way of reducing financial exclusion, stressing the need for the students to imbibe the savings culture at a young age.

Also, Polaris Bank Managing Director/CEO, Mr Tokunbo Abiru, stressed the need for secondary school students in the country to imbibe the culture of saving money to enable them secure their future.

Abiru, made this admonition while addressing students of Government Secondary School in Tudun Wada area of Jos, the Plateau state capital.

Expressing concern at the negative consequences which low savings culture have on adult citizens with no savings or financial investment, he assured that Polaris Bank would continue to sustain efforts aimed at promoting financial literacy among secondary school students in particular and Nigerians in general

According to Abiru,”we have issues relating to finance which people do not know anything about. An attitude of not saving money is not good for the future. We need to learn, save and earn money. “You do not save after spending but rather, you save first before spending. The idea is to catch them young in terms of educating them on finance and financial investment so that in future, their personal and financial lives can be guaranteed.

“To achieve this, we need to imbibe the culture of saving, no matter how small”

 The bank CEO Who was represented at the event by the Group Head, North-east Zone, Mr. Olayinka Obikanye, urged the students to pass the message to their friends and other family members.

He further explained that the campaign was part of the activities of GMW.

He said: “This is an annual event. Last year, we were in Bauchi for the financial sensitisation and this year, it is the turn of Plateau state.”