Nigeria’s oldest bank is taking financial literacy to high schools 

Financial literacy is one lesson secondary school students won’t get in the classroom, and it is arguably a fundamental skill they will need for their future success. First Bank, Nigeria’s oldest and second largest bank, is keen on changing this narrative by driving financial literacy and career counselling in secondary school students across Nigeria through its FUTURE FIRST Programme.

Speaking at the one day financial literacy event organized for students of Model Secondary School, Maitama, Abuja, First Bank Ltd Group Head, North Directorate, Abuja Murtari Zubairu said First Bank through Future First is partnering with NGOs, Central Bank and other stakeholders to drive financial literacy in Nigeria. One of the expressions of Future First is Career Counselling, “our key objective is to help build fulfilling careers for students in financial literacy. Future First through Financial Literacy focuses on empowering secondary school students which is to better equip students with the tools and knowledge for long-term financial independence.

The event centred on what money was all about, the definition of investments, entrepreneurship, what an account is and what financial instruments are as well as what financial inclusion is all about.

Zubairu said that FUTURE FIRST is aimed at meeting the mandate given to banks by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to begin to inculcate the culture of savings as a way of life for young Nigerians which is why First Bank is  presently targeting secondary schools and people under 18 years .

According to him ”We want to make sure we create a saving culture and attitudes in their minds at this stage of their lives so that when they grow up, they would have already been exposed to savings and what is all about. We expect them to be our Ambassadors, they could as well pass the information to others”.

”We intend to give incentives to the students, especially at this young age, you see, it is a product we have designed and we will  list out the benefits for the students owning accounts with the bank which will  include, scholarships, special loans scheme. It will be a total package to motivate others to save, as they will on their own volition walk into the bank to open their accounts following the interest they showed at the event”. Zubairu concluded.

He went on to explain that as a mandate given by the Apex bank to promote financial literacy and financial inclusion, First Bank is expected  to be submit  reports to the CBN regularly on the progress made on financial literacy and financial awareness which is key in driving financial inclusion in the country . According to him, the programme started in Lagos while this is the first in Abuja adding that the bank hopes to take the campaign to all state capitals before going to the grass root.
In his comments, the Head, Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability of the Bank, Ismail Omamegbe said that the campaign is a financial literacy type which is an aspect of a focus area that First Bank has when it comes to corporate social responsibility.

”This event at Model Secondary School, Maitama, Abuja is one of the numerous schools that we have actually adopted in driving financial literacy, and we do this in partnership with Junior Achievement Nigeria one of the partners of Future First and sometimes with the CBN.

On the success of the exercise so far Mr. Omamegbe stated, ”Yes, you can see that it was very successful, you could see the way the students responded to questions, actually, understood what the exercise is all about, what money is all about, how actually one can save his or her money, the various means and ways it could be done and the various instruments that are involved.”

Currently, the Bank has adopted over 50 schools across the country to deliver the Future First agenda. As with all our programmes, Future First is also implemented through a structured Employee Volunteering Scheme (EVS). This involves our employees offering their time and knowledge in enlightening high school students on Career Counselling and financial literacy.

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