Driven by the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN’s) policy of financial inclusion among Nigerians, Zenith Bank Plc said it has launched a campaign targeted at inculcating savings culture and general financial literacy among secondary schools students in the country.
The bank, last Thursday, organised a one-day training programme for students of Girls’ Secondary School, Abayi, Aba, Abia State, where over 300 students of the school were groomed on the need to develop the healthy habit of managing money and using the bank for their daily financial dealings.
Delivering a lecture entitled, “Financial Literacy 101/ Financial Management,” the General Manager in charge of Owerri Zone, Austin Njoko, who represented the Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Zenith Bank Plc, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, stated that the programme had become imperative in view of the fact that over 43.6 per cent of adult Nigerians do not transact business in banks, a figure he said, would become worse if youths were added to the already frightening number.
While acquainting the students with various products of the bank and targeted at young people, Njoko told the students that sound financial literacy skills was key to success in life as managing one’s resources prudently is one decision the individual has to make throughout his or her lifetime.
He said, whether one becomes rich or poor in life does not necessarily depend on how much money one makes through life but how well he was able to manage it effectively and efficiently, adding that instances abound where people make good money but die wretched due to mismanagement.
Intimating his audience on how long money has been with man, Njoko informed that money was first introduced and minted about 2,500 years ago while paper money came into being about 1,000 years ago in China.
He charged the students not to form the habit of carrying cash around because of the inherent danger, which, he said, was the reason government, through the CBN, came up with the idea of a ‘cashless’ society and the introduction of internet banking.
The General Manager was of the opinion that for the students to lead a good life, they must not only stop to learn how to make money but also how to manage it. This, he said, should be done through a written budget, which must fall within their means. For the budget to have the desired impact, he insisted it must make “needs” its priority before going into area of “wants.”
He urged the students to always impress on their parents the need to open accounts in banks for them to take care of their daily needs including payment of their school fees. He said this practice would be particularly beneficial to the students even when their parents were no more.
Njoko said the programme was going to be a continuous one to equip the students and other youths in the country with the necessary tools for money making and management.
Also addressing the students, Director, School Services, Secondary Education Management Board (SEMB), Aba Zone, Dr. Nwaoha Eugene, said with the programme, the CBN and Zenith Bank had given the students and youths food for thought.
He said in the society of today where money was seen as the king of all things, financial education has become imperative for the students so that they would not be led astray in managing the resources that God will bless them with later in life.
He stated that the event also tallied with the state government’s drive for entrepreneurship education in Abia State. “This programme was very apt because presently, there are about 35 entrepreneurship subjects taught in Abia schools so that when students finish their studies even at the secondary level, they would find themselves something doing,” he said.
On her part, the school’s Principal, Mrs. Ijeoma Okoro, expressed delight that her school was selected by Zenith Bank among all the schools in the state for the programme. She thanked Zenith Bank and CBN for the initiative, which she described as “commendable and worth spreading.”