The Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigeria Education Research and Development Council are to improve financial literacy in Nigerian schools
| By Anayo Ezugwu | Oct 24, 2016 @ 01:00 GMT |
THE Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and the Nigeria Education Research and Development Council, NERDC, are to improve financial literacy in the country by teaching financial education at all levels of the education system in Nigeria. The move aimed at teaching children on how to be better financial managers was announced on October 11, at a press briefing in Lagos.
Umar Dutse, director, consumer protection, CBN, said, “I would use this opportunity to thank the management of the Central Bank of Nigeria for its support to undertake this project and all other stakeholders. As we all know, financial education is not something one individual or one organisation can do. The framework itself has taken the approach of a multi stakeholder approach so all hands must be on deck for us to achieve our goals and objectives. I am happy to say that with the commitment from all stakeholders, NGO development partners, among others, I think this is going to go a long way. And at the end of the day, Nigeria is going to be a reference point once this curriculum is developed and I think we are going to be better for it.”
On his part, Ismail Junaidu, executive secretary, NERDC, said, “One of the major lessons learnt from the recent global financial crisis which resulted in the near collapse of the Nigerian financial system is that consumers in Nigeria lack knowledge and skills that would enable them understand financial concepts to manage their personal financial matters to enhance their wellbeing.
“As part of efforts to address these issues, a national financial inclusion strategy was launched by the federal government in 2012 which places high premium amongst others on financial literacy a major vehicle towards achieving this goal. One of such final literacy initiatives is the development of a financial education curriculum to be taught at various levels of the formal education system, primary secondary and tertiary to inculcate the desired financial habits amongst the citizenry from a very young age to adulthood when decisions concerning financial and economic well-being are made.
“This led to the project of developing a financial education curriculum for Nigerian schools at basic and secondary levels. The project is taking place under the auspices of the financial system regulators, CBN, NDIC, SEC, PENCOM, NAICOM, NSE, bankers committee, GIZ, MercyCorps, NGOs and an array of stakeholders.”
According to him, the innovative curriculum comprises different themes namely money, savings, credit, insurance, deposit insurance, capital market, pension planning and budgeting, financial landscape and entrepreneurship. He added that this project has been approved by the federal ministry of education. “Each theme contains different concepts, contents, activities, learning resources and evaluation guides all that sequenced and graduated for effective implementation and learning outcomes in the different lessons, classrooms and schools.”
Financial literacy and the promotion of a sound financial system in Nigeria is an important mandate of the CBN. A key aspect of this function is the entrenchment of effective consumer protection regime that not only protects the rights of consumers but also engenders public confidence in the financial system.
According to financial literacy report on CBN website, the current realities in the financial sector show that, it is only when the interest of consumers is given proper attention and protected that public confidence would be restored in promoting a strong and stable economy. Though there exits many educated and literate Nigerians, a high percentage of the population does not have the requisite skills to effectively manage their financial transactions and take advantage of the opportunities presented by the financial products and services to improve their well-being.
Consumers of financial services have also been subjected to unethical practices from financial institutions which could be attributed to their low levels of financial literacy arising from their lack of knowledge of their rights and obligations in their relationships with the financial institutions.
The CBN made a commitment in 2011 referred to as the “MAYA DECLARATION”, to reduce the number of financially excluded Nigerians from 46.3 percent in 2010 to 20 percent by the year 2020. To ensure the fulfilment of this obligation, a National Financial Inclusion Strategy was accordingly developed and launched in October 23, 2012. The strategy identified consumer protection and its constituent pillars of Market Conduct, Dispute Resolution and Consumer Education as critical to the attainment of its objectives.