DR OBY Ezekwesili, a former Minister of Education, on Wednesday said Nigerian youth should be equipped with skills and knowledge that would aid their understanding of financial matters right from secondary school.
Ezekwesili stated this at the 2017 Nigerian Stock Exchange Essay Competition Awards Ceremony in Lagos.
“We need to offer children financial literacy before they get to senior secondary schools.
“It help and guarantees the young ones to grow into adults that can achieve financial security and success, and make informed decisions,” she said.
The ex-minister said an individual who has acquired financial literacy is considered financially secured and able to succeed.
“We must handle our youths with tools such as financial literacy because for too long, we have been made the poorest region in the world,” she said.
Ezekwesili said Nigeria needs a newer generation that would help in changing the story.
“Every country that has managed to do better, every country that has climbed out of poverty, has improved in education.
“The basis of improvement is quality education.
“We should be more interested in the state of the school system in Nigeria.
“Anytime I see these young children excelling, I feel excited because I really don’t want their generation to repeat all the failures of my generation and the generation before me.
“I am so such optimistic that Africa can claim its place in the 21st century because of our young ones,” she said.
Ezekwesili commended the stock exchange for its investment in the education sector and called for more support from the private sector.
“We need a collective effort on education.
“The more the stock exchange will lead this process, the more the private sector understands that if they will find world class talents in this country, they have to be interested in what goes on in the education; so, it becomes a collective effort,” she said.
Mr Oscar Onyema, Chief Executive Officer, the Nigerian Stock Exchange said the NSE would continue to invest in and develop financial education in schools.
Onyema said the NSE was committed to playing its part in building a financially savvy generation, leveraging the essay competition and other initiatives.
According to him, teaching students at a very young age the basics of finance and the capital market is essential to their broad financial literacy education.
“Year on year, the participation and interest continues to increase, affirming the appetite of these future leaders for personal development.
“The 2017 edition had a 36 per cent increase from the 2016 one, with over 10,100 entries received nationwide.
“Through partnerships with Access Bank Plc, Zenith Bank Plc and Prime Atlantic Energy, the competition was a success.
“In developing the entries, students are encouraged to consider real-world economic events and trends, conduct research online, develop investment knowledge and in the process gain the skills to prepare for their own financial future,” he said.
Onyema said the the 2017 winners emerged from a rigorous and phased assessment process carried out by capital market professionals.
“From the process, 10 national winners were selected, who further competed at the final stage to determine the overall best three entries and winners,” he said.
According to him, the outstanding performance of the brilliant young is being recognised and rewarded today with equity investments, scholarship and sets of computers.
“It is a win for the students and their schools,” he said. – NAN
– Nov. 30, 2017 @ 08:43 GMT