Nigeria’s banking industry will continue to grow in sophistication, innovation and strength as the youth demography becomes significant in driving the future of banking, Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc, a member of Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc, has said.
Such significance will ride on the back of more enlightenment powered by such initiatives as the financial literacy project of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the bank said.
Mentoring students of Government College, Umuahia, Abia State, in commemoration of the 2017 Financial Literacy Day, Demola Sogunle, Chief Executive of Stanbic IBTC Bank, emphasized that having a solid foundation in financial knowledge keeps the youth ahead of the curve well into adulthood and old age. This will subsequently impact positively on the financial services industry.
The event, part of the 2017 Global Money Week, had the theme, “Learn. Save. Earn”. Over 80,000 students drawn from about 800 schools in the 36 states of the Federation benefitted from the exercise, now in its 4th year. CBN launched the Financial Literacy Day as a platform to encourage children and young adults in junior and senior secondary schools to understand quite early in life the rudiments of money and its uses.
Sogunle told the students that what makes the financial literacy programme particularly significant is the opportunity it provides them to be exposed to financial literacy very early in life unlike past generations who never had similar exposure, a situation that narrowed their skills on financial capabilities. In the same manner that education and training equip an individual for success in life, so does financial literacy enhance sound financial decisions and lifetime financial security, he stated.
“Something as simple as saving money may seem easy, but without a grasp of financial management, an individual may never develop the habit of making sound financial choices and with that comes mistakes and difficulties,” said the Stanbic IBTC chief, adding that saving is an essential part of being financially secure. Sogunle said students need to understand what money is and acquire basic money management skills such as living within a budget and handling credit and debt, all of which will put them in good stead for better management of finances and future success.
Also, the growing sophistication of society and the attendant need for customized products, services, and solutions means that customers must be sufficiently informed to enable them make appropriate choices and manage their personal finances successfully, he said. In addition, as technological improvements have prompted significant changes in the way the financial services market operates, consumers generally must become familiar with the changing roles in the conduct of financial transactions.
He said Stanbic IBTC Group recognizes the pivotal role of qualitative education in socio-economic development; a reason education is one of three focus areas for the group’s corporate social investment (CSI) efforts. Others are health and economic empowerment.
“We see ourselves as a catalyst for progressive change. Everything we do as an organization is tailored towards helping individuals and businesses move from where they are to the next level. We know that a remedy for financial illiteracy is to start practising financial discipline from a young age and that with the right financial knowledge, the future generation will be able to make informed decisions and move themselves forward,” he stated.
The session touched on topics like how to start saving, benefits of saving, knowledge and planning skills. Apart from the students, teachers, management and staff of the school, the event attracted representatives of the Abia State government, several community leaders, clergies, and other dignitaries from within Umuahia and its environs.
Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC is a subsidiary of Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, a member of Standard Bank Group, a full service financial services group with a clear focus on three main business pillars – Corporate and Investment Banking, Personal and Business Banking and Wealth Management. Standard Bank Group is the largest African bank by assets and earnings. It is rooted in Africa with strategic representation in 20 countries on the African continent. Standard Bank has been in operation for over 153 years and is focused on building first-class, on-the-ground financial services organisations in chosen countries in Africa and connecting other selected emerging markets to Africa and to each other, applying sector expertise, particularly in natural resources, power and infrastructure.