Bank plans incentives to attract savings from students
Partners CBN on financial literacy campaign
A COMMERCIAL bank, First Bank Plc, yesterday said it has put in place a set of incentives, including scholarships, that would encourage young Nigerians, particularly students, to voluntarily embrace savings culture and by extension, help drive financial inclusion project as championed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
First Bank, which is one of the Nigerian deposit money banks partnering the CBN on financial literacy in schools and has thus adopted several schools nationwide to teach young students financial issues, said the project is also in partnership with Junior Achievement Nigeria.
It said: “We intend to provide incentives to students, especially by identifying those benefits that will make it attractive for them to work into a bank and willingly open an account. “This may include giving scholarships and also learning materials like books and so on.”
First Bank Group Head, Abuja 4 North Directorate, Muntari Zubairu, who stated this at the weekend when educating students of Maitama Model Secondary School, Abuja, on how money works, explained that financial literacy campaign is one of those strategies the bank has adopted not only to raise awareness on CBN’s cashless policy but reasonably increase financial inclusion levels in the country by educating particularly the children and youths about how money works.
According to him, the bank’s mission is not only to carry out a CBN mandate to banks to inculcate the spirit of savings culture in young Nigerians but also to leverage the strategy to grow its customer base by encouraging students to save.
He said: “We are targeting secondary schools and people under 18 to impact savings culture and attitude in their minds at this stage of their lives. We expect them to be ambassadors and also pass the same information to other colleagues and peers.”
He noted that First Bank understands that by empowering young Nigerians with the requisite financial knowledge and skills, they would have the confidence to participate in the formal financial system and effectively contribute to the stability of the financial system while improving their economic well-being.
Zubairu also said the move is necessary because as economics students, children and youths are supposed to be financially capable, know their rights and responsibilities as citizens and also have the capacity to create sustainable livelihood for themselves.
The lecture, which focused on how to “Grow Money”, exposed the students to different types of accounts, investments and returns, advising them that “money saved at home is not safe but should be transferred to a financial institution or invested after a while in order to reduce the risk of spending, theft, and also to grow.”
In his remarks, the Head Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability, First Bank, Ismail Omamegbe, said the lecture is the bank’s contribution to financial inclusion, and also to create financial awareness, which is a key aspect of financial inclusion in the country.
Omamegbe also said that financial literacy is one of the bank’s focus areas on corporate responsibility and sustainability, confirming that the Maitama Model School is one of the numerous schools that they have actually adopted in driving financial literacy.
He said: “The engagement with the children was exciting. They asked very valid and good questions, which mean they are interested and we also told them we would be back next year to find out how what they have learnt have impacted them.
“There is that eagerness and willingness on their part to be financially included and I assure you that from what we have seen here, within the next one or two, most of them will open an account. Our target is to ensure that every Nigerian has an account and this is one of the ways we intend to drive that.”
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