GMW: How FirstBank is promoting financial literacy campaign among  children

Global Money Week (GMW) recently hosted its annual  financial awareness campaign  to celebrate its 10th year anniversary. At the event, First Bank of Nigeria Limited showcases its Financial Literacy campaign which has impacted thousands of school children. AMAKA IFEAKANDU reports  

Global Money Week (GWM) recently celebrated an annual financial awareness campaign to commemorate its 10th year anniversary. The programme targeted at young people, was designed to ensure children, from an early age, are financially aware and  gradually acquiring the knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviours necessary to make sound financial decisions and ultimately achieve financial well-being and financial resilience.

This year’s theme, “Build Your Future, Be Smart about Money,” not only captures the importance of thinking about one’s own future when making financial decisions, but also prompts young people to be forward-looking. 

Since the launch of the GMW in 2012, the campaign has reached over 54 million children and youths in 176 countries. In 2021 alone , more than 16,200 organisations participated in the programme.

The GWM initiative, created to inspire children and young people to learn about money, livelihoods and entrepreneurship,  allies with First Bank of Nigeria’s commitment over the years to encourage its key stakeholders and  customers to imbibe saving culture while having their children carried along to operate savings account in any of its children products- KidsFirst and MeFirst Accounts.

KidFirst/ MeFirst Account 

First Bank introduced KidsFirst Account to encourage the right savings culture among children between the ages of 0-12 to show them how exciting saving can be.

The product is one of the ways by which the Bank inspires parents to intentionally teach their children about money by opening a KidsFirst account for them at any of its branches across the country.

The Bank, through the account, eases parent’s ability to achieve financial independence for  their kids from toddlerhood, while securing their future and exposing them to savings culture. 

But Mefirst account was created to encourage the right savings culture among children between the ages of 13 and 17. This account is designed in recognition of the need to help teenagers adopt the culture of financial responsibility and cashless payment  as they develop into young adults.. The product also has relevant enhancements, including appropriate parental guidance and financial discipline for children as they grow into adulthood.

Financial literacy campaign

The bank started financial literacy campaign in 2013 with the launching of FutureFirst programme which aimed at ensuring that the youth of the nation are financially independent through fulfilling careers and the right financial knowledge. 

The programme is built around three key issues- Career Counselling, Financial Literacy and Entrepreneurship. The aim of the career counselling is to guide the students appropriately towards making the right career choices to prevent the wrong career move in future which could have long-term negative effects.  

The Financial Literacy pillar is structured to empower secondary students with the requisite financial knowledge such as access to quality financial education to enable them make informed choices on money matters and take effective actions for their financial wellbeing.

Financial literacy is partly executed through the bank’s participation in the Global Money Week and World Savings Day, a day set-aside by the CBN, during which banks are  mandated to adopt over 30 assigned schools across the six geo-political zones in Nigeria to ensure financial inclusion for the unbanked. First Bank delivers a teaching module in these schools to inculcate the savings culture in them which is designed by Junior Achievement Nigeria. The bank’s initiative has so far impacted over 85,000 secondary school students across the country.

Impact of the Future First during GMW 

During the 10th edition of the Global Money Week, held between 21-27 March 2022, FirstBank was able to impact 2,508 students from 21 secondary schools across 21 states of the Federation. Most of the target audience were within the age range of 10-17 years.

How FutureFirst programme initiative operates

First Bank executes the career counselling through various activities such as Youth Empowerment Series, UI Career Fair etc. The bank also partners  with Junior Achievement Nigeria (JAN). The programme is  designed to equip students with the knowledge needed for career planning and fulfilment.

The bank’s partnership with JAN, a non-profit organisation, offers it an opportunity to implement FutureFirst programme.

“JAN’s programme aligns with FutureFirst’s vision and based on the curriculum, we have positively assisted students in different locations across the country. Through our partnership with JAN, senior secondary school students were provided with practical business experience under three pillars of financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship,” the bank said.

“The programme offers an experiential supplement to the students’ business and economics studies. It provides insights to how businesses are organised and operated; develop critical thinking, speaking and leadership skills; understand the rewards of the free enterprise system; learn about career opportunities; and gain basic workforce-readiness skills. The programme also fosters a positive relationship between young people and the business community. 

“The COY programme brings secondary students together to form a company, choose a business name and elect company officers to oversee operations of the company for the program duration. It teaches students to put theory into practice in order to fully understand what financial literacy and entrepreneurship is,” the bank further stated.   

FirstBank view on FutureFirst  

Group Head Retail Banking Mainland, Mr Seyi Oyefeso, who represented  Group Managing Director First Bank of  Nigeria Limited at the launch of the programme, said “Future First is aimed at guiding the young ones into the future. First Bank takes it as a priority to invest in the young ones to enable us shape their future , guide them and exposed them in several ways to make them see things and know options that is available to them and know what they need to do to achieve their Carrier goals.

“We expect that children are meant to be encouraged to determine what they want to do for the future and to do that we need to show them how to go about it, bring out people  who can encourage them, people who can show them the practical side of life and let them be able to determine for  themselves through proper counselling and guidance. What they want to be in the future and be useful for the country.”

He said FutureFirst partners with Lagos State Government initiative that aims at ensuring  both public and private sectors work together, stressing that the bank is working  with them in a way and manner  they  will reach a large number of youths in the state.