CBN urges youths to become financially literate

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has urged Nigerians and youths to be financially literate in order to exploit all available financial products and services.

Mr Kofo Abdulsalam-Alada, the Director of Consumer Protection Department of CBN, gave the advice on Friday at the “2019 Nairability Challenge’’, an economic and financial literacy competition for students in senior secondary schools in Abuja.

He said that the strong correlation between a nation’s level of financial literacy and the nation’s economic and financial development could not be over emphasised.

He described financial literacy as a tool for engagement that would not just strengthen an individual, but would also place such a person at an edge over his or her contemporaries.

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“The CBN is encouraging Nigerians to be aware and participate in the Oct. 30 World Savings Day also known as World Thrift Day.

“We believe that there is no better way to achieve this financial sustenance that we are clamouring for if not through financial literacy.

“This we believe should not be segmented and that is why we are supporting the engagement of youths and school students to build their financial awareness from an early stage,’’ he said.

Alada said that the CBN was willing to support activities that would promote and support financial literacy in the country.

He said that obtaining financial literacy would build an all inclusive financial economy, reduce the level of financial exclusion and solve the country’s numerous financial challenges.

“The higher the level of financial inclusion in any economy would strengthen the nation’s economy. So it is important to improve the capability of the average Nigerian’s knowledge on financial inclusion.

“The CBN will not waiver to ensure that financial inclusion becomes of key benefit not just for the government, but also for the benefit of every single Nigerian,’’ he said.

Alada said that an inclusive financial country would boost full economic growth and development as well as create room for employment.

Mr Uche Uwakeke, the Chairman, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, Abuja Chapter, said that it was important for the adult Nigerians to also strengthen their financial knowledge in order to fully maximise bank products and services.

He said that financial literacy was key because where one was not informed or aware of certain privileges, one could neither utilise nor enjoy such privileges.

“For example, not every Nigerian adult that has a bank account has knowledge on the other various packages and financial services being provided by the bank.

“It has been observed that not many people have credit cards. In fact Nigerians do not even make use of the financial provisions of the bank which is saddening’’, he said.

He urged banks and other financial institutions to update and promote financial literacy in their various spaces, saying that it was one thing to supply financial products and another to update them.

Uwakeke said that financial literacy would also help in the financial management of funds and grow individual’s saving culture.

“We must recognise that not everything we earn must be consumed. We must gain this knowledge for a better financially stable future,’’ he said.

He advised Nigerians to make good investment plans and strategies, adding that it was important to imbibe the saving culture as well as to cultivate investment habit.

Uwaleke also advised Nigerians to seek information on the financial strength and capacity of financial institutes before making investment.

Dr Ngozi Egbuna, the Founder of Nairability Challenge, advised Nigerians against investing in Ponzi schemes, stressing that it was detrimental to indulge in such investments.

She advised youths to widen their horizon on finance and other related matter and to also optimise opportunities given to gain financial literacy.

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