On behalf of the Executive Management of The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), I say a very warm welcome to you all for participating in the 2017 Global Money Week (GMW) celebration. We are honoured to have the students, teachers and participating schools here present today.
The Global Money Week is of strategic importance to both the Nigerian Stock Exchange as an organization and its various stakeholders. It is an excellent opportunity to share with the country’s future leaders tips on how to build a financially savvy future.
The Global Money Week is an annual global celebration, initiated by Child & Youth Finance International (CYFI), with local and regional events and activities aimed at inspiring children and youths to learn about money, saving, creating livelihoods, gaining employment and becoming entrepreneurs. It is also aimed at empowering the next generation to be confident, responsible and skilled economic citizens.
The global theme for 2017 is ‘Learn. Earn. Save’, which interestingly is the simple step by step approach to being financially included. To be financially included, you must therefore Learn, Earn, Save, Invest, Save More and Reinvest.
As part of our objectives for this year’s celebration, we are emphasizing the importance of youths taking part in clever and cost-careful habits from an early age, while developing key money-managing skills for the future. As a sustainable Stock Exchange, we are committed to advancing the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), one of which is Quality Education for all by 2030 – SDG number 4. We are playing our part in building a financially savvy generation, by implementing and supporting a number of programmes that contribute to raising the level of financial literacy in Nigeria.
Notable among these programmes is the NSE Essay Competition, which began in the year 2000. The competition is aimed at bridging the gap between classroom learning and practical knowledge required for long-term personal financial planning. Since inception, the NSE Essay Competition has inspired over 37,000 young people in more than 7,000 schools across Nigeria to showcase what they have learnt about the financial market.
The outstanding performance of these brilliant young minds are recognized and rewarded with equity investments, scholarship funds and computers. The exceptional schools that produced the top 3 winners also receive prizes such as computers and printers. This year I urge you to send in your entries as you can learn through the process plus there are wonderful prizes to be won.
Our other financial literacy initiatives include school excursions to the Exchange, NSE Adopt-A-School initiative, school outreach programmes, financial literacy workshops and of course platforms such as the Global Money Week. Through these initiatives, we have been able to promote financial literacy among young Nigerians, by encouraging them to learn how good financial decisions can better their lives now and in the future, and ultimately grow the economy.
The impact of our various initiatives is commendable as the Exchange has been recognized for its achievements in promoting financial literacy. The Nigerian Stock Exchange is a recipient of the “Corporate Achievement Award to a Financial Institution” at the inaugural annual Financial Literacy Excellence (FILEX) Awards, for promoting financial literacy in Nigeria.
Before I close, I would like to give a bit of background information on The Nigerian Stock Exchange especially if this is your first time at the Exchange.The Nigerian Stock Exchange was founded in 1960 and today services the second largest financial centre in sub-Saharan Africa. I think it is important to note that the NSE, is a private company limited by guarantee and not a government establishment. The Exchange is licensed under the Investments and Securities Act (ISA) and is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of Nigeria. We are also a member of the Financial Literacy Steering Committee, which is a body chaired by the Central Bank of Nigeria and made up of all Financial Market Regulators and Bankers Committee with an objective to increase financial literacy in Nigeria.
Today, we continue to evolve to meet the needs of our valued investors, and to achieve the highest level of competitiveness. With about 247 listed securities, The Exchange operates a fair, orderly and transparent markets that bring together the best of African enterprises, and approximately 5 million investors from around the world. You will get additional information on the Exchange during the discussion with Mr. Abimbola Babalola.
At this juncture, permit me to acknowledge the role of our partners, FBN Holdings, Access Bank and AIESEC Nigeria in organising the 2017 Global Money Week. We value your contributions and look forward to an even greater support in 2018.
Let me end by reminding the students here today that you are the agents of transformation. As Abraham Lincoln said, “the best way to predict your future is to create it.” With hard work, smart work, honesty and dedication you can be the best you want to be in any chosen profession or career path you choose. I encourage you to learn as much as you can from the line-up of speakers that we have today as we hope that you will become advocates of financial literacy in your various communities.