Heritage Bank Plc, one of Nigeria’s leading innovative lender, has partnered Next Generation to educate and empower not fewer than 300 primary and secondary school pupils in the country.
The initiative is being undertaken by the bank and the NGO in a bid to make them emotionally intelligent to take financial decisions in the future.
The bank’s Team Lead, Customer Insight and Business Support, Ajiri Efeturi, disclosed this at a seminar organised by Next Generation to raise emotionally intelligent generation of youths at the Centre for International and Advanced Professional Studies (CIAPS) in Lagos recently.
The seminar, which had as its theme ‘Brace Yourself For The Future’ was aimed at transforming the next generation of youths in the country. Heritage Bank was the headline sponsor of the programme.
Efeturi said: “We are passionate and committed to playing our role in the Nigerian society about how to make young people to be financially literate,” remarking that the Nigerian youths are quite knowledgeable about movies and the social media unlike financial matters.
She said in a bid to address the gap in financial literacy, the bank has launched a comic magazine that would teach students financial literacy at a very early age, adding that the basis of the financial literacy is needs and wants.
The banking expert also enjoined the students to spend their money wisely and keep some for the future, remarking that there is need for goal mapping, budgeting and development of financial behaviour.
She encouraged them to belong to school financial clubs, open savings account with the bank so that the bank would allocate relationship manager to them who would help to develop them financially, especially in profit and loss account and also enjoy the benefits of bank tours and to work in the bank in day as a banker.
In addition to the financial literacy programme, the students aged between nine and 17 years from Vivian Fowler Memorial College for Girls, Ifako International Schools, Iju Road, Ifako-Ijaiye, Divine Offspring School among others, were also exposed to talks on the beauty of virginity; trauma, abuse and addiction among teens as well as drug abuse.
A relationship and sexuality coach, Folashade Ajayi, enjoined them to make personal decision to abstain from sex before marriage, avoid being alone with someone to whom they are not sexually and physically attached and avoid pornography and exotic films, literature (novels, magazines) and music among others.
Ajayi, who is an executive director of Behind Door Initiative, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) also admonished them to be friends to people with good personalities, discipline and of good moral and religious values; dress modestly; avoid having sexual talks with people of opposite sex and avoid being with male friends that are more than one to avoid being rape.
Also, she also encouraged them not to be intimidated by threats and not succumb to blackmail and when everything else fails, they should open their mouths to shout.
In her remarks at the youth capacity building forum, Timi Oyebode, said that for a victim to recover from trauma, abuse and addiction, such a person needed to track the first experience, grieve her loss, state her gain, track triggers, create new coping mechanisms, response, friends, activities, life purpose and mantra.
Oyebode pointed out further that such a victim should also go for rehabilitation when necessary, plan to fall and to rise again; acknowledge that she is wounded and expose the wound to the open air, forgive herself; the abuser, God and discover the purpose of the pain because every pain has a purpose.
Earlier in her address of welcome, Mrs. Olufunke Fajusigbe, an advertising practitioner who also doubles as the founder and the convener of the forum said the purpose was for the participants to discover greatness from within themselves.
Similarly, the Chief Executive Officer of CIAPS, Professor Anthony Kila, CEO, advised the students to see themselves as assets and their bodies as treasures, adding that successful people use their bodies and brains to achieve success.