Ahead of the Children’s Day celebration on May 27, Heritage Bank has launched, The Protector, a comic book to deepen financial literacy among school children.
The initiative is a fall-out of the declaration of May as “Children Banking Month” by the bank. The project, according to the bank, is in recognition of the pivotal role children play as leaders of tomorrow.
At the unveiling of the book in Lagos on Tuesday, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Heritage Bank, Ifie Sekibo, who was represented by Executive Director, Lagos/South West and Corporate Banking, Mrs. Mary Akpobome, explained that Heritage Bank has been at the forefront of driving the CBN financial inclusion initiative and is constantly thinking of creative and innovative ways of introducing the younger generation to the concept of wealth creation through Financial Literacy
Sekibo added: “With this Comic book project, we envisage the birth of creative writers, voice over artistes, motion graphic producers among children.
“Dear young ones in our midst, Heritage Bank remains committed to your development because you represent the future, if we do all we can to support you and equip you, our country will be a much better place to live in.”
He stressed that financial education is a key success indicator for socio-economic development, adding that the bank believes in empowering the youth with requisite skills to make solid financial decisions in adult years
The Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Dr. Oluranti Adebule, who was represented by Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Mr. Adesina Odeyemi, commended the bank for the initiative, which he described as a strong foundation for the nation’s development. He maintained that the state is desirous of an organization that is ready to educate the youth and help them realise their potentials.
“The idea is commendable, because it is a building block for development. It will help to instill the culture of discipline, saving and financial management,” he said.
The Registrar and Chief Executive of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) Mr. Seye Awojobi, also praised the bank for his support for the financial inclusion mandate of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.
The apex bank, few years ago, came up with a mandate to reduce the number of financially excluded Nigerians from 46.3 per cent in 2010 to 20 per cent by the year 2020. The Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation, NDIC, in a study carried out in 20112 also found out that financial literacy appeared lowest among students and the unemployed.
As a key implementation priority of the Financial Inclusion Strategy, the Central Bank of Nigeria developed a Financial Literacy Framework (FLF) in January, 2013. The document articulates a strategic direction for a multi stakeholder approach to the delivery of financial education programmes across various target groups of the population in Nigeria.
Consequently, as part of the Global Money Week celebration, the Bankers’ Committee designated March 13 every year as Financial Literacy Day. The day is marked to focus attention on children and youth in primary and secondary schools nationwide and to empower them by enhancing their financial knowledge and planning skills.