The Central Bank of Nigeria has been promoting financial literacy among young people, and in its latest effort is developing a curriculum to teach primary and secondary school children about financial services. This course goes into pilot testing next month.
Over the past few years, the government has increased its effort to improve financial literacy. As is the case in many countries, poor personal finance skills in Nigeria are considered a major contributing factor to the deep economic crisis in 2008. Financial education is now seen as one key to the nation’s continuing economic development.
The new curriculum, which the CBN developed in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Education, is designed to teach kids how to make smart decisions about saving and investing. The pilot program will begin this fall, and is expected to be in all primary and secondary schools next year.
During Global Money Week in March, CBN sponsored a range of financial education activities including a financial literacy essay competition. It also collaborated with the Bankers’ Sub-Committee on Financial Literacy and Enlightenment to start a money mentoring program in 579 secondary schools across the 36 states of Nigeria. Children were encouraged to save money through Child and Youth-Friendly savings accounts so that they have resources to participate in World Saving Day on Oct. 31.
As part of Global Money Week, top management at 29 banks visited more than 800 schools to teach a personal money skills course developed by Junior Achievement. This effort reached more than 80,000 students.
“This is the fourth year we are implementing Financial Literacy Day in partnership with Junior Achievement Nigeria, and we have seen the program improve and expand each year,” says Emeka Emuwa, CEO of Union Bank and chairman of the CBN Financial Literacy and Public Enlightenment Sub-Committee.
CBN Consumer Education Head Khadijah Kasim cited financial education as essential to today’s younger generation: “It is important to keep reminding our children that it is good for them to cultivate a saving habit when they are young, so that when they become adults they will be responsible and disciplined adults who can manage their financial matters without worry. It is not everybody that will look for employment. With the skills they have acquired, they can be entrepreneurs.”