Day Lagos pupils took bank MD to task
The 2014 Financial Literacy Day has come and gone. But for pupils of St. Mary’s School, Lagos it was indeed a golden moment for them to display brilliance to visitors and staff of Union Bank Plc who visited the school for enlightenment and sensitisation campaign on the fateful day.
Union Bank Plc had organized a special campaign in the school to commemorate this year’s Financial Literacy Day.
“If we open accounts with your bank, will your bank carry out Community Social Responsibilities in our school?” That was the question posed by Oyinkansola Ango, a primary six pupil of the school, which actually threw the gathering into rapturous laughter.
The question asked by the nine-year-old caught the bank’s Group Managing Director, Emeka Emuwa, who was presiding over the session, unawares. However, Emuwa having paused momentarily, answered Oyinkansola’s question in a way the pupils would understand.
“Without the opening of bank accounts, your school will still get CSR from us,” Emuwa eventually replied.
But the MD’s replay indeed opened a floodgate of what many describe as highly technical questions from the pupils whose ages ranged between six and nine.
“Will the removal of Sanusi Lamido Sanusi as the Central Bank Governor affect the Nigerian monetary system? What has been the positive effect of your bank to the development of Nigerian economy? Why must banks request for collateral before granting loans? Why is it that current account don’t yield interest?” These and many others were the barrage of questions St. Mary’s pupils threw at the Union Bank boss.
Though Emuwa succeeded in answering all the questions, he nonetheless got stuck when a pupil asked: “what year was ATM card invented?”
After a pause, the bank MD declared that he didn’t know but was quick to state that ATM card was actually used for the first time in Nigeria in 2001. The year of invention is what I don’t know,” he added.
Himself, an alma mater of the school, Emuwa expressed delight about the pupils’ intellectual prowess , adding that it was the bid to give better opportunity to the kids that prompted his bank to host this year’s Financial Literacy Day in the school.
“We, at Union Bank see opportunities such as this, where we are part of the process of educating our children and equipping them for the future, as a privilege. We believe that a proper financial education will empower our young ones to make sound financial decisions in future.
“In addition, as an organisation that is firmly committed to the achievement of financial inclusion in Nigeria, we are convinced that financial literacy is a key step in the attainment of this aspiration,” Emuwa said.
Earlier, the bank MD had held an interactive lecture session with the pupils using a special Financial Literacy Curriculum developed by Junior Achievement Nigeria - a non-profit organisation focused on educating children about their economic environment.
Some of the areas covered included fun facts about money, illustrations on the need for trade by barter system, work and income, spending money and saving, managing money and investments.
According to Emuwa, Union Bank has been supporting savings culture among children and young adults, just as it has been developing a number of product offerings to meet their peculiarities.
He said the bank is convinced that such direction is the right way to go, because the young people are the future of any nation.
In her address, the Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer of Union Bank, Mrs Oyinkan Adewale, who is also a former old student of the school said the Finanical Literacy Day is actually meant to encourage school kids in understanding the importance of money, what it is used for and how best it can be made to serve the purpose and make the greatest impact.
“The absence of financial literacy often leads to the development of poor financial habit. And this can have profound adverse effects on individuals, their communities and the nation at large.
“It is therefore important that our children understand the basics of finance from an early age,” Adewale said.
The executive director further said apart from the financial enlightenment campaign at the school, other school children in Lagos were invited to the bank to have an Open Day excursion that will give them the privilege of observing bank activities unhindered.
In her remarks, the school supervisor, Rev. Sister Patricia Chinwe Okwuegba, said the school is delighted to have been the recipient of the bank’s gesture. She expressed confidence that whatever knowledge gained from the interactive session will be available for the kids to tap into for many years to come.
Also, a pupil Ayobami Davies said her knowledge of financial management has been sharpened and that she will strive to put it into use as she grows older.
“We thank the bank for giving us this kind of opportunity. I will tell my parents when I get home what they have taught us so that they can support me because I will also like to be a banker,” Davies said.
The Group Managing Director of Union Bank Plc, Emeka Emuwa addressing pupils of St. Mary school, Lagos recently.