The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Wednesday awarded three secondary school students with equity investments and university scholarship funds worth N2.3 million.
The students were presented with the awards at the 2019 NSE Essay Competition Awards Ceremony, aimed at awakening the interest of youths to learn and understand the rudiments of the nation’s capital market.
The NSE Chief Executive Officer, Mr Oscar Onyema, during his opening remarks, said that the competition was to instill wealth creation among youths with the ultimate aim of building a financial savvy generation.
Onyema said that the initiative was introduced to boost financial inclusion
“This competition is to help waken the interest of youths to learn and appreciate the workings in the financial industry, particularly as it concerns investment in the critical wall of the capital market.
“The competition is to instil wealth creation among our youths with the ultimate goal of building a financial savvy generation.
“It is also an interactive platform that allows key stakeholders to receive value perspectives on key challenges relating to financial interest and what can be done to achieve a goal of 80 per cent of Nigerians to be financially included.
“The first prize winner will go home with N500,000 worth of equity investment and N500,000 university scholarship fund; the second prize winner will have N300,000 equity investment and N400,000 university scholarship fund, while the third prize winner will get N200,000 equity investment and N300,000 university scholarship fund,’’ he said.
Onyema said that the topic for the essay competition: How the Capital Market Can Help Create a Better Future for All, was to further align the NSE with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to inspire future leaders to become change makers who can focus on the betterment of all.
He said that the number of entries this year was 40,966, which showed a 100 per cent increase from 20,016 last year, making this year’s the largest received in 19 years.
President of the Association of Issuing Houses of Nigeria (AIHN) Mr Chuka Eseka, said that economic growth would only be achieved through savings.
Eseka said that this was the right time to engage youth in investment and saving habits that would shape their future.
According to Eseka, the population growth at three per cent is higher than the economic growth of the country at 2 per cent, meaning that Nigerians are getting poorer.
He promised an investment award of N250,000 to the first prize winner, N200,000 investment cash to the second prize winner and a personal cash award of N100,000 to the third place winner.
“For young people, there are lots of areas to invest funds like the mutual funds and the capital market provides the framework.
Dr Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, Wife of Lagos State governor, during her address, called on all stakeholders in both private and public sectors to partner to support essay competitions to improve writing skills of students.
Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by Mrs Funmi Omotosho, said that such competitions were in place to achieve goals number four and eight of the SDGs.
Dr Modupe Adefeso-Olateju, Managing Director of The Education Partnership (TEP) Centre said it was disheartening to know that about 55 per cent of students in Junior Secondary School (JSS) III could not read a simple story.
Adefeso-Olateju said according to a report, about 13.5 million children were out of school.
She said that the school children at the NSE Essay Competition owed those out of school a responsibility.
Adefeso-Olateju urged the students to retain competitiveness when they get out of school and prepare for the world by staying in school now.
The managing director charged the students to develop skills and vocation, commit to living below their means and maintain zero attitude for corruption, regardless of pressure.
NAN reports that trophies, laptops and printers were given to the schools of each of the three winners while the top 10 finalists were recognised.
The first prize winner was Miss Adesewa Adeniyi of Grandmates Schools, Okota-Isolo, Lagos State; second prize winner was Miss Temiloluwa Oladipo and the third prize winner, Master Adeoye Okhaiosevai both of Oritamefa Baptist Model School, Ibadan, Oyo State.
The NSE Essay Competition was sponsored by Zenith Bank Plc, Access Bank Plc and Prime Atlantic Nigeria. (NAN).
L-R: President of AIHN, Mr Chuka Eseka; 2018 NSE 1st Place Winner, Miss Debora Lawrence; Chief Executive Officer of NSE, Mr Oscar Onyema, the 1st prize Winner, Miss Adesewa Adeniyi, Representative of the Wife of the Lagos State Governor, Mrs Funmi Omotosho and popular Nigerian Musician, Innocent Idibia (2Baba) at the 2019 NSE Essay Competition held in Lagos.