By Chinenye Anuforo
Global e-commerce and direct selling leader, QNET, has unveiled a financial literacy programme aimed at equipping the youth in Nigeria with knowledge needed for socio-economic empowerment.
The programme, dubbed FinGreen, employs a train-the-trainers model, ensuring that the information impacted is transmitted to the community for a more sustainable outcome.
FinGreenis designed to impart critical financial management skills and knowledge by training young leaders drawn from various communities to become trainers and champions of financial literacy and economic empowerment among the youth. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) defines financial literacy as the skills needed to provide individuals with knowledge on financial risk awareness to make more informed choices, and improve financial well-being. In partnership with the implementation partner, Financial Literacy for All (FLFA), QNET launched the programme on the occasion of the maiden training session which kicks off the pilot phase of the initiative.
Speaking during the launch, Sub-Saharan Africa Regional Manager for QNET, Biram Fall, said, Being financially literate today allows an individual to be better poised for certain financial roadblocks which, in turn, reduces the chances of personal economic distress. We developed this programme because sustainability is a core pillar of our values at QNET. We aim to make a long lasting impact in the communities we operate in and looking at the growing youth population in the country, it is important to ensure that future and current generations have the requisite information needed to make empowered socio-economic decisions. FinGreen focuses on impacting knowledge not just to the pilot group but transmitting the same information to people in their spheres which causes a ripple effect in financial literacy.
In 2014, a baseline survey conducted on financial literacy in the country revealed that there is a low awareness of key issues. It revealed that over 33 percent of Nigerians do not have knowledge of what interest is while over 25 percent have never heard of a savings account. Further, the report showed that there is low planning for old age, with 33.6 percent of respondents not knowing how to do so.
FinGreen recognizes the recommendations outlined in the National Financial Literacy Framework by the Central Bank of Nigeria, that highlights the critical need for financial literacy as an important skill for financial inclusion. The programme addresses some of the gaps identified in the national survey by taking participants through, saving and investment, money management, banking, risk management and insurance among other key topics.
The 2014 survey further revealed that consumers lacked a general knowledge of most banking products in the marketplace as 70 percent of the adult population have no knowledge of mobile money products and more than 30 percent do not know about current accounts. Consumer awareness and financial literacy combined with an effective consumer protection framework – are important requirements for increasing financial intermediation in these sectors.
Speaking at the launch, Mr Abiodun Ajisafe, Managing Director, Transblue and QNETs partner said: We know that there is a hunger for economic empowerment among our people. Unfortunately, this hunger is often met with low levels of financial literacy that then leads to mistakes when making investments and financial decisions. It has also become imperative to protect consumers from unethical business practices and this is part of what FinGreen covers.
Mr Ajisafe further underscored the importance of early intervention in the sphere of financial education, as it is widely recognised by the government of Nigeria and the research community as easier to instill the right values, attitudes and perceptions among young people than to change the habits and perceptions of older people.
In line with the National Financial Literacy Framework, the programme will contribute to the availability of role models and mentors for the youth to provide guidance on money management and navigation through the complexities of the financial sector.