First Bank of Nigeria Limited says it is committed to building the nation through youth empowerment programmes aimed at deepening the knowledge of the next generation of Nigerians on financial independence and wealth creation.
Ibukun Awosika, FirstBank’s Chairman, stated this at bank’s Youth Empowerment Series 3.0 programme held in Lagos on Friday with the theme “Let’s Talk”.
Awosika said the youth empowerment series was designed to sensitise the youth on the importance of financial discipline, savings and investment.
“FirstBank is committed to nation building and any institution that is committed to nation building cannot avoid investing in building and enlightening the next generation of Nigerians.
“Essentially, what we are doing is equipping the next generation as a seed of nation building.
“FirstBank does this not because it wants to spend money but because it believes in the next generation that will change the country with financial knowledge,” Awosika stated.
She noted that Nigeria needed to build a generation of entrepreneurs that would address unemployment.
“We need to create jobs and we need to create an entrepreneurial mindset so they can be solution providers and business builders.
“It’s when you build businesses that you can create jobs.
“Government cannot create jobs, it can employ some people into the civil service but the bulk of the population will still remain in the private sector and you can only do that by creating enterprises.
“The most successful way to do it is to educate, empower and to reset the mind of the youth,” she said.
The chairman urged the youth to take charge of their lives by making the right decision at any given time and avoid been vulnerable.
“Early enough you must have a sense of ownership of your life, when you fail it’s not your parents that failed.
“Everything you do is essentially for you and the sense of ownership is very important, you must fight and protect it.
“If you don’t do well your parents will be sad, but it’s your future,” Awosika added.
According to her, youths should pay attention to the decisions they make for a better future.
She stated that they must set their priorities right to be ahead of their peers by making sacrifice today towards their future.
Awosika said the youth must treat anybody they come across with respect and treasure them because they would likely meet them again in life.
She also stressed the importance of network, noting that, “your network determines your networth”.
Earlier, in a welcome address, Dr Adesola Adeduntan, the bank’s Managing Director, said the youth empowerment summit was intended to grow the future of teenagers and youths on the path of financial freedom.
“FirstBank is passionate about the youth, we recognise that the future of our dear nation depends on you.
“We are promoting the advancement of the nation by taking conscious steps to prepare the future generation for meaningful growth and development,” Adeduntan said.
Adeduntan represented by Gbenga Shobo, FirstBank Deputy Managing Director, said the bank would remain committed to national and global long-term economic development.
“The youth empowerment summit is one of the remarkable investment we have made at FirstBank to prepare the Nigerian youths and to enable you become enterprise minded.
“About 35 per cent of our customer base is actually youth. People don’t think so because they say FirstBank, they think its is an old peoples bank but the biggest segment we have is the youth.
“We decided that especially in a country where blue collar jobs, white collar jobs, are getting scarce; that it’s important to prepare the youth in entrepreneurship in Nigeria,” said Adeduntan.