SEC, NERDC Strategise To Drive Youth Financial Literacy In Schools

By Nse Anthony-Uko
(Sundiata Post) – With low proportion of Youth participation in the nation’s capital market, the apex capital market regulating body, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced readiness to partner with Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) in developing a curriculum on capital market studies as part of the financial literacy programme, for primary and secondary schools in the country.
The Director-General, SEC, Mr Mounir Gwarzo on Thursday disclosed plans about the apex capital market regulating body and NERDC preparation of a curriculum that will engage youth integration into the capital market. Gwarzo speaking at the Capital Market Committee press briefing in Lagos said, a committee is already in place that is preparing the curriculum and content, while SEC has a budget in place for the financial literacy initiative.
According to Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc (NIBSS) about 0.9 per cent youth between the ages of 15-24 are participating in the nation’s capital market. The age distribution statistics by NIBSS further disclosed that 8.1 per cent from 25-34 of age have investment the capital market.
A survey by Ernst & Young (EY), had put the capital market literacy level in the country at just 16 per cent. Little wonder retail investor participation in the market is said to be a mere two per cent compared to Malaysia’s nine per cent and South Africa’s 15 per cent. The above can be described as poor level of financial literacy among the youth in capital market, hence, behind SEC determination to carry its awareness campaign to different parts of the country.
Plans are afoot to incorporate capital market studies in the curricula of tertiary institutions. Without a doubt, any effective strategy for ramping up retail investor participation should leverage on the current demographics in the country which emphasize a large youthful population. Financial literacy is the level of education and awareness about financial markets’ products, participants and processes which is crucial for the development of any country’s economy.
SEC in its determination to drive financial literacy is also considering plans to collaborate with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) FSS 2020, other stakeholders in driving importance of catching them young. The CBN is already in partnership with the NERDC to commence the training of teachers ahead of the inclusion of financial education in the curriculum of primary and secondary schools in the 2017/2018 session.
According to the Gwarzo, “the CBN under the FSS 2020 is also doing the financial literacy. We in the capital market feel the need to participate in the financial literacy within the Primary and Secondary School. “We are looking at it from two perspectives. The first perspective is the introduction of capital market to all primary and secondary school and that initiative will be driven by capital market community. The second perspective is bigger one which is financial literacy where all regulators are involved.”

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