By Omobayo Azeez
First Bank of Nigeria Limited (FirstBank) has reiterated its commitment to building the nation through youth empowerment programmes and mentorship of the younger generation on financial independence and wealth creation.
Ibukun Awosika, the bank’s board chairman, spoke at the bank’s youth empowerment series 3.0 programme held in Lagos 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.
Awosika urged the youth to take charge of their lives by making the right decision at any given time and avoid been vulnerable.
In her words, “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 essential 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.”
Earlier, in a welcome address, Adesola Adeduntan, FirstBank’s managing director, said the youth empowerment summit was intended to grow the future of teenagers and youths on the path of financial freedom.
He said, “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.”