Miss Lawrence Deborah, a 15-year-old student of the Good Shepherd College, Meiran, Lagos, over the weekend, emerged winner of the 2018 Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE) Essay Competition.

Lawrence scored 84 points to emerge winner out of the 2000 entries received across the country, winning N500,000 in scholarship fund for university education and N250,000 worth of equity investment.

She was followed closely by Miss Oluwalonoayo Ashiru, a student of the Corona College, Lagos, who won the second position with 80 points, while Mr Charles Dominic, a student of GEC Comprehensive College, Lagos came third with 79 points.

Delivering a keynote speech on the topic “how technology can promote financial literacy and encourage investment habit among youths”, First lady of Ogun State, Mrs Olufunso Amosun who was represented by the Special Adviser on Information and Strategy, Ogun State, Yemisi Durojaye, commended the NSE for bringing out the initiative and added that the topic provides a unique opportunity for children to develop communication and leadership skills as well as competing keenly amongst one another.

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“Using technology as a catalyst for financial education and financial prudence amongst today’s digital generation is an ingenious strategy that will inevitably yield results.

Today’s youths are addicted to technology and the choices or decisions made and what use they put technology to defines positive or negative results. So financial literacy is pertinent, essential and a necessity to all and a major life skill required to actualize realistic goals.” She said.

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Earlier in his opening remark, Chief Executive Officer, NSE, Oscar Onyema said that the competition which is in its 18th edition is  aimed at “Building a Financially Savvy Generation”, by imbuing a culture of wealth creation amongst youths.

Onyema who represented by the Divisional Head, Shared Services, NSE, Bola Adeeko, said that the competition serves as a platform that gives the Exchange the ability to view the perspectives of future leaders on key challenges relating to financial literacy.

Onyema noted that financial literacy holds great value for all segments of the nation’s population and should not be limited to a certain age group, adding that the benefits of a financially literate society are universal and its positive impact can be felt in the promotion of better livelihoods, economic growth, financial systems, and poverty reduction.

He said, “This year, the NSE Essay Competition topic asked students to discuss “how technology can promote financial literacy and encourage investment habit among youths”.

The goal is to get future leaders to think about how to adopt technology as a veritable tool for building a financially savvy generation. It is my belief that this topic will sow the seeds that will prepare this generation for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

The number of entries received this year shows that we selected the right topic, as we got over 20,000 essay entries from all over the country. This represents a 50 per cent growth in the number of essays received in 2017.”