A student of Grandmates Schools in Isolo, Lagos, Adesewa Adeniyi, has won the first prize at the Nigerian Stock Exchange 2019 Essay Competition for Senior Secondary School students.
She emerged winner ahead of 40,965 students across the country and was given N500,000 in scholarship fund for university education, N500,000 worth of equity investment and a laptop.
Her school was presented with three desktop computers and a printer.
Temiloluwa Oladipo of Oritamefa Baptist Model School, Ibadan, who emerged first runner-up, received N450,000 worth of equity investment, N250,000 scholarship fund and a laptop; while the school received two desktop computers and a printer.
Adeoye Okhaioisevai, also from Oritamefa Baptist Model School, Ibadan, emerged the second runner-up. He won N300,000 worth of equity investment, N200,000 scholarship fund towards university education and a laptop, while his school received a desktop computer and a printer.
During the award ceremony held Wednesday in Lagos, Miss Adeniyi was announced the winner of the essay competition after her entry was graded best for focusing and providing answers to the question, "How can the capital market create a better future for all?"
According to the NSE on its official Twitter handle, she proposed four critical solutions to the question:
"Better transparency and effective compliance in the capital market should be encouraged to boost investor confidence.
"To increase participation in the Nigerian capital market, there must be increased awareness of the activities in the capital market through traditional and digital media channels, as well as in schools.
"There needs to be more active participation from the private sector. Businesses should see the capital market as a blessing that empowers sustainable expansion while ensuring discipline.
"Finally, regulatory bodies should work together to ensure more effective compliance management and enforcement, " she read out her entry.
Earlier, the Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, Oscar Onyema, said the Exchange remains committed in the nation's financial literacy and inclusion programme.
"With a target of 80% financially included Nigerians, this essay competition exposes key stakeholders to innovative perspectives on key challenges relating to financial literacy and how we can move forward," he said.
The NSE boss said the initiative was not only to test the aptitude and knowledge of the students but has become a mechanism for boosting financial inclusion in Nigeria by enhancing investor education and financial literacy.
He reiterated that the competition's overall goal remains to develop a culture of wealth creation amongst our youth towards "building a financially savvy generation."
"I must say we were inspired by the number of entries received this year. We received 40,966 essays - a 100% increase from last year and the highest number of essays recorded in the 19-year history of the NSE essay competition.
"We are fuelled by the tangible impact of the NSE essay competition on previous participants. In 2017, Gbenjo Olasubomi who came 3rd position in 2016 and returned to emerge overall winner showing exemplary resilience.
"A particularly interesting story is of Kenneth Ohaeri, a previous winner of the competition who is now a Team Lead in the Market Operations Department of the NSE, " he said.
The First Lady of Lagos State, Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, lauded the initiative.
Mrs Sanwo-Olu who was represented by Funke Omotosho, said the importance of efforts such as the NSE essay competition helps galvanise "the development of our great nation."
In her keynote address, the Managing Director, The Education Partnership Centre, Modupe Adefeso, said development encompasses lifting people out of poverty and ensuring they stay out of it.
Ms Adefeso said it underscores the importance of education, health, climate change and finance, adding that financial literacy is pivotal to the nation's development.
She charged the students to get the requisite skills for a sustainable future in today's evolving world.
"As students, there are several things you need to be doing to ensure your personal development.
"Stay in school; build the character and relationships that will take you further and go beyond formal education and commit to lifelong learning.
"Formal education is great but learn a vocation, language, or skill that can give you an edge. Live below your means. Whatever income you have, set aside a portion and invest in your future. -
"Be flexible and adaptable, and maintain zero tolerance for corruption regardless of the pressure," she advised.
In her speech, the Managing Director, Vetvita Capital, Chuka Eseka, encouraged the students to adopt an early savings culture.