The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) has highlighted the critical role of the capital market in delivering sustainable socio-economic growth and development in Nigeria. This was articulated at the award ceremony of the 19th NSE Essay Competition for Senior Secondary Schools in Nigeria which held on Wednesday, 4 December 2019 at the Civic Centre, Lagos.

Speaking at the event, the Chief Executive Officer of the NSE, Mr. Oscar N. Onyema, OON emphasized the need for innovative solutions to leverage the capital market for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). “We need to connect people with products and services that build human and physical capital, as well as bridge infrastructural gaps in Nigeria.

“We have also identified the critical role of millennials in achieving these outcomes evidenced by the overwhelming interest today’s youth have shown in this exercise. We were not only delighted by the thousands of entries we received this year – up over 100% from last year – but also impressed by the quality of progressive solutions articulated in the submissions, some of which will be presented today,” Mr Onyema added.

At the ceremony, Miss Adeniyi Adesewa of Grandmates Secondary School was announced as the 1st place winner of the NSE Essay Competition out of 40,966 applicants across Nigeria. She has been awarded a N500,000 scholarship fund for her university education; N500,000 worth of equity investment; and a laptop. Grandmates Secondary School has also been awarded 3 desktop computers and a printer.

Miss Temiloluwa Oladipo and Master Adeoye Okhaioisevai both of Oritamefa Baptist Model School emerged 2nd and 3rd place respectively. Each of them has been presented with a scholarship for university education, equity investment and a laptop, along with desktop computers and a printer for the school. In addition, the top 3 winners were given the prestigious honour of a Closing Gong Ceremony at the Exchange, while 7 other finalists received laptops in recognition of their good performance.

Present at the event was the First Lady of Lagos State, Dr Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, represented by Mrs Funke Omotosho. She commended the NSE for the contribution of this initiative to the development of our great nation and encouraged participants in the competition to stay committed to developing their skills.

The special guest of honour, Mr Chuka Eseka, Chief Executive Officer, Vetiva Capital Management Limited and President of the Association of Issuing Houses of Nigeria (AIHN) counselled the students on the need to develop a strong savings and investment culture. He magnanimously awarded N250,000, N150,000 and N100,000 worth of money market investments to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners respectively on behalf of the Association of Issuing Houses of Nigeria (AIHN) and Vetiva Capital.

Mrs. Modupe Adefeso-Olateju, Managing Director of the Education Partnership Centre in her keynote address advised the students on the need to develop a range of skills to ensure a sustainable future in light of our ever-evolving society. She also emphasized education, financial responsibility and integrity as important virtues to imbibe.

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The NSE Essay Competition is designed to develop a culture of wealth creation amongst our youth towards “Building a Financially Savvy Generation”. Over the last 19 years, the competition has successfully increased awareness and inspired active participation of the youth in Nigeria’s capital market. This year edition was supported by Zenith Bank Plc, Access Bank Plc, Prime Atlantic Limited and Hewlett Packard Nigeria Limited.

About THE NSE

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The Nigerian Stock Exchange, a company limited by guarantee, services the largest economy in Africa and is championing the development of Africa’s financial markets. The Exchange offers listing and trading services, licensing services, market data solutions, ancillary technology services, and more. The Nigerian Stock Exchange continues to evolve to meet the needs of its valued customers, and to achieve the highest level of competitiveness. It is an open, professional and vibrant exchange, and the Entrepreneurial Growth hub of Africa. The Nigerian Stock Exchange aspires to be Africa’s foremost securities exchange, connecting Nigeria, with the rest of Africa and the world.

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