September.23.15Event
Money Matters with Nimi
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Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

Thank you so much for coming out so early on a Tuesday morning to grace this occasion. I truly appreciate your support and am I very touched that so many of you are here.

Let me start by reading an excerpt from the A – Z of Personal Finance.

The Family Feud

“We’re dividing all of mother’s things, deciding on her rugs and rings. 

I can’t believe what’s happening tonight.

Can’t split a painting on a wall, or share a table in the hall.

I never dreamt that we could fall apart, it would break our mother’s heart. Tonight, we’re in a family fight and yet as kids we’d talk away the night. But now, we’re in a family fight.”

Les Kotzer, The Family Fight

Look around you at your wonderful close-knit family. Can you imagine that in 20 years your children might not even be talking to each other? These were siblings who laughed together, played together and shared everything having grown up in the same home. It may seem unthinkable, but if your legacy does matter to you, tidy up your affairs now.

Our lives are shaped by many different life events. Life’s big events, good, bad, happy or sad, come with financial consequences. The various stages of life are punctuated by significant milestones such as, starting a first job, to getting married and starting a family, educating your children, losing a job, buying a home, caring for aging parents, losing a loved one, planning for your retirement and for your death. Too many of us get swept up in such events without being prepared financially.

The purpose of the A – Z of Personal Finance is to remove the mystique surrounding savings and investments and to provide readers with information and tips on matters concerning the management of their money throughout their lives.

During my career as a banker, I witnessed firsthand the financial habits of highly successful people and I also saw firsthand some of the dire consequences of a sad legacy when people died without a plan. I witnessed various scenarios such as, the creation of significant wealth by one generation, and the rapid depletion of that wealth by the next. I saw corporate executives receive staggering sums in retirement or severance packages and saw the windfalls disappear in the twinkling of an eye, and I wealth being totally decimated by one serious illness where there was no health insurance in place. I witnessed parents who stifled their children’s development and independence by smothering them with material possessions and leaving them totally unable to take responsibility for their own lives. I saw that inspite of outward appearances of affluence, a shocking number of people are literally just a stone’s throw away from financial disaster. I also found that women appeared to be less able regarding their personal finances; this experience had a significant impact on my views on the creation, sustainance, and transmission of wealth.

Personal financial responsibility has been a crucial element in charting our course. With the “Money Matters with Nimi,” brand and through columns, speaking engagements, television, radio appearances and social media, I have sought to create a greater awareness about financial responsibility in a simple easy to understand way.

In December 2012, our company Bestman Games launched the City of Lagos edition of the iconic Monopoly board Game. This was the first African city edition of Hasbro’s iconic Monopoly board game. We subsequently launched the Nigerian Centenary Edition and more recently, the Cross River Edition. An exciting school edition of Monopoly, is being created in commemoration of Corona School’s 60th Anniversary this November. Corona will join a crop of the worlds leading schools with its own Special Limited Edition of Monopoly which showcases an institutions campuses, its ethos, values, culture, school rules and history whilst also presenting lessons in personal finance in a fun and engaging way. Students old and new, teachers, and parents learn about personal finance whilst reminiscing about their time and connection at that iconic institution. Bestman Games is setting up Personal Finance Clubs one school at a time.

It is exciting to see other initiatives of financial literacy and inclusion spreading the message in an exciting and effective way. Ajapa World is reviving the savings culture in children by setting up financial literacy clubs in thousands of public schools. Arese Ugwu has a wonderful blog, Smart Money With Arese and Omilola Oshikoya supports both personal and business finance through Pocket Finance with Omilola. Thank you Arese and Omilola for the great work that you are doing. Lanre Olusola, an outstanding Life Coach is touching millions of lives with his messages and coaching interventions. He recently launched The Money Book. I urge you to get your copy.

I began my writing journey over twelve years ago with Genevieve Magazine, a leading Nigerian women’s lifestyle magazine. I must thank my dear friend Betty Irabor, for entrusting me to a column in her superb publication which has become such and important guide to thousands of women, and men who seek to understand women. Indeed it was when the veteran journalist Amma Ogan purchased Genevieve Magazine and came upon my articles that she telephoned me and invited to contribute articles to Dele Olojede’s excellent publication, 234 Next.

And that was the start of many more opportunities to spread the message and to Business Day and The Punch Newspapers, I must express my gratitude for the outstanding support in providing me with their platforms. Both publications have a robust section educating the public about their finances. The media in general, both print and electronic are playing an important role in bringing financial education to our communities and encouraging prudent financial habits among the populace.

I must thank Mo Abudu an outstanding Nigerian woman and the Ebony Life TV team who are here to cover this occasion. Silverbird Group are always so supportive of everything that I do and I thank them for their support.  I also thank Smooth FM for inviting me to be part of Personal Finance on Smooth 98.1 with the wonderful Aderonke, every Wednesday at 5.15pm.

I have also had the opportunity to write for a host of blogs including Bella Naija Lagos Mums – and Eden Lifestyle and The Edition, a Kenyan publication. Indeed it has been the content of those articles that have formed the basis of this book and for this I am very grateful.

The numerous readers of my articles and followers on social media who took the time to write letters to share their stories, underscored the need for me to compile them into a book for all to read.

MY FAMILY

I dedicate this book the A – Z of personal finance to my parents, Mr & Mrs F.I. Ajumogobia, who are no longer with us, but taught us some distinct and invaluable lessons in personal finance from an early age that have endured.

They were disciplined and hard working and ensured that they saved and invested meticulously to give us the best possible education. They introduced piggy banks, pocket money, allowances, savings accounts to us early. My father would test us on occasion by borrowing from our piggy bank and would return the money with interest! During the holidays we were obliged to work and to learn to earn and had to account for our earnings.

For the past 30 years since I joined the Akinkugbe family, profound lessons in consistent long term investing with purpose, along with frugality, discipline and humility, touched me deeply and I thank my other parents Chief and Mrs O.I. Akinkugbe for being such incredible role models for us all.

Both my Ajumogobia and Akinkugbe parents have lived a legacy of integrity, modesty, humility, service and philanthropy. Mum and Dad it means so much to have you both here today and I thank you so much for all that you’ve been to me, and all that you are to our family.

I must thank my wonderful husband Yinka specially. He has given me wings to grow and to fly and has been a consistent support with everything I’ve ever done. Thank you Yinka. We have three amazing children, Akinkunle, Kaline and Dolapo of whom we are very proud. From their earliest years and in varying degrees, they have come to understand the importance of saving and investing, discipline and hard work. They have also learnt to identify, nurture and invest in their talents. They have used their gift of music to support their peers and we invite you all to the 10th Ajumogobia Science Foundation Memorial Christmas Concert which takes place on the 22nd December 2015 at the MUSON Centre.

My siblings, Emi, Soboma, Odein and Ibiai have always had my back through fears, uncertainties, through life, and I am just so lucky to have you all in my life. They have provided constructive criticism and offered useful comments and fresh ideas. I must also thank my sisters and brothers-in-law, Rita, Awuneba, Ayo and Professor Renner, for your support and care.

 

SPECIAL MENTIONS

There are a few others that I must single out to thank especially; Linda Adeboye, May Mbu, Aishah Ahmad and my daughter Kaline. The book project almost died several times as I was so busy and I must thank an outstanding young lady Cornelia O’dwyer, who revived the project and who painstakingly brought it back to life. Bee Azubike and Onyeka Okonta have worked so hard in ensuring that today came to pass.

Damola Ifaturoti of AVN, my publisher stood by patiently, and gently encouraged me to remain focused on ensuring that this project was successfully executed. I must thank TY Bello for the wonderful book cover. It was a huge struggle to try to look remotely like the cover without her photo shop skills. I hope you will all agree that I look a little bit like the book cover thanks to Lois who did my make up!

Whenever I waned, Arinola Kola Daisi and Ronke Fetuga have constantly reminded me that I had to deliver the book. Their encouragement and support is very much appreciated.

Some very special people endorsed my book with their wonderful comments. All outstanding in their own right I do feel honoured that they would lend their voice to this endeavor. They are, Fola Adeola, the Chairman of today’s occasion, Yemi Cardoso, Amma Ogan, Ambassador Olisemeka, Lynette Khalfani Fox, Ahmed Dasuki, Betty Irabor, Ibukun Awosika, and Arunma Oteh and for this I  am eternally grateful.

I am particularly excited at the giant strides that African women and Nigerian women in particular are making in all spheres of influence; in business, in the corporate world and in government.

I must use this opportunity to especially recognize two phenomenal women who have taken us to even greater heights; Mrs Ibukun Awosika. We are so very proud of you for your numerous achievements far too many to mention, but in particular for your recent appointment as Chairman of First Bank; the first ever women to hold this post in the banks 120 year history. Congratulations!

I thank Ibukun for her support and for her friendship and guidance both in my personal life and on the board of Bestman Games where her brilliance, her wise counsel and perspectives, have brought huge value to our company.

And to my dear friend Arunma…She has been so supportive and is an advocate of financial literacy as a tool for economic development. We are so proud of your consistent outstanding achievements. Congratulations on your latest accolade; as Treasurer of the World Bank, the first ever, African women to hold that post. We are so proud of you and of the light that you are shining for Nigerian women on the global stage.

So what can be done to raise the level of financial literacy in Africa and in Nigeria in particular?

Financial education must start early. Just like reading and mathematics, financial education must become part of the core curriculum in our schools. The Central Bank of Nigeria, the Nigerian Stock Exchange and the Securities and Exchange Commission, have made financial literacy a key area of focus. In addition, at home, parents must begin to engage in regular, conversations about money matters to give their children a solid foundation for future financial health. Teaching our kids to be financially responsible is a gift – one that will keep on giving throughout the course of their lives. It will help them to be responsible adults that can stand on their own two feet.

Special thanks must go to our sponsors Diamond Bank and Access Bank for supporting this event. Leading banks and financial institutions including First Bank, , GTbank, Zenith Bank, Stanbic IBTC and United Capital, have made financial literacy a priority, and have been very supportive of some of our initiatives. We thank them for accompanying us to schools, university campuses, the NYSC Orientation Camp to give our youth these invaluable life lessons. We must catch them young.

So if you do enjoy the A – Z of Personal Finance, please don’t keep this to yourself. Help me spread this message of financial literacy by making it your gift of choice. Give a gift that keeps giving this Christmas; we want to impact lives one person at a time. Individuals, families schools, financial institutions and governments, must all play a role in promoting financial literacy if our nation is to return to financial health.

Above all, I thank God for his guidance and for the gift of writing which made it possible for me to formulate my thoughts and ideas into a meaningful written form. It is my hope that readers will find knowledge and guidance through the words that I share, and that the A-Z of Personal Finance, will touch lives in a positive way.

Thank you all very much for your time.

Nimi Akinkugbe at the launch of the “A – Z of Personal Finance,” held at the Wheatbaker Hotel, Lagos on 22nd September 2015.

 

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