Mitchell Elegbe, Founder and Group Chief Executive Officer of Interswitch Group, has urged young people to be accountable, focused, positive and trustworthy, to drive the growth of the country’s capital market and the Nigerian economy at large.
He said this during the digital graduation ceremony for the Class of 2020 of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) Graduate Trainee Programme which held on Friday, November 20, 2020.
Delivering his keynote address, Mitchell stressed the need for the graduands to engage in constant learning, take calculated risks, and imbibe the virtue of trustworthiness. This, he said, will preserve the sanctity and security of the market.
He stated that, after the 11-month long rigorous training, the graduands are expected to be logical and strategic thinkers. He encouraged them to think differently, proffer their solutions with a positive mindset, and be committed to driving growth in the industry, the country, and the continent at large.
He said: “As young professionals in the financial industry, a critical currency you will be trading with is trust. When investors bring their money to the capital market, they will be buying your trust.
They will be investing in the capital market because of how much trust equity the practitioners, including all of you, have built for the Nigerian Stock Exchange. Being trustworthy is an important attribute you all must imbibe. Beyond your professional life, you should earn trust. Always ask yourself the question: ‘Am I a trustworthy person?’.
He also asked the graduands to adopt technology. According to him, research has shown that in the next 10 – 15 years, 70% of the leading businesses will be technology companies. He noted that if Africa was to remain relevant in the imminent technology-driven future, it was important to start building and equipping the manpower for that future now.
Elegbe expressed delight with the way Nigerian youths have been recording giant strides in various fields across the globe. He lauded the Nigerian Stock Exchange for putting together resources, as well as creating an enabling environment through the NSE Graduate Trainee Programme to empower graduates entering the financial services industry.
Oscar Onyema, Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Stock Exchange, while delivering his welcome address, said that the Graduate Trainee Programme is designed to find young and bright minds who can help shape the future of the market, nurture them and provide them with the enabling environment to flourish.
He added that the Graduate Trainee Programme was a capacity building platform for passionate young graduates to help them develop the requisite skill sets which will open up countless opportunities for personal and professional growth in the capital market and the Nigerian economy at large.
The Nigeria Stock Exchange Graduate Trainee is an 11-month intensive programme designed to groom and raise the next generation of people who will lead the growth of the capital market in Nigeria, Sub-Saharan Africa and the African continent as a whole.
Among the outstanding trainees that were presented awards were: The Geems, who won ‘Team of the year’; Maryam Saad, who emerged ‘Trainee of the year’ and delivered the valedictorian speech, and Friday Okwori, who won the ‘Budding talent’ award.
The class of 2020 will be the last set of graduands from the NSE GTP, as the Exchange is set to focus on other programmes in the future.