In recent times, there has been a rise in women occupying top positions in Nigeria’s banking sector.
The most recent was the appointment of Miriam Olusanya as GTbank’s first-ever MD/CEO since the institution’s establishment in 1990.
These women have not only changed the narrative by making history, but they also bring years of hard work, tenacity, and dedication to their various institutions
Here are seven of them.
1. Tomi Somefun (Unity Bank)
Tomi Somefun became the MD/CEO of Unity Bank in August 2015 and has over 25 years experience in the financial industry.
Prior to her appointment as MD; she served as the executive director overseeing the Lagos and south-west business directorates, the financial institution division, and the treasury department of the bank.
She holds a B.Ed in English Language from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife in 1981 and became a Chartered Accountant the following year.
She is an alumnus of the Columbia Business School and holds a certificate of management excellence from Harvard Business School (HBS).
She is a member of various professional bodies including the Institute of Directors (IOD), Bank Directors Association of Nigeria (BDAN), and Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN).
2. Halima Buba (Suntrust)
In January 2020, Halima Buba was appointed as the new managing director/chief executive officer of SunTrust Bank.
She is a seasoned banker with over 20 years of experience in the banking industry.
She holds a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) degree in business management from the University of Maiduguri and an MBA from the same university.
Buba is an alumnus of the Lagos Business School senior management programme. She is a senior honorary member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers and a fellow of the Institute of Management Consultants.
She sits on the board of several reputable Institutions, including those of the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) as a non-executive director and Anchoria Asset Management Company Limited.
Ireti Samuel-Ogbu assumed office as the MD/CEO of Citibank Nigeria Limited, a subsidiary of Citigroup, in September 2020. It was also the first time a woman was appointed to the bank’s top position after 36 years of operation in Nigeria.
She holds a BA Hons Accounting and Finance from MiddleSex University, UK, and an MBA from the University of Bradford, UK.
Prior to assuming office in Nigeria, she was the head of payments and receivables, treasury, and trade solutions (TTS) for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) at Citi’s Institutional Clients Group (ICG) based in London, UK.
In the last 32 years, Samuel-Ogbu has held various roles across Citi’s businesses in the UK, Nigeria and South Africa, having worked in each of these countries twice.
Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe assumed office as managing director/chief executive officer, Fidelity Bank on January 1, 2021, making her the first female to occupy the position since the bank’s inception in 1988.
She has over 30 years of banking experience.
She joined the bank in 2015 and was the former Executive Director for Lagos and the southwest directorate, overseeing the bank’s business in the six states that make up the southwest region of the bank.
She holds a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka; a master of laws (LLM) degree from Kings College, London; and has attended executive training programmes at global institutions including Harvard Business School; The Wharton School University of Pennsylvania; INSEAD School of Business; Chicago Booth School of Business; London Business School and IMD.
5. Bukola Smith (FSDH Merchant bank)
Bukola Smith was appointed MD/CEO of FSDH Merchant Bank in April 2021 bringing 28 years of experience in the financial sector.
She holds a B.Sc in Economics from the University of Lagos and an MBA from an Alliance Manchester Business School, University of Manchester, U.K.
Smith is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants (ICAN).
Yemisi Edun was appointed the first female MD of First City Monument Bank (FCMB) on July 13, 2021, after formerly serving as acting managing director of the bank.
She started working in FMCB in 2000 as a Divisional Head of Internal Audit and Control.
Edun holds a Bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Ife, Ile-Ife, and a Master’s degree in international accounting and finance from the University of Liverpool, United Kingdom.
She is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria and a certified financial analyst, CFA® Charter holder. She is also an associate member of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers; an associate member of the Institute of Taxation of Nigeria; a member of Information Systems Audit and Control, U.S.A, and a certified information systems auditor.
Miriam Olusanya is the latest woman to become Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer with her appointment on July 14, 2021.
She also becomes the first-ever female MD in GTBank’s 31-year history taking over from Segun Agbaje, the erstwhile MD, who moved into a new role as the group CEO of the Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc.
Prior to her appointment, Olusanya was an executive director at GTBank, a position she occupied since 2018 after a successful period as the group treasurer/head, wholesale banking division. She joined the financial institution as an executive trainee and gradually rose through the ranks over the years.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from the University of Ibadan and a Master of Business Administration (MBA), majoring in finance and accounting, from the University of Liverpool.