Female MD/CEOs Of Nigerian Banks

[PHOTOS] Meet 8 Women Who Are Leading Nigerian Banks As Female MD/CEOs


Female MD/CEOs Of Nigerian Banks

There is no gainsaying that there has been a rise in women occupying top positions in Nigeria’s banking sector.

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 eight of them.

1. Tomi Somefun (Unity Bank)

Tomi Somefun became the MD/CEO of Unity Bank in August 2015 and has over 25 years of experience in the financial industry.

Before she was appointed MD; she served as the executive director overseeing the Lagos and Southwest business directorates, the financial institution division, and the treasury department of the bank.

She holds a B.Ed. in English Language from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, in 1981 and became a Chartered Accountant the following year.

She is an alumnus of 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), the Bank Directors Association of Nigeria (BDAN), and the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN).

2. Halima Buba (Suntrust)

Female MD/CEOs Of Nigerian Banks

In January 2020, Halima Buba was appointed as the new managing director and 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 boards of several reputable institutions, including those of the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) as a non-executive director and Anchoria Asset Management Company Limited.

3. Ireti Samuel-Ogbu (CitiBank)

Female MD/CEOs Of Nigerian Banks

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 in Accounting and Finance from MiddleSex University, UK, and an MBA from the University of Bradford, UK.

Before assuming office in Nigeria, she was the head of payments and receivables, treasury, and trade solutions (TTS) for Europe, the 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.

4. Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe (Fidelity Bank)

Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe assumed office as managing director and chief executive officer of 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 programs 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 Alliance Manchester Business School, University of Manchester, U.K.

Smith is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants (ICAN).

6.  Yemisi Edun (FCMB)

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 at 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 and 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.

7. Miriam Olusanya (GTBank)

Female MD/CEOs Of Nigerian Banks

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.

Before her appointment, Olusanya was an executive director at GTBank, a position she has held since 2018 after a successful period as the group treasurer and head of the 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.

8. Kafilat Araoye (LOTUS Bank)

Female MD/CEOs Of Nigerian Banks

Having had a 25-year experience as a commercial banker, Kafilat Araoye leads Lotus Bank, a non-interest bank, as the MD/CEO.

She holds a first degree in history from the University of Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University (1985), and an M.Sc. in Industrial Relations & Personnel Management from the University of Lagos (1987), graduating as the best student in her class. She also holds Islamic Finance certifications issued by the Ethica Institute of Islamic Finance, the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment/Bahrain Institute of Banking & Finance, as well as the Islamic Research & Training Institute. She has attended various executive management courses at the Cranfield School of Management (UK), Lagos Business School, Institute of Management Development (Switzerland), INSEAD (France), Ross Business School, and the University of Michigan(USA).

Kafilat has expertise in virtually all areas of core banking, with emphasis on International and Domestic Operations, Payments, General Management, Business Development, Risk Management, Human Resources, and Strategy.





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