As elusive as the quest of Nigerian women to achieve gender parity in all walks of life may seem, many women hold their own in their chosen fields of endeavor. In this report, ENE OSHABA celebrates six Nigerian women leaders in banking even as more strive to break the proverbial glass ceiling.
The Nigerian business sector, particularly the banking sector, has had its fair share of men not only in managerial positions, but dominating virtually the entire sector.
As women continue to strive for the top in their various fields of work, those in banking seem to be taking the lead, with more and more women in leadership positions in recent times.
This is in line with the Nigerian Sustainable Banking Principles (NSBP) which state that, as part of a broader sustainable banking engagement, the sector should strive to achieve 40 percent female representation at the management and board levels. administration.
Checks from Blueprint Weekend showed that out of 23 commercial banks, women hold the leadership of six as Managing Directors (DMs) and Managing Directors (CEOs) accounting for 26% of senior positions in the industry.
The main women are: Miriam Olusanya from Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB); Halima Buba of Suntrust Bank; Ireti Samuel-Ogbu at Citibank; Yemi Edun at the First City Monument Bank (FCMB); Nneka Onyeali Ikpe of Fidelity Bank; and Tomi Somefun in Unity Bank.
Award-winning Nigerian banker Oluwatomi Somefun is the Managing Director (CEO) / Managing Director (MD) of Unity Bank, making her the first woman in the bank’s history to hold the position.
She was appointed Executive Director of Unity Bank on March 4, 2015, and her outstanding performance as Executive Director earned her the enviable position of Managing Director / Managing Director of Unity Bank in August 2015.
Ms. Somefun obtained a Bachelor of Education (B.Ed) in English from the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife) in 1981.
She then enrolled in the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and eventually became a Chartered Accountant in 1982.
This banking guru is a member of ICAN and constantly attends local and foreign trainings including industry specific EuroMoney training and INSEAD Fontainebleau, France.
She is also an alumnus of the prestigious Harvard Business School and the University of Columbia Business School, New York.
Oluwatomi Somefun is a member of several professional bodies, including the Institute of Directors (IOD), the Association of Bank Managers of Nigeria (BDAN) and the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN).
She started her career in the financial services industry at Peat Marwick and Co. She then joined Arthur Andersen, now KPMG. Oluwatomi has also worked with other reputable companies such as Ventures and Trusts Ltd, Credit Bank Ltd.
She had a successful career at United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA) and while at UBA she led and served on the boards of several subsidiaries including UBA Trustee, UBA Plc, UBA Capital and Trustee Ltd.
She has also been a non-executive director on the board of UBA Foundations, non-executive director on the board of UBA, non-executive director on the board of UBA Nominees Ltd and UBA Registrars Ltd.
She is a member of the board of directors of the finance and general objectives committee, of the board of directors of the risk management committee and of the credit council committee.
She is an accomplished banker with over 21 years of experience in corporate finance, treasury, asset liability management and wholesale banking.
Online media reported that the boss of Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) joined GTBank as an executive intern in 1998 and rose through the ranks.
Prior to her recent elevation, she had served as group treasurer and wholesale bank manager.
Prior to her recent appointment, she also served on the Board of Directors of GTBank (The Gambia) as a non-executive director.
She obtained a Bachelor of Pharmacy from the University of Ibadan, then went to the University of Liverpool where she obtained an MBA in Finance and Accounting and then enrolled in various executive programs at different institutions, including the Cranfield School of Management.
She is the first female MD in GTBank’s history, and the fifth woman to be appointed MD in a commercial bank in Nigeria.
This Suntrust Bank pioneer is a seasoned banker with over 20 years of experience gained working in various financial institutions including: Allstates Trust Bank; Zenith Bank; Inland Bank Plc; Oceanic Bank Plc; and Ecobank Nigeria Limited.
She holds a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in Business Management from Maiduguri University and an MBA from the same university.
Halima Buba is an alumnus of the Lagos Business School Senior Management Program. 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 the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) as a non-executive director and Anchoria Asset Management Company Limited.
This seasoned banker is a champion of youth and women’s empowerment, who has always made philanthropic contributions to girls’ education.
She became the first woman to be appointed Country Manager of Citibank Nigeria after 36 years of working in Africa’s largest economy.
Samuel-Ogbu, who will take office on September 1, will replace Akin Dawodu, who has been appointed head of sub-Saharan Africa.
For the past five years, the Head of Bank has served as Managing Director, Payments & Receivables, Treasury & Trade Solutions for Europe, Middle East & Africa at the lender’s London office.
The new Managing Director of FCMB holds a BA in Chemistry from the University of Ife, Ile-Ife, and an MA in Accounting and International Finance from the University of Liverpool, UK.
She is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria and holder of the CFA Charter. She is also an associate member of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers; associate member of the Institute of Taxation of Nigeria; Member of Information Systems Audit and Control, United States; and a certified information systems auditor.
Yemisi Edun began her career in 1987 at Akintola Williams Deloitte (a member firm of Deloitte Touché Tohmatsu) focusing mainly on Corporate Finance activities.
She has also participated in the audit of banks and other financial institutions. She joined FCMB in 2000 as Audit and Internal Control Division Manager before assuming the role of Financial Director of the bank.
Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe, who has been an integral part of Fidelity Bank’s transformation team for the past six years, took up her role as Managing Director / CEO of the bank on January 1, 2021.
She was previously Executive Director, Lagos and Southwest, overseeing the bank’s activities in the six states that make up the bank’s Southwest region.
As reported on the FCMB website, she led the management transformation to profitability and supported its impressive year-over-year growth, through key performance indicators, including contributing over 28% of PBT, deposits and loans from the bank.
She is an accomplished professional of over 30 years with experience in various banks including Standard Chartered Bank Plc, Zenith Bank Plc and Citizens International Bank Limited, where she has held a number of management positions in the legal, treasury, investment banking, retail / commercial banking, corporate banking. .
Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe has been involved in structuring transactions in various sectors including oil and gas, manufacturing, aviation, real estate and exports.
As the Executive Director of Enterprise Bank Plc, she received accolades from the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) as a member of the management team that successfully turned around Enterprise Bank Plc.
Ms. Onyeali-Ikpe holds Bachelor of Laws (LLB) and Master of Laws (LLM) degrees from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and Kings College London, respectively.
She completed executive training programs at Harvard Business School; Wharton School of Pennsylvania, INSEAD School of Business; Chicago Booth Business School; London Business School; and IMD; among others.
She is also a senior honorary member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN).
Nigerians salute these performers
Speaking on the appointments of the bank’s female executives, VIP magazine editor Talabi Taiwo O. Michael praised the development and noted that these women have proven their ability to work.
He argued that women have shown that they can also be trusted and have the ability to be better managers than their male counterparts in the industry, which has earned them these positions of authority.
“A very diligent woman can manage herself, her husband, her children, and the office with all of your finances in place. She has proven over the years to be a trustworthy and efficient woman who can make waves in any endeavor in life.
“In addition to being personally impressed with some of the women taking the helm of the banking industry, I also feel fulfilled as a gender equality advocate to see some of them show their strength through their intellectual prowess.
“It’s not just your regular or regular women, but worthy women who have made impactful contributions to hold onto that top position in their organizations. It is therefore not surprising to see many of them appear on the list of VIP 100 + 1 WOMEN OF IMPACT to be held at the Transcorp Hilton hotel on September 25, 2021, ”he said.
More women will emerge
Continuing, the publisher assured that many more women would occupy leadership positions if given the opportunity like their male counterparts.
“If given equal opportunity to challenge without any form of stereotyping, I see a dramatic change based on the confidence, confidence and competence of some women who run the affairs of the world.
“Today we have the first black woman, Kamala Harris, as Vice President of the United States. You will more than agree with me that women are changing the discourse on leadership and governance positions.
He urged women to remain resolute in aspiring to whatever positions of authority they desire, including the president and other high-level positions in the world at large.
“I congratulate Dr Sarah Jubril who unexpectedly challenged former President Dr Goodluck Jonathan she did not lose but learned and history recorded it.
“I look forward to seeing personalities like Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iwealla, DG-WTO, and Dr Amina Mohammed, UN Deputy Secretary-General, run for the presidency of Nigeria. I will not hesitate to give my vote to any of them as they have been tested and approved on the basis of their competence. Believe me, many more will follow as well, ”he said.