There’s an empowering switch lighting up all around the world and yes, we’re super glad to witness the narrative is changing in Nigeria’s banking space as well. As par our tradition at Duchess International Magazine, we truly applaud and celebrate this shift.
Women are climbing the ranks in different fields, breaking barriers and paving way for generations to come. In more recent times, headlines have been dominated following the appointments of seasoned women experts at the top spot in the Nigerian finance industry.
Six leading women at the helm of affairs in Nigeria’s banking world:
– Halima Buba: Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer SunTrust Bank
Trailblazing seasoned Banker Halima Buba comes with over two decades wealth of experience working in top firms such as: Allstates Trust Bank, Zenith Bank, Inland Bank Plc, Oceanic Bank Plc and Ecobank Nigeria Limited. Demonstrating exceptional leadership as well as influencing major turnarounds, her career rise through the ranks throughout the years comes highly commendable.
Co-founder of TAJ Consortium, Ms. Buba also served as Deputy General Manager in Ecobank Nigeria. She is an alumnus of the Lagos Business school Senior management programme, 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 the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) as a Non-Executive Director and Anchoria Asset Management Company Limited.
Halima Buba’s drive towards youth and women empowerment has seen her contribute significantly to girl child education as well as other noteworthy causes.
She holds a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) degree in Business Management from the University of Maiduguri and an MBA from the same University.
– Miriam Chidiebele Olusanya
Managing Director/CEO Guaranty Trust Bank
Super accomplished banker Ms. Olusanya boasts of over 20 years of banking experience spanning through Transaction Services, Treasury, Assets and Liability Management, Corporate Finance and Wholesale Banking.
With her appointment, Miriam Olusanya made history as the first female MD the bank since it began operations in 1990. Her brilliance saw her rise through enviable ranks to Executive Director in 2018, after a successful period as the General Manager/Head, Wholesale Banking.
The former executive director joined the bank in 1998.
She serves as a Non-Executive Director on the Board of Guaranty Trust Bank (Gambia) Limited. She is also a member of the Financial Markets Sub-Committee of the Bankers’ Committee, the primary interactive policy platform made up of the Central Bank of Nigeria and banks.
Miriam Chidiebele Olusanya holds a Bachelor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Ibadan (1995) and a Master of Business Administration (Finance and Accounting) from the University of Liverpool (2011).
Yemisi Edun- Managing Director FCMB
Over 30 years of extensive experience, prior to her appointment, Edun was the executive director/chief financial officer of the bank.
She began her career with Akintola Williams Deloitte in 1987, where she served as auditor. In 2000, Ms. Edun joined FCMB as Divisional Head of Internal Audit and Control before assuming the role of Chief Financial Officer of the Bank.
A Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria and a 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.
Yemisi 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.
– Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe – Managing Director /CEO Fidelity Bank
The top executive boasts of over 30 years experience working across various banks, including Standard Chartered Bank Plc, Zenith Bank Plc and Citizens International Bank/Enterprise Bank, where she held several management positions in Legal, Treasury, Investment Banking, Retail/Commercial Banking and Corporate Banking.
Upon assuming role as Managing Director/CEO, Fidelity Bank on January 1, 2021, she became the
first female executive to lead the bank.
Onyeali-Ikpe was formerly the Executive Director, Lagos and South West Directorate of the bank, and has been an integral part of management in the last six years.
Since joining the bank in 2015, Ms.Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe has spearheaded the transformation of the Directorate, leading it to profitability and sustained its impressive year-on-year growth across key performance metrics.
As an Executive Director at Legacy Enterprise Bank Plc, she received formal commendation from the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), as a member of the management team that successfully turned around Enterprise Bank Plc.
Mrs. 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 has attended executive training programs at Harvard Business School, The Wharton School University of Pennsylvania, INSEAD School of Business, Chicago Booth School of Business, London Business School and IMD amongst others.
She is also an Honorary Senior Member (HCIB) of The Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN).
– Tomi Somefun – Managing Director and CEO Unity Bank plc
Tomi Somefun, current MD/CEO of Unity Bank Plc. is the first woman in the bank’s history to hold such an esteemed position.
She holds over 35 years professional experience out of which over 26 were in the banking sector, spanning key segments including Treasury & Investment Banking, Corporate Banking, Retail and Commercial Banking Operations.
Oluwatomi Somefun started her career in the financial service industry with Peat Marwick and Co. she later moved to Arthur Andersen – now KPMG. Ms. Oluwatomi has also worked with other reputable companies like Ventures and Trusts Ltd, Credit Bank Ltd.
Mrs. Somefun also had a successful career at the United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA). While at UBA, she managed and sat on the boards of several subsidiaries, including UBA Trustee, UBA Plc, UBA Capital, and Trustee Ltd.
She comes highly experienced in treasury and institutional banking, investment banking, retail, and commercial banking.
In 1981, Mrs. Somefun obtained a Bachelor of Education (B.Ed) in English from the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife). After she received her certificate in English Education, she proceeded to the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and became a Chartered Accountant in 1982. She is also an alumnus of the prestigious Harvard Business School and the University of Columbia Business School, New York.
Mrs. Somefun is a member of several professional bodies, including the Institute of Directors (IOD), Bank Directors Association of Nigeria (BDAN), and Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN).
On the 4th of March, 2015, Oluwatomi Somefun was appointed the Executive Director of Unity Bank. Her remarkable performance as Executive Director earned her the enviable position as the MD/CEO of Unity Bank in August 2015.
Ireti Samuel-Ogbu – MD/CEO for Citibank Nigeria Limited
The first female country officer of Citigroup in Nigeria after 36 whole years of operation. Prior to being appointed the MD/CEO, she was the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) Head, Payments and Receivables, Treasury and Trade Solutions (TTS) under Citi’s Institutional Clients Group (ICG) based in London, UK. She is also on Board of Citibank Nigeria Limited as non-Executive Director.
Since beginning her career at Citi (then Nigeria International Bank), over 30 years ago, she has distinguished herself as a thought-leader. Samuel-Ogbu has held various roles across Citi’s businesses in the UK, Nigeria and South Africa, including Relationship Management with Global Subsidiaries Group and the Public Sector Banking Team, as well as TTS Sales, Corporate Finance and leading Citi’s TTS business in two of the largest markets in Africa.
A firm believer diversity and inclusion, Samuel-Ogbu co-founded two impactful mentorship initiatives within Citi – the Sapphire Leadership Program for Middle East and Africa, and the Momentum Program in the UK. She is currently the EMEA co-Chair for Citi Women’s Affinity group and represents EMEA on the Global Affinity Steering Committee at Citi.
Samuel-Ogbu is a Lead Contributor and Thought-Leader in various Banking and FintechForums across EMEA and has won awards in the UK and South Africa including Financial Service Leader of the year 2019 at Black British Business Awards, Innovate Finance Women in FinTech Power List, 2017 and Best Professional Executive, 2009, at the Nigeria Achievement Awards.