In the spirit of the international women day celebration, one of our jobs here at legacy magazine is to not only promote gender inclusiveness but also to showcase the women who are already doing amazing work. We believe by celebrating women in our society more women are encouraged to come do more.
This is a list of women who currently occupy top financial positions in Nigeria. Not only do they just occupy these positions, they are impressively good at what they do and are incredible women. So, if you in any way doubt the impact women have in a multi-diverse society like ours, knowing these phenomenal women is bound to change your mind.Here are women at top positions in Nigerian financial sector you should know.
ONIKEPO AKANDE OON CON
Onikepo Akande, OON, CON currently serves as the President of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry and honorary life Vice-President of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture. Nike became Nigeria’s first female Minister of Industry after she was appointed twice in December 1997 and August 1998. Described by President Goodluck Jonathan as “an inspiration”, she is also a board member of Union Bank of Nigeria and PZ Foundation and serves as the director of the National Insurance Corporation of Nigeria and the Nigeria Industrial Development Bank
Passionate about building wealth for Africans through provision of advisory and capital raising solutions, Toyin Sanni is currently the Group CEO at United Capital Plc, following previous roles as the CEO for UBA Trustees, UBA Global Investor Services and MD/CEO at Cornerstone Trustees Ltd and AGM, Trust Services at First Trustees (a subsidiary of First Bank of Nigeria Plc). Mrs Sanni is also the President of the Association of Investment Advisers & Portfolio Managers, Nigeria and Chairman of the Capital Market Committee on Financial Literacy Week. Her previous industry leadership roles also includes, Past President for the Association of Trustees and Chairman, CMC Sub-Committee on Custody of Securities.
Mrs. Mosun Belo- Olusoga is currently the Chairperson of Access Bank Plc and the Principal Consultant/Programme Director of The KRC Limited. She served on the Board of Asset and Resource Management Company and previously chaired the Equipment and Leasing Association of Nigeria.Mrs. Belo-Olusoga retired from Guaranty Trust Bank in 2006 as Executive Director, Investment Banking. She was at various times responsible for Risk Management , Corporate and Commercial Banking, Investment Banking, Transaction Services and Settlement. She was also the Chairman of Credit and Finance Committee until her appointment as the Chairman of the Board in July 2015. She also served as a member of Audit, Governance and Nomination and Risk Management and Remuneration Committees. She joined the Board of Access Bank in November 2007.
Mrs. Belo-Olusoga is a fellow of both the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria and the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria. She graduated from University of Ibadan in 1979 with a Second Class Upper Degree.
Mrs Awosika is the Chairman, First Bank of Nigeria. She is the first woman to take up this position since the establishment of the bank. Before her appointment, she was a non-Executive Director of the Bank. Ibukun Awosika graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife and holds an MBA from IESE Business School, Barcelona, Spain. She is an alumna of the Lagos Business School Chief Executive Programme.She is also a board member of the Women in Management and Business (WIMBIZ) and Convention on Business Integrity.
Mrs. Okonjo-Iwela is a Nigerian and a highly respected and influential global leader, economist, policy maker and thinker on Finance and Economic Development. She has been listed 5 years consecutively as one of the 100 Most Powerful Women in the World by Forbes Magazine and in 2013 was listed as one of the Most Influential People in the World by TIME Magazine.In 2015, she was also listed as one of the 50 Greatest World Leaders by Fortune.
She served two terms as Finance Minister of Nigeria (2003-2006, 2011-2015) and was previously Managing Director of the World Bank (2007-2011).
Dr. Okonjo-Iweala is renowned as the first female and black candidate to contest for the presidency of the World Bank Group in
Kemi Adeosun is Nigeria’s Minister for finance. She qualified as a Chartered Accountant with the Institute of Chartered Accountants England and Wales in 1994. She commenced her career as an Accounting assistant at British Telecom Company, London, from 1989 till 1990 after which she moved to Goodman Jones, London, working as a Senior audit officer from 1990 till 1993.She became Manager of Internal Audit at London Underground Limited, London and Prism Consulting from 1994 till 2000 before joining Price Waterhouse Coopers, London as Senior Manager from 2000 till 2002.In 2002, Kemi became financial controller at Chapel Hill Denham Management and subsequently, Managing Director in 2010. After working with Quo Vadis Partnership as Managing Director in 2010 and 2011, she was appointed the Commissioner of Finance in Ogun State, from 2011 till 2015. She is currently the minister of finance of federal republic of Nigeria, from 2015 till date.
Arunma Oteh is the Vice president and Treasurer of the World Bank. Prior to her appointment, she was the Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Nigeria where she led the transformation of the country’s capital markets industry into a major global presence. She was a member of the Board of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) and the Chairperson of the Africa Middle East Regional Committee of IOSCO.
Prior to joining the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of Nigeria, Arunma was Group Vice President, Corporate Services, at the African Development Bank Group (AfDB). In this role, she oversaw a number of departments, including human resources, information and communications technology, and institutional procurement. From 2001 to 2006 she held the role of AfDB Group Treasurer, where she led AfDB’s fundraising and capital market activities across the world.
Omokehinde Adebanjo is the Vice President & Area Business Head for West Africa, MasterCard. In Nigeria, Omokehinde is responsible for advancing acceptance and issuance of MasterCard’s payment products in Nigeria and other English-speaking countries in West Africa.Prior to her appointment as Area Business Head, she fulfilled the role of Vice President for Business Development in the West African region.Before joining MasterCard, Omokehinde was employed by the Guaranty Trust Bank, where she spent four years as the Head of Cards and Product Development. She is committed to introducing the benefits of a cashless society to Nigeria and the region, and focuses on building relationships with government, financial institutions and merchants to realise both MasterCard’s vision of a world beyond cash, and the Central Bank of Nigeria’s goals to reduce the circulation of cash in the country’s economy.
Sola David-Bortha is the CEO of Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC. She is fondly described as a woman with a strong personality and a high IQ. It has also been widely circulated that she is one of the highest paid CEOs in Nigeria.Sola holds a B.Sc Economics degree from the University of Ibadan and an MBA from Manchester Business School, UK. Her educational experience also includes the Advanced Management Programme of the Harvard Business School. She is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers and Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group.Before her appointment as CEO, she previously served as Deputy CEO Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC among other appointments.
Bola Adesola is the MD/CEO of Standard Chartered. She joined Standard Chartered as the MD/CEO in 2011 and in 2013. She was chosen as the winner of the “Outstanding Woman in Business” category at the Africa Business Awards 2013. Recently, the United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, announced her appointment as a member of the board of the United Nations Global Compact.Before her appointment as MD/CEO Standard Chartered, she served with First Bank of Nigeria PLC as the Executive Director for Corporate Business then later was empowered to manage the entire company in Lagos including retail, corporate and commercial banking. She was the Managing Director at Kakawa Discount House Nigeria and worked in Citibank in Nigeria and Tanzania for 9 years.
TARIYE ISOUN GBADEGESIN
Tariye Gbadegesin is the Head of Heavy Industries and Telecommunications at the Africa Finance Corporation, an investment grade development finance institution for Africa. She is an investment and management professional with over 15 years of experience in the financial services sector, both internationally and in Nigeria.Tariye was on the founding team to establish the Africa Finance Corporation and has over the years led and managed investments in the sectors of power, infrastructure, industrials as well as media & telecommunications. Tariye has worked at the International Monetary Fund, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Chase Manhattan Bank.She is a non-executive Director on the Board of Cabeolica S.A, a wind power company in Cape Verde, an IFC ranked top 10 IPPs in Sub Saharan Africa. She is also a non-executive Director on the Board of the Main One Cable Company, a telecoms and data services company serving West Africa.Tariye has a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Amherst College, and an MBA from the Harvard Business School
Aishah Ahmad is Head Consumer Banking at Diamond Bank PLC, one of the fastest growing retail banks in Nigeria. She has responsibility for strategic retail products and customer segments including consumer banking, private wealth management, direct sales agent network with a customer base of over 5 million. Her professional experience spans 20 years and includes global financial institutions such as Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC -a member of Standard Bank Group, where she was responsible for Standard Bank’s private wealth business in West Africa, Bank of New York Mellon (UK), Zenith Bank PLC and NAL Bank PLC. A member of the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) Associations – both globally recognized programs for investment analysts and portfolio managers, Aishah holds a M.Sc. in Finance and Management from the Cranfield School of Management in the United Kingdom, an MBA with a specialization in Finance from the University of Lagos, Nigeria and a graduate degree in Accounting from the University of Abuja, Nigeria.
Aishah is passionate about global investing and promoting diversity & women’s (financial) inclusion; she regularly speaks on these topics and advises on the board of several companies. She is currently the Chairperson of the Executive Council of Women in Management, Business & Public Service, WIMBIZ (www.wimbiz.org); a leading women-focused not-for-profit organization in sub-Saharan Africa. She is also a member of the steering committee on Cherie Blair Foundation’s, Technology for Growth project; a groundbreaking learning intervention programme for female entrepreneurs in Nigeria, and was an alternate director at Friesland Campina WAMCO (2010 – 2014), a global company in the dairy industry.
Ononuju Irukwu is the Managing Director, Chapel Hill Denham Management Limited, a leading Investment Management Company in Lagos, Nigeria. She is also the Chief promoter of the Women’s Investment Fund, an investment vehicle for Women initiated by Chapel Hill Denham Management Limited. She has over two decades of experience in Personal Banking and Wealth Management and is passionate about increasing financial literacy levels for women and youths. As part of her commitment to encouraging an investment culture among women, she writes a column, Your Personal Wealth, in ThisDAY Style magazine on Sundays and Your Money & You in TW magazine, where she shares tips on investing and planning your finances with a bias for issues women face when considering financial matters.She is a graduate of the University of Benin and holds an MBA from the University of Ife ( Obafemi Awolowo University) both in Nigeria.
Modupe Mujota is currently the Managing Director at UBA Asset Management Limited, a leading firm in investment management and money market operations in Nigeria. Prior to this, she was the Managing Director at Kakawa Asset Management Limited (2011 – 2013) and also Managing Director of BGL Asset Management Limited prior to that, helming the affairs of another well-known brand in the investment management profession in the country.During a distinguished career that has spanned over 20 years, she has held leadership and senior management roles in various areas in the Financial Services Industry including Commercial Banking, Asset Management, Corporate Finance and Risk Management. In her last two assignments she has garnered significant Corporate Governance experience seating on the Board of both investment management companies in capacity as Managing Director. She was instrumental in the development and establishment of Corporate governance practices in BGL Asset Management Limited and has also guided the return to profitability of Kakawa Asset Management Limited in the past year she assumed office.
OSARETIN AFUSAT DEMUREN
Osaretin Demuren is the Chairperson, Guaranty Trust Bank. She was confirmed 6th Chairman of the Board of Guaranty Trust Bank Directors in April this year. She joined Guaranty Trust Bank PLC in 2013 as a non-Executive Director and served as a member of the Board Risk Management Committee of which she became Chairman in 2014. She also served as a member of the Board Remuneration Committee and the Board Information Technology Strategy Committee. Prior to joining Guaranty Trust Bank, she served in the Central Bank of Nigeria for over 33 years at the Trade and Exchange Department, as member and secretary to the Public Enlightenment Committee on Second-tier Foreign Exchange Market, as a representative of the Central Bank of Nigeria on Special Investigation Panel on Trade Malpractices of the Federal Ministry of Commerce and Tourism and was appointed Director, Human Resource Department in 2004, a position she held until her retirement from the Central Bank in 2009 among many other roles. She is popularly known as the first female Director of CBN.
Adeola Azeez is the Deputy Country Head of the Deutsche Bank Nigeria where she oversees the bank’s business operations including managing liaisons between the Deutsche Bank offshore and Nigerian banks. She has over 20 years’ expertise in correspondent banking. She was one of the founding members of Women In Management, Business and Public Service (WIMBIZ) and was elected in 2011 as the Chairperson of WIMBIZ. She has a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from the University of Lagos and LLB from the University of Warwick.
Bunmi Lawson is the Pioneer Managing Director/CEO of ACCION Microfinance Bank Limited. ACCION Microfinance Bank Limited commenced operations under its pioneer Managing Director, Bunmi Lawson in 2007 with one branch and 18 members of staff. Today, ACCION Microfinance Bank has a total of 10 branches and with over 200 staff members. She is a co-owner and Director of VLA Lawrence & Associates, a Human Resource services organisation with over 18 years of experience in finance, insurance, marketing and auditing.Before ACCION, she was the Executive Director of FATE Foundation Ltd, a leading business development service provider in Nigeria.
Arese is the Founder of smartmoneyafrica.org a personal finance platform for the African millennial. As a contributor to the Guardian newspaper, the host on Guardian TV’s new personal finance show “Your Life Your Money”, and a co-host for “Analyse This” on Ndani TV, she has helped shape the new narrative on personal finance in the media.
She serves on several boards including House of Tara and the Nigeria Higher Education Foundation as a non-executive director, and is also an associate member of WIMBIZ, serving on its planning committee since 2015.She was most recently a 2015 finalist for the Access Bank W Award for young professional of the year. After eight years working in wealth management, Arese is now engaging young Africans on the importance of financial literacy and the impact it has on helping them get money, keep money and grow money as they drive the continent forward.
Chinyere is the Divisional Chief Executive Officer of Industry Vertical Markets at Interswitch Limited. She is a visionary, motivating leader with deep knowledge of the Retail and Electronic Payments businesses. Her professional career has been marked with remarkable leadership roles that have transformed her projects and organizations. Prior to joining Interswitch, she was the Divisional Head of Branch Banking and Electronic Banking at Intercontinental Bank Plc. (now Access Bank), where she spent 17 years of her banking career in various business units. She and her team re-defined the Offsite ATM landscape in Nigeria through the effective deployment of her banks ATMs in various locations across the country thus pushing her bank to the number 1 bank in total transactions within a year on the Interswitch platform.
SARAH OMOTUNDE ALADE
Omotunde Alade is the former Acting Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria on 20th February, 2014. Prior to this time, she had served as Deputy Governor (Economic Policy), Central Bank of Nigeria from 26th March, 2007. Sarah Alade commenced her working career in 1977 with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Ilorin, Kwara State. In 1991, she joined the University of Ilorin as a Lecturer in the Department of Accounting and Finance. She joined the Central Bank of Nigeria in 1993 as an Assistant Director in the Research Department where she served as Head, State Government Finance Office (1993-1996), Head, Federal Government Finance Office (1996-2000) and Head, Fiscal Analysis Division (2000-2004).
Dr. Alade has served on the teams on major economic policy studies, and has been involved in the preparation of Central Bank of Nigeria’s Monetary and Credit Policy Proposals over the years. She was actively involved in the drafting of the Medium Term Economic Programme (MTP) for Nigeria and the IMF staff Monitored Programme/Standby Arrangement.Dr. Alade, who is a member of the Nigerian Economic Society (NES), has several publications to her credit and is currently carrying out research into Interest Rate Policy and Monetary Policy Implementation in Nigeria.
Yewande is the Executive Director of Corporate and Transactional Banking at Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC. Prior to this, she served as the Chief Executive of Stanbic IBTC Capital Limited. Ms. Sadiku served as the Head of Finance Department of Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc (formerly, IBTC Chartered Bank Plc).
Mrs Akinkugbe is the Founder/ Chief Executive Officer of Bestman Games Ltd, the African distributor of customized editions of Monopoly, Hasbro’s world famous game. Prior to this she enjoyed a successful banking career spanning 23 years first at Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc where she rose to the position of General Manager and Head, Private Banking and Director Stanbic IBTC Asset Management Ltd. Subsequently she joined Barclays Bank Plc as Regional Director (West Africa) for the Wealth & Investment Management Division and Chief Country Officer for Nigeria.Achieving financial security ranks as a major source of anxiety and Nimi seeks to empower people regarding their finances. Under the auspices of the brand “Money Matters with Nimi,” through speaking engagements, television and radio appearances and social media, the Monopoly Board Games and her new book, “A – Z of Personal Finance”, Nimi provides frank, practical insights to create a greater awareness and understanding of personal finance and wealth management issues. Through these platforms, she has been able to empower people to take responsibility for this most important aspect of their lives
Maryam Bashir (also known as Mairo), is the Chief Executive Officer of CreditCorp Ltd, a consulting and advisory services firm. Mairo has over seventeen years of financial and banking industry experience.In 2004, she founded Creditcorp Limited. Ms. Bashir served in various management positions in UBA. Prior to UBA, she started her banking career in 1985 with the International Merchant Bank (IMB), working in various functions in Credit & Marketing and Operations divisions. She holds an MBA in Finance from the University of Jos.
Hajara Adeola heads Lotus Capital Limited, a Nigerian pioneer in Shari’ah compliant Asset Management, Private Wealth Management Advisory Services and Financial Advisory Service. She began her career as a consultant at Andersen Consulting (now Accenture). From there she joined ARM Investment Managers as a pioneer staff and rose to Vice-President and Head of the Research and Financial Advisory Units. She has over 20 years of international experience in research and analysis, investment management and corporate finance. Mrs. Adeola is the former President of the Fund Manager’s Association of Nigeria.
Mrs. Chinelo Anohu-Amazu, a lawyer, obtained an LL.B degree from the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus in 1996, a B.L from the Nigerian Law School in 1997 and an LL.M in Computer and Communications Law from the London School of Economics in 2000. Mrs. Anohu-Amazu also studied in many prestigious institutions such as the Columbia University Graduate School in 2008, the J. F. Kennedy School of Government of the Harvard University in 2007 and the Wharton Business School, University of Pennsylvania in 2002. Mrs. Anohu-Amazu has been the Director-General of the National Pension Commission from 14 December, 2012 till date.