Eight out of 11 female CEO’s of Nigerian Banks
Women Takes Over Leadership Positions Of 11 Nigerian Banks
Yinka Olajoyetan, Lagos 
The number of women leading major banks in Nigeria has increased in recent years, with the figure hitting 11 following the announcement of Adaora Umeoji as Group Managing Director/CEO of Zenith Bank.
Adaora Umeoji who will now serve as the new Group Managing Director/CEO of Zenith Bank from June 1, 2024, joins other 10 female CEOs of major commercial banks in Nigeria.
Umeoji whose appointment was announced on Tuesday will succeed Ebenezer Onyeagwu, the current GMD/CEO whose 5-year tenure will elapse on May 31.
Before the announcement, two other females such as Yetunde Oni was appointed as the Managing Director/CEO of Union Bank of Nigeria in January. And last month, Bolaji Agbede was appointed as acting Group CEO of Access Holdings after the death of Herbert Wigwe.
A report by Agusto Consulting, a subsidiary of Agusto & Co, a pan-African credit rating agency said the share of women on boards surged to an all-time high in 2022.
It showed that the share of female board members has risen steadily in the past five years, hitting 25 percent from 18 percent in 2018. That compares with 36 percent in South Africa, 41 percent in the United Kingdom and 35 percent in the United States.
Here are profiles of eight out of 11 of the female MDs/CEOs of major banks.
Adaora Umeoji
Umeoji holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Jos, a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and a First-Class honors in Law from Baze University, Abuja.
She also has a Master of Laws from the University of Salford, United Kingdom, a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Calabar, and has a doctorate in business administration from Apollos University, USA.
She holds a Certificate in Economics for Business from the prestigious MIT Sloan School of Management, USA, and has attended various management programmes in renowned Universities around the world including the strategic thinking and Management programme at Wharton Business School, USA.
Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe – Fidelity Bank
Onyeali-Ikpe holds Bachelor of Laws and Master of Laws degrees from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and Kings College, London.
She 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.
Onyeali-Ikpe assumed office as managing director/CEO of Fidelity Bank on January 1, 2021. She was formerly the executive director, Lagos and South West, overseeing the bank’s business in the six states that make up the South West region of the bank.
She is also an honorary senior member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria.
Tomi Somefun – Unity Bank
Somefun graduated with a Second Class Upper degree from the Obafemi Awolowo University (formerly University of Ife) in 1981 with a Bachelor of Education in English Language. She was conferred an honorary degree of Doctor of Business Administration by the Redeemer’s University.
Before she was appointed the managing director/CEO of Unity Bank in August 2015, 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 is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria and the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, she is also a member of the Institute of Directors, Bank Directors Association of Nigeria and Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria.
Miriam Olusanya – Guaranty Trust Bank Limited
Olusanya holds a Bachelor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria and a Master of Business Administration (Finance and Accounting) from the University of Liverpool, United Kingdom.
Before she became the bank’s MD, she was appointed executive director in 2018 and served as the group treasurer and head of the wholesale banking division, responsible for the bank’s asset and liability management as well as financial markets dealings across all African subsidiaries.
She is also a non-executive director of the Nigerian Inter-bank Settlement System and the Shared Agent Network Expansion Facilities, an agent banking initiative of the CBN, supported by Nigerian banks.
She is 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.
Ireti Samuel-Ogbu – Citi Bank
Samuel-Ogbu, CEO and country officer for Nigeria and Ghana Citi Bank, obtained a BA Hons Accounting and Finance from Middlesex University, UK and has an MBA from the University of Bradford, UK.
Before she was appointed CEO, she was the Managing Director of Europe, Middle East and Africa payments and receivables head, treasury and trade solutions under Citi’s Institutional Clients Group based in London, UK.
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.
Yemisi Edun – FCMB
Edun holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of 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 chartered financial analyst.
She is also an associate member of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers and 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.
She began her career with Akintola Williams Deloitte (member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu) in 1987 with a focus on corporate finance activities as well as audits of banks and other financial institutions.
She joined FCMB in 2000 as divisional head of Internal Audit and Control before assuming the role of chief financial officer of the bank.
She was appointed Managing Director of the bank following CBN approval on May 1, 2021.
Bolaji Agbede – Access Holdings
Before her appointment as acting group CEO, Agbede was the company’s most senior founding executive director in charge of business support.
Beginning in 1992 at Guaranty Trust Bank, she rose through managerial positions, where she held various roles such as relationship manager and vault custodian.
She advanced from an executive trainee in 1992 to a manager by 2001.
In 2003, she assumed the position of chief executive officer at JKG Limited, a business consulting firm.
Transitioning to Access Bank in the same year as an assistant general manager, she took charge of managing the bank’s portfolio of chemical trading companies.
Since 2010, she has been the head of Human Resources for the Access Bank Group, overseeing the group’s human capital development efforts.
She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics and Statistics from the University of Lagos (1990) and a Master of Business Administration Degree from Cranfield University UK in 2002, and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Management UK and the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria.
Yetunde Oni, Managing Director/CEO of Union Bank of Nigeria
Oni, a seasoned professional with over 25 years in the banking sector, is known for her dynamic leadership and expertise in client solutions and team management.
Her academic credentials include an Economics degree from the University of Ibadan and an MBA from Bangor University, complemented by executive training at Oxford University.
Oni’s career began at Prime Merchant Bank Treasury & Money Markets Group, followed by an 11-year stint at Ecobank Nigeria as a Relationship Manager. She joined Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria in 2005, where she held various key positions, culminating in her role as the Managing Director & Country Head of Commercial Banking in West Africa.
Before joining Union Bank, Oni was the first female Managing Director and CEO at Standard Chartered Bank in Sierra Leone.
Aside these eight leading banks falling under feminine control, three other banks notably SunTrust Bank, FSDH Merchant Bank and Lotus Bank are also having women as Ceo’s.
SunTrust Bank: Halima Buba; FSDH Merchant Bank: Bukola Smith; and Lotus Bank: Kafilat Araoye
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