Yetunde Oni of Union Bank of Nigeria
The number of women leading major banks in Nigeria increased last week following the appointment of Yetunde Oni as the new managing director/CEO of Union Bank of Nigeria.
She joined Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe, MD/CEO of Fidelity Bank; Tomi Somefun, managing director/CEO of Unity Bank; Miriam Olusanya, MD of Guaranty Trust Bank Limited; Ireti Samuel-Ogbu, CEO and Citi country officer for Nigeria and Ghana; and Yemisi Edun, MD of First City Monument Bank (FCMB).
A report by Agusto Consulting, a subsidiary of Agusto & Co, a pan-African credit rating agency, shows that the share of women on boards surged to an all-time high in 2022.
The report shows that the share of female board members has risen steadily in the past five years, hitting 25 percent in 2023 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.
“Despite the relative progress in Nigeria, the review, especially with South Africa, a country on the African continent, reveals that there is still material room for improvement in Nigeria,” Agusto Consulting said.
To boost female board representation, analysts at Agusto Consulting recommended that the regulatory bodies and Nigerian companies should make a stronger push to increase the representation of women on their boards.
“This will place Nigeria in good stead on global best practice benchmarks. Overall, we note that there may be a need to introduce female diversity benchmarks as moral suasion is proving to be insufficient to boost diversity on the boards of Corporate Nigeria,” they said.
Here is a profile of the female MDs/CEOs of the six major banks
Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe of 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 of 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 of 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 was appointed the Bank’s MD, she was appointed executive director in 2018 and served as the group treasurer and head, 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 of Citi Bank
Samuel-Ogbu who serves as CEO & Citi Country Officer for Nigeria & Ghana obtained a BA Hons Accounting and Finance from Middlesex University, UK and has an MBA from the University of Bradford, UK.
She is the bank’s first female CEO. Before being appointed, 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.
She has also been on the Board of Citibank Nigeria Limited for the last five years as a non-executive director.
She has held various roles across Citi’s businesses in the UK, Nigeria and South Africa, having worked in each of these countries twice.
Previous roles have included relationship management with Global Subsidiaries Group and the Public Sector Banking Team, as well as TTS Sales, Corporate Finance and Citi’s TTS business in two of the largest markets in Africa.
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 of 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.