BusinessDay

Oluwatoyin Aralepo: Director, Corporate Excellence and Programme Management, IHS Nigeria

Oluwatoyin Aralepo is a first-class Accounting graduate. A Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), Fellow of the Institute of Information Management of Africa and an Alumna of the London School of Business and Finance (LSBF), with over 15 years of experience across banking, telecoms and fintech. Her expertise includes finance strategy and business partnering, financial planning, analysis and reporting, audit and business assurance, financial controls and governance.

She was the Head of Budget in United Bank for Africa – responsible for over 400 business offices, budget preparation and consolidation. She was Commercial Controller and Financial Controller at Airtel Nigeria, where she managed a portfolio of over US$1bn and supported cost initiatives that saved millions of dollars. She was also former Chief Financial Officer of Cellulant Nigeria.

She recently founded Africa Finance & Strategy Hub to support businesses, especially SMEs, with access to professional financial management skills and tools that will assist them in understanding, managing, and scaling their businesses. She wants to help companies build sustainable financial structures for profitable growth and become investor-ready. She has trained over 5,000 business owners on different platforms like She Leads Africa, Keystone Bank, Leap Africa, Wema Business School, FCMB SheVentures and so on. She is a passionate and unassuming entrepreneurial role model to young women. She is a mentor at WIMBIZ, Tony Elumelu Foundation, Techquest STEM Academy and so on. She is the Author of ‘How to Attract Billion Dollar Investors.’

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Aralepo has her views on gender balance and insists it is still an issue in Nigeria and is subject to debate. “According to the latest gender diversity report conducted by WIMBIZ, laudable steps have been made towards gender balance across companies in corporate Nigeria however, there is still room for improvement as notable listed companies are yet to achieve gender parity at the senior management level.” She said.

For her, the various regulatory bodies have taken laudable steps, especially the Nigerian Stock Exchange, which established vital legislation on a gender quota for the management positions of listed companies in Nigeria. She adds that there should also be more transparency in disclosing the gender composition of key management positions because according to her, beyond the steps by regulatory bodies, government authorities, international organisations and corporate bodies in Nigeria need to boost gender equality in corporate Nigeria and encourage women to leverage the power of mentorship and professional membership association for career advancement at an individual level. “Women have also begun to take bolder and bigger steps towards advocacy for gender equality.” Oluwatoyin stated.