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Women in Business: Tope Orhionsefe Omage

Tope Orhionsefe Omage started her early education at St. Anne’s School, Ibadan where she obtained her WASC O’levels certificate (1975). She received an HND in Accounting (1979), was awarded an MBA (2000) and she has attended numerous short Courses, Seminars, Conferences and Workshops; both local and international (including Stanford, Wharton, Center for Creative Leadership & North Western University). Professionally, she is a Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Management (2011), Member of the Institute of Directors and Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, a Member of the prestigious Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (2012) and a certified Mediator.

She commenced her working career in 1977 with Pius Momodu and Company Chartered Accountants, Benin. Her reputation as a thoroughbred accountant saw her excel at the Benin Owena River Basin Development Authority, where she rose to Assistant Chief Accountant. Her illustrious career at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) started in 1993 as a Bank Examiner. In 2006, she became Assistant Director, Jos Branch where she coordinated and supervised banking services. She also served as the Chairman of the Branch Alms Committee, before she moved to the Internal Audit Department as Deputy Director.

She was appointed Director of Branch Operations Department in (2012). There again, under her skilled leadership, she set the pace and direction for the department and the 37 branches. She monitored, coordinated and maintained general oversight on the branches and facilitated excellent service delivery. Her culture of excellence motivated the present administration to transfer her to the Finance Department to help drive the nascent agenda. Omage has made history by becoming the first-ever, Female Director of Finance. She led her team to adopt IFRS for CBN Financial statements.

Tope is of the opinion that many people get into businesses they are oblivious about and according to her, topmost priority is to educate yourself on the terrain you are going into and the importance of knowing how to manage your funds because you cannot do without financial literacy. She says it will be an error to mix personal finance with business finance, stressing the need to differentiate both.

This she says is very important because small scale businesses often encounter challenges with getting funds but once you are financially literate and you have the appropriate documents, accessing finance will not be a challenge. In her words, “There are a number of Federal Government initiatives through the Central Bank and some developmental institutions tailored towards SMEs. Because the SMEs are not exposed and financially literate, they don’t even have bankable documents.”

Omage has served in various committees of ICAN, was a former governing council member of NASB (FRCN), member of Advisory Board of three secondary schools, board member SmartWoman Nigeria and NSITF

Despite her heavy portfolio, she has time for other activities. She is an author, a motivational speaker and currently the Coordinator of the Women in Management, Business and Public service (WIMBIZ) Abuja.

Tope is married with adult children and in 2011, she published a book titled, “Enjoying Family Life, God’s recipe”, a book she wrote to help counsel couples because she realised that sometimes, people are too shy to ask for one-on-one advice, and the tips given in the book she believes will inspire couples and intending couples positively. She also wrote the book as a result of the feedback she got from people who had heard her speak; they encouraged her to write the book.

Omage retired from the Central Bank of Nigeria in December 2015 after 35years of meritorious service with the Federal Government of Nigeria. Retired but not tired, She currently the CEO of TOMAG consulting and runs Tomaville events centre, a one-stop shop for all your events, She is into financial advisory services, SMEs, entrepreneurship, business revamping, loan restructuring and business process engineering.

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