IWD2024: 10 Women CEOs Leading Banks In Nigeria
10 Women CEOs Leading Banks In Nigeria

IWD 2024: 10 Women CEOs Leading Banks In Nigeria

1 month ago
7 mins read

International Women’s Day (IWD) celebrated globally on March 8th every year, including in Nigeria is a day set aside to recognize and honour the achievements of women and to advocate gender equality and women’s rights.

With the theme of this year’s IWD event being “Invest in women: Accelerate progress and Inspire Inclusion,” which is aimed at addressing issues around women empowerment, Prime Business Africa’s correspondent, Victor Ezeja, highlights 10 women Chief Executive Officers leading banks in Nigeria.

With campaigns about women empowerment having gone on over the years, the number of women in professional management positions have continued to rise in different sectors including banking where a good number of them have made trailblazing achievements.


Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe– MD/CEO Fidelity Bank Plc

IWD2024: 10 Women CEOs Leading Banks In Nigeria

Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe has been the managing director/chief executive officer of Fidelity Bank since January 2021. The board of Fidelity Bank recently announced extension of her tenure of office following her remarkable performance in the last three years.

She has over 30 years experience in banking. By training, Oyeali-Ikpe  holds a bachelors degree in Law from UNN, and a Master of Laws degree from King’s College, London in addition to other executive  training programmes she has attended at global institutions including  Wharton School University of Pennsylvania, INSEAD School of Business, Chicago Booth School of Business, London and Harvard Business Schools.

After a few years of legal practice after her national youth service, Onyeali-Ikpe began her banking career in 1992 and worked in various units and capacities including legal officer, treasury, investment banking, commercial banking and rose to the position of a branch manager at Citizens Bank International between 2002 and 2005. she proceeded to Zenith Bank where she was a senior manager branch head (2005 – 2007). At Standard Chartered Bank, she was a regional manager and acting head of distribution (2007 – 2011).

Between 2012 and 2014, she was at Enterprise Bank Ltd. She joined Fidelity Bank Plc in 2015 as executive director, consumer and commercial banking, Lagos and the southwest directorate. She subsequently became the first female CEO of the bank.


Read More on International Women’s Day:

Yemisi Edun – MD FCMB

IWD2024: 10 Women CEOs Leading Banks In Nigeria


Yemisi Edun is the first female Managing Director of First City Monument Bank Limited. She became the MD in July 2021 after the suspension of Adam Nuhu. After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Ife, she proceeded to the University of Liverpool, where she got a master’s degree in international accounting and finance. Edun began her career in the financial world at Akintola Williams Deloitte in 1987 and rose to the position of senior manager, assurance, advisory & corporate finance by year 2000. Prior to becoming MD of FCMB, Edun had worked in other capacities like head of internal audit & control/chief inspector (2000 – 2007), chief financial officer ( 2007 – 2015) and executive director (2015 – 2021).

Edun is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, an associate member of the Chartered Institute of Stock brokers, an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria, and a member of the Information Systems Audit and Control.


Bolaji Agbede – Ag CEO Access Holdings

IWD2024: 10 Women CEOs Leading Banks In Nigeria

Ms Bolaji Agbede was appointed as acting Group Chief Executive Officer, Access Holdings, in February 2024 following the tragic death of the former GCEO, Dr Herbert Wigwe, through a helicopter crash in the United States of America.

Agbede, who became the first female GCEO of the multinational financial services company, has over 27 years of  experience in Human Resources management, customer relationship management and banking operations.

Agbede began her professional career in Guaranty Trust Bank in 1992 where she served in various capacities including executive trainee, Vault Custodian and manager by 2001. She later served as the Chief Executive Officer of a business consulting outfit, JKG Limited in 2003. She later joined Access Bank the same year as an Assistant General Manager responsible for managing the Bank’s portfolio of chemical trading companies.  She has occupied the role of Head, HR for the Access Bank Group since 2010, overseeing the human capital development of the Group. She later rose to the position of founding executive director of business support.

Agbede has bachelor degree in Mathematics and Statistics from the University of Lagos (1990) and subsequently obtained a Master of Business Administration degree from Cranfield University in 2002. She is a member of the Chartered Institute of Management UK and Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria.

She has also attended several renowned leadership and professional development programs including the High-Performance Leadership Programme organised by the IMD and the Strategic Talent Management Programme organised by the London Business School.


Miriam Olusanya – MD GT Bank

IWD2024: 10 Women CEOs Leading Banks In Nigeria

Miriam, who became the managing director of Guarantee Trust Bank in July 2021, has over 26 years experience. She has a bachelors degree in Pharmacy from the University of Ibadan, and a master degree in Business Administration from the University of Liverpool.

Olusanya joined GTB as an executive trainee in 1998. Until her appointment as MD, she was an executive director at the bank. She has also made history as the first female MD of the bank.


Yetunde Oni – Union Bank

IWD2024: 10 Women CEOs Leading Banks In Nigeria

Yetunde Oni was appointed as the managing director/chief executive officer of Union Bank of  Nigeria (UBN) in January 2024.

Her appointment followed the dissolution of the board and management of the bank alongside two other banks – Polaris and Keystone – by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Oni has over 25 years of experience in the banking industry which she is expected to bring to bear in the management of the Union Bank of Nigeria.

Oni is a former CEO of Standard Chartered Bank, Sierra Leone, a position she took in January 2021 where he was responsible for country leadership, strategy setting, and performance management for the Sierra Leone franchise of the bank.

Before that, she was in May 2010 appointed Head of Local Corporates and between 2014 and January 2021, was made the Managing Director & Country Head of Commercial Banking in West Africa for Standard Chartered Bank.

Oni began her career in banking with Prime Merchant Bank Treasury & Money Markets Group and later joined Ecobank Nigeria in 1994 as a Relationship Manager in the Institutional Banking Group until 2005.

She moved over to Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria, in 2005 assuming the role of Senior Account Relationship Manager in the Local corporation’s segment.

By educational training, Yetunde Oni has a bachelor’s degree in economics obtained from the University of Ibadan in 1991. After undergoing Executive Trainings at Oxford University in 2016, and INSEAD Business School in 2017, Oni went further to study and obtained an MBA in Business Administration from Bangor University in 2020.

Oni is an Honorary Senior Member, Chartered Institute of Bankers, and a Fellow, Chartered Institute of Loan and Risk Management.


Tomi Somefun – Unity Bank

IWD2024: 10 Women CEOs Leading Banks In Nigeria

Tomi Somefun has been the managing director/chief executive officer of Unity Bank since 2015.

She has over 35 years post qualification experience, 26 of which were in the Banking sector in areas such as Treasury & Investment Banking, Corporate Banking, Retail and Commercial Banking Operations.

She has a bachelors degree in English Language from Obafemi Awolowo University.

She is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and also attended business school at the Harvard Business School and the University of Columbia.

Under Tomi’s leadership, Unity Bank is focusing on providing financial inclusion and rural banking services to underprivileged communities. She has a strong desire to see economic empowerment and financial literacy spread throughout Nigeria.

Ireti Samuel-Ogbu – Citibank

IWD2024: 10 Women CEOs Leading Banks In Nigeria

Ireti Samuel-Ogbu has been the MD/CEO of Citi Bank since September 2020. She equally became the first formal CEO of the bank in Nigeria.

Prior to her appointment as Citi Bank CEO in Nigeria, she was head of payments and receivables, treasury and trade solutions in Europe, the Middle East and Africa for  Citi Group.

Samuel-Ogbu holds Bachelor degree in Accounting and Finance from Middlesex University, UK, and an MBA from the University of Bradford, UK.

She has a wealth of experience in international banking which she brings into the Nigerian banking industry. Citibank is concentrating on offering cutting-edge financial products and utilizing technology to improve the client experience under her direction.


Halima Buba – Sun Trust Bank

IWD2024: 10 Women CEOs Leading Banks In Nigeria

Halima Buba was appointed MD/CEO of Sun Trust Bank in January 2021 after serving as deputy general manager in Eco Bank. She has  25 years experience as a financial expert and seasoned banker.

She had also worked with Allstates Trust Bank, Zenith Bank, Inland Bank Plc, Oceanic Bank Plc.

She has Bachelor’s degree in Business Management and MBA from the University of Maiduguri. An alumnus of the Lagos Business School, Buba is also an honorary member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers and a Fellow of the Institute of Management Consultants.

She sits on the Board of several reputable Institutions in Nigeria.

She has a keen interest  for youth and women empowerment, and consistently makes philanthropic contributions towards the girl child Education.


Kafilat Araoye – MD Lotus Bank

IWD2024: 10 Women CEOs Leading Banks In Nigeria

 Mrs Kafilat Araoye has over 25 years experience in banking. She became the MD of LOTUS Bank in 2018 when it was still in formation. Before then, she had worked with Guaranty Trust Bank Plc from 1990 to 2015 when she left as a general manager.

Araoye holds a Bachelors degree in History from the Obafemi Awolowo University (1985), and an M.Sc. in Industrial Relations & Personnel Management from the University of Lagos (1987). She also holds Islamic Finance certifications issued by Ethica Institute of Islamic Finance, the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment/Bahrain Institute of Banking & Finance, as well as the Islamic Research & Training Institute. She has attended various executive management courses at the Cranfield School of Management (UK), Lagos Business School, Institute of Management Development (Switzerland) and INSEAD (France) Ross Business School, University of Michigan(USA).


Bukola Smith-MD FSDH Merchant Bank

IWD2024: 10 Women CEOs Leading Banks In Nigeria

Bukola Smith was appointed MD of FSDH Merchant Bank in April 2021. She has over 29 years experience in the banking industry.

Before her appointment as Managing Director, Smith was the Executive Director, Business Development at FCMB and held other leadership positions since joining the bank in 2006.

She holds a Bachelor degree in Economics obtained from the University of Lagos and an MBA from Alliance Manchester Business School, University of Manchester U.K. She is also a  Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accounts of Nigeria (ICAN) and an Honorary Member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers.

Currently, She mentors a number of young women both inside and outside of these networks. She also serves on the boards of Women in Successful Careers (WISCAR) and the Toyin Oni Foundation, an organisation that raises awareness of cancer.

Victor Ezeja is a passionate journalist with six years of experience writing on economy, politics and energy. He holds a Masters degree in Mass Communication.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


Follow Us

Latest from Featured Posts

Don't Miss