While the banking sector, like almost every other sector in Nigeria, is a male dominated field, it has witnessed some revival in terms of women holding key positions and successfully driving growth and development in their various positions. While there are several of these kind of women, we look at 8 of the most notable female directors of Nigerian banks today.
Opening this list is one of the most recognized female leaders in the Nigerian banking sector. Ibukun Awosika is the current Chairperson, Board of Directors, First Bank of Nigeria Limited. She also serves as the founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Chair Centre Group, a conglomerate consisting of 5 companies with interests in several sectors such as manufacturing, retail and bank-way security systems services. She is a graduate of Chemistry from the Obafemi Awolowo University and has several certifications from relevant bodies globally.
Another Chairperson, Board of Directors, this time of Guaranty Trust Bank, Mrs. Demuren is another force to reckon with in the Nigerian banking sector. She has served with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for over 33 years, culminating in her appointment as the first female Director of the Central Bank of Nigeria. Mrs. Demuren holds a Master of Science Degree in Economics and Statistics from the Moscow Institute of Economics and Statistics, Moscow, and a Diploma in Russian Language and Preliminary Studies from the Kiev State University, Kiev. She is a member of many professional associations.
Bola Adesola is the current Managing Director/CEO, Nigeria and West Africa 1 of Standard Chartered Bank. She is regarded as one of the most powerful female CEOs in Nigeria and in the financial sector particularly. Bola oversees the bank’s operations in Nigeria, Cameroun and Cote D’Ivoire. She has a law degree from the University of Buckingham, UK and has graduated from both the Harvard Business School and Lagos Business School. She also serves on the United Nations Global Compact Board.
The Chairperson, Board of Directors of Access Bank Plc. is a seasoned veteran of the banking sector in the country. Having served in various senior capacities at Guaranty Trust Bank, she became Chairman of the Board of Directors of Access Bank in July 2015. Mrs. Belo-Olusoga graduated from University of Ibadan in 1979 with a Second Class Upper Degree and is a fellow of both the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria and the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria.
Mrs Sanu is an Executive Director of Wema Bank Plc and is armed with over 32 years of working experience in banking, professional accounting and auditing practice. She has worked as Chief Financial Officer of Sterling Bank. She has the magic wand with mergers, it seems, as she played key roles in the successful merger of 5 different banks to form Sterling Bank Plc. and successful merger of four consulting firms, including JFSC Consulting, which she established to form Averti Professional Managers. She is an alumnus of the London Business School.
Mrs. Adewale is an Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer of Union Bank of Nigeria. She has 36 years of experience in the financial and banking sectors and has served in different capacities at Nigeria International Bank/Citigroup, Oceanic Bank, SIAO and Renaissance Group. She also served as Integration Manager in the merger between Oceanic Bank and Ecobank Nigeria. Mrs. Adewale holds a BA degree in French from the University of Ibadan and has several certifications.
Another director of Standard Chartered who makes this list is Yemi Owolabi. She currently serves as the Executive Director, Finance, Nigeria and Regional CFO, West Africa. She has over 30 years of experience in financial & management accounting function and has worked in several other notable financial establishments such as Fidelity Bank, KPMG, Peat Marwick Ani Ogunde & Co. Yemi is a graduate of the Obafemi Awolowo University and a member of several professional bodies.
Mrs Anyanwu is the Deputy Managing Director and Chief Risk Officer of Diamond Bank. She served as Chief Risk Officer in the bank before her appointment by the CBN to as an Executive Director Risk Management in Finbank Plc. She has also served in various financial institutions including PricewaterhouseCoopers, African Continental Bank Plc and United Bank for Africa (UBA). Mrs. Anyanwu is a first class graduate of Statistics and a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN).