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On this day, we celebrate top Nigerian women in business

Today is International Women’s day, a global, annual event specially dedicated to celebrate women and their many accomplishments.

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International Women's Day

Today is International Women’s day, a global, annual event specially dedicated to celebrate women and their many accomplishments in different spheres of life. And as traditional of us here at Nairametrics, we felicitate with women around the world, especially Nigerian women in business.

Nigerian women have come a long way from the early days when their main occupation entailed being wives and mothers, to the present time when they sit on the boards of reputable corporations. And there is still a long way to go, with many more glass ceilings to be broken.

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In the meantime, however, Nairametrics will keep celebrating women who are paving the way for others in the Nigerian corporate environment. Here are some of Nigeria’s top female executives to mark this year’s International Women’s Day. Some of them are notable names, while the others are still building their influence. Get to know them.

Mrs Owen Omogiafo, the CEO of Transcorp Hotels Plc 

Mrs Omogiafo was recently appointed the Chief Executive Officer of Transcorp Hotels Plc. She has more than eighteen years’ corporate experience, including her most recent role as the Chief Operating Officer of the Tony Elumelu Foundation. She has also held senior leadership positions in reputable corporations such as Heirs Holdings, United Bank for Africa, and Accenture.

She holds a B.Sc. in Sociology & Anthropology from the University of Benin and an M.Sc. in Human Resource Management from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Mrs. Omogiafo is a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), UK and a Certified Change Manager with the Prosci Institute, USA. 

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Adeyinka Adekoya, CEO of Wapic Insurance Plc

For nearly three years now, Mrs Adekoya has served as the Chief Executive Officer of Wapic Insurance Plc. She assumed the position in 2016. Prior to this time, the University of Lagos graduate had served as the General Manager of both Cornerstone Insurance Plc and Law Union & Rock Plc.

Mrs Rose Okwechime, the CEO of Abbey Mortgage Bank Plc

Appointed in 1992, Mrs Okwechime has been the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Abbey Mortgage Bank Plc for nearly thirty years. Prior to taking up the position, she worked in the banking industry for twenty four years, including stints at the Bank of England. She holds a master’s degree in Banking and Finance.

Mrs Ibukun Awosika, First Bank’s Chairman

Mrs. Ibukun Awosika is a 56-year old Ibadan-born business leader who graduated with a B.Sc. in Chemistry from the Obafemi Awolowo University.  She is also an alumnus of the IESE Business School, as well as the Lagos Business School.

Asides her position as the Chairman of FirstBank, Mrs. Awosika is also the Chief Executive Officer of The Chair Centre Group. She also sits on the boards of numerous other companies and NGOs.

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Ibukun Awosika, Chairman, First Bank of Nigeria Plc

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Mrs Bola Adesola, the Chief Executive Officer of Standard Chartered Bank

Mrs. Bola Adesola is a graduate of the University of Buckingham, where she studied Law. She was called to the Nigerian bar in 1985.

She is also an alumna of the Harvard Business School, having undergone an Advanced Management Programme there. Mrs. Adesola also completed the Chief Executive Programme at the Lagos Business School.

Professionally, Mrs Adesola has garnered over 25 years of experience in the banking sector. Her career cuts across several financial institutions including Citibank Nigeria (a member of the Citigroup) where she worked for nearly ten years with executive roles in Nigeria and Tanzania.

In March 2011, Mrs. Adesola was appointed as the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria Limited. As part of her role as the head of the bank, she has been utilising her exposure and experience in the banking industry to drive growth and lead the bank to success. Note that she is currently a Director also at the bank.

Funmi Omo, the CEO of African Alliance Plc

Funmi Omo is one of the few females occupying executive positions in the Nigerian corporate environment today. As the Chief Executive Officer of African Alliance Plc, it is her job to make strategic decisions that will position the company for growth.

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She studied Insurance at the University of Lagos, graduating in 1990 with a Bachelor’s of Science degree, even though she never planned to study Insurance. She admitted in an interview, that she had initially set out to study Accountancy, but was unable to meet the admission cut-off mark for that discipline, due to certain reasons. Fortunately, she ended up loving Insurance, despite her initial misgivings.

Mrs Funmilayo Omo has nearly 30 years of professional experience in the insurance industry, all of which happened at African Alliance Plc. Right after her National Service year, she got a job with the company in 1991 as an Assistant Superintendent.

She quickly rose through the ranks, working a number of high profile jobs until she became the company’s Chief Executive Officer in May 2017; a position she has since held on to. Altogether, she has worked at African Alliance Insurance Plc for almost thirty years. And she seemed determined to turn things around for the better, especially now that it is her duty, as the CEO, to drive “overall corporate strategic goals and purpose to meet and exceed expectations of our different stakeholders.”

Unity Bank’s Chief Executive Officer, Mrs Tomi Somefun

Mrs. Somefun was a student of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife, graduating in 1981 with a Bachelor of Education in English language. Although she was never a trained accountant nor economist, she went on to acquire other important professional certifications after her university days. Today, she is a prominent Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN).

Having undergone graduate studies at both the Harvard Business School and University of Columbia Business School, Mrs. Somefun is an alumnus of both prestigious American institutions of study. In the same vein, she has participated in quite a number of local and international training programmes which are specific to her banking profession. An example of such is the INSEAD Fontainebleau, in France.

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Mrs Tomi Somefun, the CEO of Unity Bank Plc

Mrs. Somefun is a modern Nigerian woman who has successfully maintained a professional career spanning at least thirty-three years. Note that while most of these years of experience have been in the financial sector, she also has experiences cutting across other sectors.

In her early days, she started out working at KPMG as a Senior Audit Assistant between 1982 and 1986. From there, she went on to work at Arthur Andersen in 1986 as a Senior Auditor. She has also been employed at Ventures & Trusts Limited, between 1989 and 1992, as an Associate.

Prior to her current appointment, Mrs Somefun held many high profile positions in other reputable companies such Credit Bank Limited and UBA Plc. She was also the MD/CEO of UBA Capital & Trustee Limited and the Founding Managing Director of UBA Pension Custodian Limited: two of UBA Group’s major subsidiaries.

Mrs Folorunsho Alakija, the Executive Vice Chairman of Famfa Oil Limited

Recent ranking by Forbes Magazine lists Mrs Folorunsho as the richest woman in Nigeria and second richest in the whole of Africa. With an estimated net worth of $1.1 billion, she is second only to Angola’s Isabel Dos Santos who has net worth of $2.3 billion.

Mrs Folorunsho was born on 15 July 1951. Like many other women, she started her career from the bottom, working as a secretary at a Lagos-based company in 1974. She later dabbled into banking, before establishing her first company called Supreme Stitches. She ended up becoming an oil magnate. And today, we know her as one of the richest women in the world.

Nigerians occupy top spots on Forbes Magazine's wealthiest African billionaires' list - Folorunsho Alakija

Folorunsho Alakija

These are definitely not all the Nigerian women making waves in the Nigerian corporate environment. But for the sake of time and space, these are the ones that can be mentioned here. Nairametrics celebrate with all the woman, wishing them more success in all their current and future endeavours.

Emmanuel holds an MSc. in International Relations and a B.A in Philosophy & Logic, both from the University of Ibadan. He is a communications professional. As a Lead Business Analyst at Nairametrics, he focuses mostly on quoted companies, their products/services, and the economy in which they operate. Emmanuel is also experienced in the areas of corporate communication, brand communication, corporate storytelling, public relations, business research, management/strategy, etc. You may contact him via his email- emmanuel.abara@nairametrics.com.

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Economy & Politics

Can a lower MPR rate really prevent this recession?

We are on the brink of a recession. Whilst policies like these could offer a buffer, the prolonged existence of the pandemic on the economy is one nail in the coffin that can only be halted by the provision of a vaccine.

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Cashless Policy, Forex Crisis, This is when CBN will cut Monetary Policy Rate – Emefiele, Nigeria’s External Reserves depleted by $2.9 billion, hit 10 months low , CBN to fight piracy in Creative Industry , CBN projects macroeconomy confidence to rise by 118.3% in November, Emefiele addresses stable naira, CBN, FIRS, others under investigation over fraudulent forex dealings, CBN extends deadline for recapitalization by microfinance banks, CBN discloses conditions to assess N100b facility, identifies problems in processing facility

The world is in a fix. Covid-19, unprecedented as it is, has led to economic shocks owing to severe disruptions in the global supply chain, rising levels of corporate and public debt, rising levels of unemployment, negative shocks to commodity prices, and more. To cushion the negative impacts on economies around the world, global leaders have put policies in place hoping that it will stop or, at least, slow down the negative trajectory of these failing economies. It was in the same light that the Central Bank of Nigeria decided to lower the MPR rate to 12.5% from 13.5%.  

How the Decision Came About 

In a meeting held by the CBN’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) on Thursday this week, a majority of the members voted to cut the rate from 13.5% to 12.5%. During an earlier meeting held in March, the decision to hold rates had been unanimous. However, given the deepening challenges of the present time, seven out of the 10 members at the MPC meeting voted to cut the rate. Even more interesting is the fact that the rest of the panel opted for a more aggressive easing, with two voting for a 150 basis-point reduction and one for 200 basis points. 

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Why the Decision Was Made 

COVID-19’s adverse effects on the global economy have been unprecedented and severe. During the meeting, which was broadcast live on Thursday 28th May, the MPC had noted key observations in the macroeconomic environment resulting from the adverse impacts of COVID-19 as well as the drop in crude oil prices. Some of the key highlights of the current economic situation include: 

  • The significant decline in Manufacturing and non-Manufacturing Purchasing Manager’s Indices (PMIs) to 42.4 and 25.3 index points, respectively, in May 2020, compared with 51.1 and 49.2 index points in March 2020. 
  • The marginal growth in broad money (M3) to 2.66 percent in April 2020 from 2.42 percent in March 2020, largely due to increases in Net Domestic and Foreign Assets.
  • The significant growth of aggregate net credit by 8.07 percent in April 2020 compared with 4.90 percent in March 2020 (still below the indicative benchmark of 16.85 percent for the year. 

The committee also mentioned the gradual improvement in macroeconomic variables, particularly the improvement in the equities market, the containment measures of the COVID-19 induced health crisis, as well as the impact of the increase in crude oil price on the external reserves. It also noted the stability in the banking system as shown by the increase in total assets by 18.8 percent and total deposits by 25.52 percent (year-on-year).  

Given the overall economic situation and its impact on the average Nigerian, the MPC was of the view that any tightening of policy stance is, for now, inappropriate as it will result in further contraction of aggregate demand, thereby leading to a decline in output – which is necessary to sustain the supply chain for growth recoveryFor the option of holding previous policy stance, the MPC believed holding may indicate that the monetary authorities are insensitive to prevailing weak economic conditions. Also noteworthy is the fact that this move to cut rates have been carried out by many other central banks across the globe, includingAustraliaMalaysia, and the U.S. Federal Reserve. 

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The Impact Of The Decision 

The expected outcome of the decision of the CBN is to ensure that the economy reverses from the recession quickly. As such, the decision is geared towards stimulating growth and swift recovery. The cut, being the lowest in four years, rests on the optimism that it will possibly avert a recession. It, however, has its limitations. A clear challenge is the impact the rate cut will have on inflation which has been way above the target range of 6% to 9% for five years. There is also the issue of increasing pressure on the naira.  

The rising question is whether the rate cut will do enough to prevent a recession. This is an important question, taking into account the volatility in the crude market – a sector that accounts for about 90% of exports and more than half of government revenue, the fall in private sector credit of 61% from just a year earlier, as well as all of the same challenges that spurred the making of the decision in the first place.  

We are on the brink of a recession. Whilst policies like these could offer a buffer, the prolonged existence of the pandemic on the economy is one nail in the coffin that can only be halted by the provision of a vaccine. It is only when life reverts to normalcy that we can begin to undo the damage thus far.  

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Coronavirus

Covid-19 Update in Nigeria

On the 30th of May 2020, 553 new confirmed cases and 12 deaths were recorded in Nigeria bringing the total confirmed cases recorded in the country to 9,855.

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COVID-19: FCMB reschedule operations

The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continues to rise as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 9,855 confirmed cases.

On the 30th of May 2020, 553 new confirmed cases and 12 deaths were recorded in Nigeria.

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To date, 9855 cases have been confirmed, 2856 cases have been discharged and 273 deaths have been recorded in 35 states and the Federal Capital Territory having carried out 60,825 tests.

Covid-19 Case Updates- May 30th 2020

  • Total Number of Cases – 9,855
  • Total Number Discharged – 2,856
  • Total Deaths – 273
  • Total Tests Carried out – 60,825

The 553 new cases are reported from 15 states – Lagos (378), FCT (52), Delta (23), Edo (22), Rivers (14), Ogun (13), Kaduna (12), Kano (9), Borno (7), Katsina (6), Jigawa (5), Oyo (5), Yobe (3), Plateau (3), Osun (1).

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Western diplomats warn of disease explosion, poor handling by government

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The latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 4755, followed by Kano (951), Abuja at 616, Katsina (364), Edo (284), Oyo (280), Borno (271), Jigawa (270), Ogun (259), Kaduna (244), Bauchi (236), Rivers (204), Gombe (156), Sokoto (116), Plateau (104).

Kwara State has recorded 87 cases, Delta (80), Zamfara (76), Nasarawa (62), Yobe (52), Akwa Ibom and Osun (45), Ebonyi (40), Adamawa (38), Imo (34), Kebbi (33), Niger (30), Ondo (25), Ekiti (20), Taraba and Enugu (18), Bayelsa (12), Anambra (11), Abia (10), Benue (7), while Kogi state has recorded 2 cases.

Lock Down and Curfew

In a move to combat the spread of the pandemic disease, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days, which took effect from 11 pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.

The movement restriction, which was extended by another two-weeks period, has been partially put on hold with some businesses commencing operations from May 4. On April 27th, 2020, President Muhammadu Buhari declared an overnight curfew from 8 pm to 6 am across the country, as part of new measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19. This comes along with the phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos, and Ogun States, which took effect from Saturday, 2nd May 2020, at 9 am.

 

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READ ALSO: Bill Gates says Trump’s WHO funding suspension is dangerous

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DateConfirmed caseNew casesTotal deathsNew deathsTotal recoveryActive casesCritical cases
May 30, 2020985555327312285667267
May 29, 202093023872612269763447
May 28, 202089151822595259260647
May 27, 202087333892545250159787
May 26, 2020834427624916238557107
May 25, 202080682292337231155247
May 24, 202078393132265226353607
May 23, 202075262652210217451317
May 22, 2020726124522110200750337
May 21, 2020701633921111190748987
May 20, 202066772842008184046377
May 19, 202064012261921173444757
May 18, 202061752161919164443407
May 17, 202059593881826159441837
May 16, 202056211761765147239737
May 15, 202054452881713132039544
May 14, 202051621931683118038154
May 13, 202049711841646107037374
May 12, 20204787146158695936704
May 11, 202046412421521090235894
May 10, 202043992481421777834794
May 9, 202041512391271174532784
May 8, 202039123861181067931154
May 7, 20203526381108460128184
May 6, 20203145195104553425071
May 5, 2020295014899548123704
May 4, 2020280224594641722912
May 3, 2020255817088240020702
May 2, 20202388220861735119522
May 1, 20202170238691035117512
April 30, 2020193220459731715562
April 29, 2020172819652730713692
April 28, 2020153219545425512322
April 27, 20201337644102559942
April 26, 20201273914152399942
April 25, 20201182873632229252
April 24, 202010951143312088552
April 23, 20209811083231977532
April 22, 2020873912931976482
April 21, 20207821172631975602
April 20, 2020665382311884662
April 19, 2020627862221704362
April 18, 2020541482021663562
April 17, 2020493511841593172
April 16, 2020442351311522772
April 15, 2020407341211282672
April 14, 202037330111992632
April 13, 202034320100912422
April 12, 20203235100852282
April 11, 202031813103702382
April 10, 20203051770582402
April 9, 20202881471512302
April 8, 20202742260442262
April 7, 20202541661442042
April 6, 2020238650351982
April 5, 20202321851331942
April 4, 2020214540251850
April 3, 20202092542251800
April 2, 20201841020201620
April 1, 2020174352091630
March 31, 202013982091280
March 30, 2020131202181210
March 29, 2020111221031070
March 28, 20208919103850
March 27, 2020705103660
March 26, 20206514102620
March 25, 2020517102480
March 24, 2020444102410
March 23, 20204010112370
March 22, 2020308002280
March 21, 20202210001210
March 20, 2020124001110
March 19, 20208000170
March 18, 20208500170
March 17, 20203100030
March 16, 20202000020
March 15, 20202000020
March 14, 20202000020
March 13, 20202000020
March 12, 20202000020
March 11, 20202000020
March 10, 20202000020
March 9, 20202100020
March 8, 20201000010
March 7, 20201000010
March 6, 20201000010
March 5, 20201000010
March 4, 20201000010
March 3, 20201000010
March 2, 20201000010
March 1, 20201000010
February 29, 20201000010
February 28, 20201100010

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Cryptocurrency

KPMG, PwC, Accenture prepare to become Crypto auditors

Big Four firms and other leading brands are working with several crypto and blockchain firms on ways to combat interoperability, regulatory challenges and development of the technology.

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KPMG, PwC, Blockchain technology expected to tackle Africa’s challenges across multiple industries

No doubt, the Blockchain technology, along with the adoption of cryptocurrencies, is getting bigger. The business end of the market is expected to reach $21 billion over the next five years.

Expectedly, professional services giants are now taking a larger role in tackling new challenges in the market, the Big Four firms and other leading brands are working with several crypto and blockchain firms on ways to combat interoperability, regulatory challenges and development of the technology.

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Henri Arslanian, PwC’s global crypto leader, told Cointelegraph that the Big Four firms majorly have a vital role in the advancement of the cryptocurrency ecosystem, saying:

“Although Bitcoin was designed with a trustless ideology, the reality is that the industry still requires trusted entities to catalyze the development of the ecosystem.”

READ ALSO: Positive outlook as Africa FinTech attracts over $100 million in investments

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Arslanian added that when he first joined PwC years back, few people took crypto seriously. However, he saw an increasing demand for crypto assets, with some businesses starting to accept Bitcoin payments from clients.

“Over the last couple of months, we’ve expanded our work. We recently closed the first-ever crypto fundraising deal at PwC, in which we led a $14 million Series A round for a Swiss-based crypto firm with Asian family offices. We are also the auditor for BC Group, a publicly listed crypto company in Hong Kong.”

BC Group CEO, Hugh Madden, also said that BC’s vision was to make use of crypto assets in Asia’s financial market. In turn, BC Group must set standards for compliance, security, and performance. Madden buttressed on the role of audits play by saying:

“Auditing, like regulatory clarity, provides confidence to all stakeholders that companies are operating transparently and adhering to expected industry standards. As the business of digital assets continues to grow and mature, and compliance and regulatory standards become more robust, auditors will continue to play a pivotal role.”

READ MORE: Blockchain technology expected to tackle Africa’s challenges across industries

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KPMG United States blockchain audit leader, Erich Braun, further contributed by saying that a business’s blockchain system should be developed with the intent to meet both accounting and operational needs to meet with accounting standards:

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“SEC issuers will want to design blockchain technologies to support the entity’s internal control over financial reporting. Being able to prove how these technologies achieve their aims in a well-controlled environment is critical to a successful blockchain strategy. If the technology is not auditable, the immense benefits it brings, such as increasing efficiencies and cutting costs, may not be realized.”

Henri Arslanian, added in his closing remarks that the Big Four firms are indeed the most important players for the crypto asset space. He said:

“I believe the Big Four firms will serve as the bridge between the crypto ecosystem and the institutional world. It is good for both the crypto ecosystem and for professional services firms like ours as a new source of clients that we can help.”

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