Banking and financial activities in the 80s were characterised by paperwork and file cabinets. But by the end of the twentieth century, the story changed with the introduction of technology to speed and ease the financial process. This was the birth of financial technologies, now commonly known as Fin-Techs.
Whether by intent or by accident, the industry turned out to be dominated by the male folk– founders, co-founders, chief operating officers, managing directors, etc. However, considering that the American Bureau of Statistics estimates that females only make up 22% of Engineering and Technology graduates, and we could as well infer it could even be worse here in Nigeria.
Nevertheless, there are still women holding their own in the industry, and this article will be looking at seven female executives who are way ahead of the game in the Nigerian fintech sector; more interestingly, most of these women are under 40.
The list includes founders, co-founders, business leads, heads of operations, and other management staff.
Abiola Showemimo, HR and Admin Lead, Paystack
Abiola is an experienced human resources practitioner, with her work history mostly in the tech industry. She currently works as the Human Resource/Admin Lead at Paystack Payments limited.
Her skills range from negotiation, business planning, analytical skills, operations management, and people operations, giving her just the right combination as a HR lead.
Before Paystack, she worked as a business analyst and political commentator with Klein Devort Ltd, and as a marketing and sales coordinator at Playzone Nigeria, both tech companies.
She describes herself as committed to building “a non-conventional yet highly productive workspace and workforce.”
Abiola studied Economics at Lagos State University and is certified with the Professional Human Resources Institute.
Opeyemi Fowler, Head of Growth, Flutterwave
Opeyemi joined Flutterwave in 2018 as Senior Executive Growth – Leading Tier-1 Bank Partnerships, before she became the Head of Growth; helping the company to expand further in its goal of building Africa’s payment infrastructure.
She had, before then, spent over a decade in Zenith Bank as an E-business consultant, working in the customer service and marketing departments.
She has proven expertise in electronic sales, e-products, business solutions, business advisory, product conceptualization and development, and market exploration.
She bagged a first degree in computer science from the University of Ibadan, did the Venture in Management Programme, and got a Masters in Business Administration degree from Lagos Business School, years later.
Jacqueline Jumah, Head DFS, EFInA
Jacqueline is currently Head, Digital Financial Services at Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access (EFInA), where she is focused on deepening the digital financial services in Nigeria through capacity building and stakeholder engagement.
She doubled as the Digital Financial Services Market Specialist and Managing Director at Intermarc Consulting until February 2020.
She has over a decade’s experience in digital financial services, having worked in both the banking and telecommunications industries, across several African and Asian countries. She is experienced in Development for Sustainability (DFS) product development, deploying technology and financial instruments which will promote the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in emerging markets.
She is also knowledgeable in Strategic Operations in Agent Network Deployment and Scale-up, DFS Business Strategy Development, Market Research, DFS Policy Advisory, Risk Management, and Marketing and Communications.
Her previous work experience includes her time at MicroSave Consulting Africa as a Senior Analyst within the Digital Financial Services (DFS) department, and as a lead faculty member at The Helix Institute of Digital Finance based in Kenya.
Odunayo Eweniyi, Co-founder and COO, Piggyvest
Odunayo is the Chief Operating Officer and co-founder of Piggybank, now known as Piggyvest. This is an automated savings platform that helps customers invest spare money, with promises of higher interest rates than a regular savings account.
Fresh from school, Odunayo decided to pursue her tech career by starting with PushCv to help job applicants write their CVs and link them to employers.
Piggybank focused on millennials, encouraging them to save with specific financial goals, and it was later renamed Piggyvest when they branched out to investments to help users grow their funds.
This little fintech disrupted the finance space in Nigeria, encouraging and enabling users to use the tools to manage and grow their funds.
Odunayo is one of the key females in fintech in Nigeria. She was listed in the World Women in FinTech Power list 2017, and the Naija Most Influential People in Technology list in 2017 and 2018.
Adebunmi Wellington Ogunlewe, eTranzact
Adebunmi is the Head of Product at eTranzact international Plc, Nigeria’s first multi-application, multi-channel electronic transaction switching and payment processing platform.
eTranzact handles billions of dollars yearly, supporting millions of forward-thinking businesses and individuals who trust that their financial transactions will be taken care of by it daily.
Her almost 16 years of experience spans across several industries, multinationals and government entities, including the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
She holds an advanced degree in Information Systems from the University of Maryland, with years of experience in Information Technology and Payments.
Ndifreke Nkose, Head, Strategy and Business Transformation, Interswitch Group
Though a chartered accountant, Ndifreke has earned her stripes in the tech space. As the head of Strategy and Business Transformation, Ndifreke ensures that Interswitch remains ahead of the game in the fintech space.
She initiates, implements, and tracks strategies targeted at earning a place for the company, in the minds of the consumers.
She got her first degree in pure and applied chemistry from the University of Ibadan in 2004, then switched when she started working with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) till 2018. This was where she started and mastered Strategy Formulation & Implementation, Performance Tracking, Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E system implementation), Business Transformation, Project Management, Process Reviews, and Redesign.
Oluwaseun Runsewe, Director of Product, Opay
At age 28, Oluwaseun Runsewe founded and became CEO of an entrepreneurial fintech, Switch. The purpose of Switch was to offer middle-class Nigerians varied financial solutions, where they could hold a number of savings accounts on the app, with different currencies. Ultimately, the target was to reignite the trust which some people had lost in the banking system and processes. Lending, borrowing, and investments were made possible on the app, with a promise of zero-transaction fees.
She started her career at KPMG as a Business Analyst in the management consulting division, and later Project Coordinator. After KPMG, she spent 2 years at Paystack as Business Lead before starting Switch.
Runsewe had her first degree in Business Administration and Management from Covenant University; this was where she picked interest in Technology. She is SAP, COMPTIA and DMI certified.
Oluwaseun is now Director of Product at Opay.
Note: Is there any amazing lady who should be on this list that is not captured? Kindly send an email to [email protected]
NSITF board to investigate suspended MD and others over financial misconduct
The board of directors of the Nigerian Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) has revealed that it will investigate the activities of the suspended Managing Director, 3 Executive Directors, and 8 other senior management staff over financial breaches and gross misconduct.
This was disclosed by the Chairman of the board of NSITF, Mr. Austin Enajemo-Isire, in a statement in Enugu on Sunday July 5, 2020.
Enajemo-Isire said that the Managing Director and other top management staff of the organization would have the opportunity to clear themselves of any wrongdoing with the probe panel which was being set up.
While reacting to claims that the suspension did not follow due process as President Muhammadu Buhari did not approve it, Enajemo-Isire said that the approval for the suspension of the affected staff had been conveyed to the Labour Minister in a correspondence referenced SGF. 47/511/T/99 of June 30, 2020.
According to the Chairman, “The minister has conveyed this approval and directives to me for necessary action in terms of setting up a board-driven investigative panel.
“This is to give the affected officers the opportunity to clear themselves of the financial and procurement breaches and acts of gross misconduct and other infractions that gave rise to their prima facie indictment.
“It is in this light that I have decided to call a virtual meeting of the management board on Tuesday, July 7, 2020, to consider the modalities for our action.”
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He, therefore, appealed to staffers of NSITF and their social partners to keep calm and exercise restraint.
A few days ago, Nairametrics reported the suspension of the Managing Director and some senior management staff over corruption allegations. However, the management in its reaction debunked that claim and said that the President did not approve their suspension but that rather, it was the sole decision of the Labour Minister, Chris Ngige, who they said was overreaching himself.
Nigerian Content Intervention Fund increased to US$350 million
The fund expansion was one of the decisions taken at the board’s recent meeting.
The governing council of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCMB) announced on Sunday that it has approved a $150 million expansion of the Nigerian Content Intervention Fund, raising it from $200 million to $350 million.
Nigerian Content Intervention Fund Increased to US$350M
The Governing Council of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has approved the expansion of the Nigerian Content Intervention Fund from US$200 million to US$350 million.@NigeriaGov pic.twitter.com/Y0TtDzwALq
— NCDMB (@OfficialNCDMB) July 5, 2020
The fund expansion was one of the decisions taken at the board’s recent meeting on June 16, 2020, chaired by Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, H.E. Chief Timipre Sylva, who is also the Chairman of the Council.
The board said that $100 million from the additional fund would be used to boost five existing loan products, which include manufacturing in the oil and gas industry, asset acquisition of rigs, marine vessels, contract financing for Nigerian oil service providers, contract financing for oil and gas community contractors, and loan refinancing with Nigerian banks.
The council also announced that $20 million and $30 million would be used for 2 newly developed loan product types (the Intervention Fund for Women in Oil & Gas and PETAN Products) which include Working Capital loans and Capacity Building loans for PETAN member companies.
Started in 2017, the Nigerian content Intervention fund was developed as a $200 Million fund managed by the Bank of Industry, to facilitate on-lending to qualified stakeholders in the Nigerian oil and gas industry on five loan product types.
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The NCI Fund is a portion of the Nigerian Content Development Fund (NCDF), aggregated from the one percent deduction from the value of contracts executed in the upstream sector of the oil and gas industry.
According to the NCMB, “About 94 percent of the NCI Funds has been disbursed to 27 beneficiaries as at May 2020.”
Seplat gives notice of board meeting, to consider Q2 financial result
The notification is in conformity with the rules of the Nigerian bourse on the obligations of the issuer.
The indigenous oil and gas firm, Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc has given notice of its board of director meeting which has been scheduled for Tuesday, July 28, 2020 through a teleconference in Lagos between 10 am and 3 pm.
This was disclosed in a notification that was sent to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on July 3, 2020 and signed by the oil firm’s Company Secretary, Edith Onwuchekwa.
The notification is in conformity with the rules of the Nigerian bourse on the obligations of the issuer, in this case, Seplat, to notify the Exchange at least 14 days ahead of the due date and time when the board of directors hopes to meet to discuss its financial results.
The notification from Seplat states, ‘’In line with the rules of the NSE on the obligation of the Issuer to notify the Exchange at least 14 days in advance, in respect of the date and time when the board of directors will meet to discuss its Q2 2020 Financial Results, we wish to state the meeting details as follows,’’
‘’Date: Tuesday 28th July 2020, Venue: Via Teleconference, Lagos, Time: 10.00am – 3.00pm’’
Seplat, in its statement, also said they were going to notify the Exchange of the details of the Board’s decision on the 2020 second-quarter financial results immediately after the meeting as required by the rules.
Nairametrics had earlier reported that following the global oil crisis triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, the oil and gas firm, in its released financial statement, announced that revenue declined from $159.5 million in Q1 2019 to $130.5 million in Q1 2020. That represented an 18.2% drop.
The gross profit dropped from $81.4 million in Q1 2019 to $33.1 million in Q1 2020. This shows a drop of 59.3%. The profit before deferred tax showed a loss of $105.8 million in Q1 2020 as against the profit before deferred tax of $35.8 million that was achieved in Q1 2019. This represented a huge drop of 395.5%.
The company’s CEO, Austin Avuru, said that as part of its strategy, Seplat was shifting focus to its gas business which is less exposed to the oil price drop which is currently ravaging the upstream sector.
The current share price of Seplat on the Nigerian Stock Exchange is N386 per share as at July 3, 2020.