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Meet the female MD/CEOs leading 9 Nigeria’s largest Banks

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by Jane osamor

On January 11, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Olayemi Cardoso, appointed new executives to oversee Union, Keystone, and Polaris Banks.

This action followed the CBN’s dissolution of the boards and managements of these banks due to alleged corporate governance infractions and non-compliance with regulatory requirements.

The newly appointed executives are set to assume their roles immediately, as announced in a statement by the acting director of Corporate Communication at the CBN, Sidi Ali Hakama.

Nigeria’s banking industry keeps experiencing a groundbreaking shift, and at the forefront are nine inspiring women leading the charge. With nine banks now proudly guided by female CEOs, Nigeria stands as a beacon of gender diversity in the African financial world.

Here are the  nine female CEOs of top banks in Nigeriahttps://e0113d2921bd4c7b88381c39f1356959.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-40/html/container.html?n=0

Miriam Olusanya – GT Bank

Miriam Olusanya - GT Bank

Miriam is the first female MD in the bank’s history. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy from the University of Ibadan and a Master of Business Administration (MBA), majoring in finance and accounting, from the University of Liverpool.

A seasoned banker with 26 years of experience, Miriam took the helm of GTBank in 2021, becoming the first woman to lead GTBank. She is known for her strong leadership, strategic vision, and commitment to financial inclusion.

Yemisi Edun – FCMB

MD/CEOs leading 9 Nigeria's largest Banks
Yemisi Edun, Managing Director, FCMB

Yemisi is the first female MD/CEO of FCMB, She holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Ife, Ile-Ife, and a master’s degree in international accounting and finance from the University of Liverpool.

Yemisi boasts an impressive track record in risk management and corporate governance. She is also the first woman to lead the financial institution FCMB, Under her leadership, FCMB has witnessed significant growth and diversification, solidifying its position as a leading player in the Nigerian banking sector.

Halima Buba – SunTrust Bank

MD/CEOs leading 9 Nigeria's largest Banks
Halima Buba, the Managing Director and chief executive officer

Halima Buba, the MD/CEO of SunTrust Bank, holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from the University of Maiduguri, as well as an MBA from the same university.https://e0113d2921bd4c7b88381c39f1356959.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-40/html/container.html?n=0

Halima’s passion for entrepreneurship and SME development shines through in her work at SunTrust Bank. She champions financial support for small businesses ’SME Flash’, recognizing their crucial role in driving Nigeria’s economic growth.

Ireti Samuel-Ogbu – Citibank Nigeria

MD/CEOs leading 9 Nigeria's largest Banks

Ireti Samuel-Ogbu was appointed MD/CEO of CitiBank in September 2020, the first female CEO of the bank in Nigeria. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting and Finance from Middlesex University, UK, and an MBA from the University of Bradford, UK.

With extensive experience in international banking, Ireti brings a global perspective to the Nigerian market. Under her leadership, Citibank is focusing on providing innovative financial solutions and leveraging technology to enhance customer experience.

Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe – Fidelity Bank

MD/CEOs leading 9 Nigeria's largest Banks
Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe, Fidelity Bank MD

Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe became the MD/CEO of Fidelity Bank on January 1, 2021. She is the first female to occupy the position since the bank’s inception in 1988. She holds a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and a Master of Laws (LLM) degree from King’s College, London.

A visionary leader with a strong track record in IT and customer service, Nneka has transformed Fidelity Bank into a digital frontrunner. She is committed to leveraging technology to democratize access to financial services for all Nigerians.

Tomi Somefun – Unity Bank

MD/CEOs leading 9 Nigeria's largest Banks
Tomi Somefun, MD/CEO of Unity Bank Plc

Tomi Somefun became the CEO of Unity Bank in 2015. She is a graduate of 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.

With a deep understanding of rural banking and financial inclusion, Tomi is leading Unity Bank’s efforts to serve underserved communities. She is passionate about promoting financial literacy and economic empowerment across Nigeria.

Kafilat Araoye – Lotus Bank

Kafilat Araoye
LOTUS Bank managing director, Kafilat Araoye

Kafilat holds a first degree in History from the University of Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University, and an M.Sc. in Industrial Relations & Personnel Management from the University of Lagos.

With over 30 years in banking, Kafilat’s dedication to ethical banking and social responsibility is evident in her work at Lotus Bank. She champions sustainable financial practices and promotes investment in community development projects.

Bukola Smith – FSDH Merchant Bank

Bukola Smith

Bukola holds a B.Sc. Economics from the University of Lagos, an MBA from Alliance Manchester Business School, University of Manchester, United Kingdom.

Bukola’s expertise in investment banking and financial structuring has been instrumental in FSDH’s growth and success. She is an advocate for women in finance and actively mentors aspiring female leaders.

Yetunde Oni – Union Bank

Yetunde Bolanle Oni
Yetunde Bolanle Oni

Yetunde holds a degree in Economics from the University of Ibadan, Executive Training at Oxford University, and an MBA in Business Administration from Bangor University.

Yetunde was recently appointed as the first female MD/CEO of Union Bank by CBN. The appointment marks a significant development in Union Bank’s leadership, with Yetunde’s extensive experience expected to play a crucial role in the bank’s strategic direction

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