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Meet the Women at the Helm of Affairs at Some of Nigeria’s Leading Commercial Banks

On Tuesday, Guaranty Trust (GT) Bank announced the appointment of Miriam Olusanya as its Managing Director/CEO, the first woman to occupy the position since the bank was established in 1990.

With the announcement, GT Bank joined the list of commercial banks in Nigeria who have women in charge of affairs.

Earlier this week, First City Monument Bank (FCMB) announced Yemisi Edun as its MD/CEO. On the 1st of January 2021, Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe assumed office as the MD/CEO of Fidelity Bank Plc.

Other women leading affairs at commercial banks in Nigeria include: Ireti Samuel-Ogbu (Citibank Nigeria), Halima Buba (SunTrust Bank), and Tomi Somefun (Unity Bank).

Get to know more about below:

Miriam Chidiebele Olusanya

Miriam Olusanya has over 23 years’ banking experience that cuts across Transaction Services, Asset and Liability Management, Financial Markets, Investment Banking and Investor Relations.

She holds a Bachelor of Pharmacy (B. Pharm) degree from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria and a Master of Business Administration (Finance and Accounting) from the University of Liverpool, United Kingdom. She has also attended several executive management and banking specific developmental programs in leading educational institutions around the world.

Miriam served as a Non-Executive Director on the Board of Guaranty Trust Bank (Gambia) Limited. She is also a member of the Financial Markets Sub-Committee of the Bankers’ Committee, the primary interactive policy platform made up of the Central Bank of Nigeria and banks.

She joined the Bank as an Executive Trainee in 1998 and rose through the ranks until her appointment as Executive Director in 2018.

Until her appointment as MD/CEO, she was the Group Treasurer and Head, Wholesale Banking Division, responsible for balance sheet and financial markets activities of the Bank and its African subsidiaries, Corporate Finance as well as Investor Relations.

Yemisi Edun

Yemisi Edun 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, United Kingdom.

She is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria and a CFA® Charter holder. She is also an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers; an Associate Member of the Institute of Taxation of Nigeria; a Member of Information Systems Audit and Control, U.S.A; and a Certified Information Systems Auditor.

She began her career with Akintola Williams Deloitte (member firm of Deloitte Touché Tohmatsu) in 1987, with main focus in Corporate Finance activities. She was also involved in audit of Banks and Other Financial Institutions. She joined FCMB in year 2000 as Divisional Head of Internal Audit and Control before assuming the role of Chief Financial Officer of the Bank.

She is now the Managing Director of FCMB.

Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe

Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe has been an integral part of the transformation team at Fidelity Bank in the last six years. She was formerly Executive Director, Lagos and South West, overseeing the bank’s business in the six states that make up the South West region of the bank. She led the transformation of the Directorate to profitability and sustained its impressive year-on-year growth, across key performance metrics, including contributing over 28% of the Bank’s PBT, Deposits and Loans.

She is a consummate professional of over 30 years’ experience across various banks including Standard Chartered Bank Plc, Zenith Bank Plc and Citizens International Bank Limited, where she held several management positions in Legal, Treasury, Investment Banking, Retail/Commercial Banking, Corporate Banking. She has been involved in the structuring of transactions in various sectors including oil & gas, manufacturing, aviation, real estate and exports.

As an Executive Director at Enterprise Bank Plc, she received formal commendation from the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) as a member of the management team that successfully turned around Enterprise Bank Plc.

Onyeali-Ikpe holds Bachelor of Laws (LLB) and Master of Laws (LLM) degrees from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and Kings College, London, respectively. She has attended executive training programs at Harvard Business School, The Wharton School University of Pennsylvania, INSEAD School of Business, Chicago Booth School of Business, London Business School and IMD amongst others.

She is also an Honorary Senior Member (HCIB) of The Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN).

Ireti Samuel-Ogbu

In August 2020, Citigroup announced Ireti Samuel-Ogbu as its first female Country Officer for Nigeria i.e MD/CEO Citibank Nigeria. Prior to assuming office in Nigeria, she served as managing director of payments and receivables, treasury and trade solutions for Europe, Middle East and Africa at the group’s office in London.

She had been on the Board of Citibank Nigeria Limited since 2015 as a non-Executive Director.

In the last 32 years, Samuel-Ogbu has held various roles across Citi’s businesses in the UK, Nigeria and South Africa, having worked in each of these countries twice. Previous roles have included Relationship Management with Global Subsidiaries Group and the Public Sector Banking Team, as well as TTS Sales, Corporate Finance and leading Citi’s TTS business in two of the largest markets in Africa.

As a champion of diversity and inclusion, Samuel-Ogbu co-founded two impactful mentorship initiatives within Citi – the Sapphire Leadership Program for Middle East and Africa, and the Momentum Program in the UK. She is currently the EMEA co-Chair for Citi Women’s Affinity group and represents EMEA on the Global Affinity Steering Committee at Citi.

She obtained a BA Hons Accounting and Finance from Middlesex University, UK and has an MBA from the University of Bradford, UK.

Tomi Somefun

Prior to her appointment as MD/CEO in August 2015, Tomi Somefun served as the Executive Director overseeing the Lagos and South-West Business Directorates, the Financial Institution Division and Treasury Department of the Bank. She is a Member of the Board Finance & General Purpose Committee, Board Risk Management Committee, Board Credit Committee, amongst others.

She a career professional with 35 years post qualification experience, over 26 of which were in the banking sector, spanning key segments including Treasury & Investment Banking, Corporate Banking, Retail, and Commercial Banking Operations. Tomi had a distinguished career with UBA group where she led 2 major subsidiaries of UBA as MD/CEO including a start-up company, UBA Pensions Custodian where she was the pioneer Managing Director.

Prior to UBA, Tomi worked with two leading consulting firms: KPMG and Arthur Andersen (now KPMG). A Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria and Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), she graduated with a Second Class Upper degree from the Obafemi Awolowo University (formerly University of Ife) in 1981 with a Bachelor of Education in English Language. She was recently conferred an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Business Administration (D.BA) by the Redeemer’s University Nigeria (RUN).

Tomi has extensive Executive Education in leading change and organization renewal, strategy formulation & execution, business analytics and development, and financial management from various esteemed business schools. She is an alumnus of the Columbia Business School, United States of America, and INSEAD, Fontainebleau, France, and holds a Certificate of Management Excellence from Harvard Business School (HBS). She is a member of various professional bodies including the Institute of Directors (IOD), Bank Directors Association of Nigeria (BDAN) and Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN). In addition, she has served on the board of several quoted and unquoted companies, and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs).

Halima Buba

Halima is a seasoned Banker with over 20 years cognate experience obtained from working in Allstates Trust Bank, Zenith Bank, Inland Bank Plc, Oceanic Bank Plc and Ecobank Nigeria Limited.

She holds a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) degree in Business Management from the University of Maiduguri and an MBA from the same University.

Halima is an Alumnus of the Lagos Business School Senior management programme. She is a senior 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, including those of the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) as a Non-Executive Director and Anchoria Asset Management Company Limited.

Halima is a Champion of youth and women empowerment, and consistently makes philanthropic contributions towards the girl child Education.