Nigerian women have been changing the narratives and breaking new grounds over the years. They are becoming more inclusive with activities around them and changing the status quo which has placed men at the helm of affairs for several years.
Here at Nairametrics, we believe in inclusion and celebrate women who are taking bold steps, regardless of the limitation that has been placed on them. For this reason, we bring you women who have been breaking the norm and doing great things in the financial sector.
Top Nigerian women in Finance
Ibukun Awosika (Chairman of First Bank of Nigeria) (Born December 24, 1962)
A graduate of Obafemi Awolowo University, Awosika is the first woman to become the Chairman of First Bank after several years the bank was established. She is a businesswoman, author, and motivational speaker. She is also a co-founder and past chairperson of Women in Business, Management, and Public Service (WIMBIZ).
Ibukun started her early career days as an audit trainee at Akintola Williams & Co and Alberta Nigeria Ltd, before she moved on to establish her own furniture manufacturing company called Ouebees Limited.
She is also a Fellow of the African Leadership Initiative and Aspen Global Leadership Network as well as a member of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group. She is a member and former Chairperson of the board of Nigerian Sovereign Wealth Fund.
Aishah Ahmad (Deputy Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria) (October 26, 1976
Appointed in 2017 as the Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Aisha Ahmad is an Accountant, financial manager, and analyst. Before she became the Deputy Governor of the apex bank, she had acquired knowledge from different financial institutions. She served as an Executive Director, Retail Banking at Diamond Bank and worked at Zenith Bank and Stanbic IBTC.
She started her career as a Group Accountant at “Manstructs Group Nigeria Limited” and at Z.O. Ososanya & Company. She later assumed the position of an Executive Assistant, Treasury Group.
She further assumed the Head of Retail Banking at Zenith Bank Plc and the Head of Private Banking at NAL Bank Plc, now Sterling Bank. She also served as the Head of Business Development at Zenith Capital Limited.
Zainab Ahmed (Former Nigeria’s Minister of Finance) (Born 16 June 1960)
Zainab is a professional accountant and the immediate past Minister of Finance of Nigeria. She assumed office in September 2018, replacing Kemi Adeosun. Before this, she was appointed as the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning in 2015.
She served as an executive secretary and national coordinator of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI). Zainab is a former member of the last two NEITI Boards, having worked in the NEITI and global EITI. She was at a time the Chief Finance Officer of the Nigeria mobile telecommunications company.
Oluwatoyin Sanni (Founder and CEO of Emerging Africa, Leading Capital Markets)
Toyin Sanni is the founder and CEO of Emerging Africa, Leading Capital Markets. She has also served as the former Group CEO for UBA Trustees, UBA Global Investor Services and MD/CEO of Cornerstone Trustees Ltd. She was the AGM, FBN Trustees and has also acted as the President of the Association of Investment Advisers and Portfolio Managers, Nigeria and Chairman of the Capital Market Committee on Financial Literacy Week.
In 2017, she was declared the All African Businesswoman of the year by CNBC Africa. Toyin Sanni is breaking the glass ceiling in her own way.
Mosun Belo-Olusoga (Principal Consultant/Programme Director of The KRC Limited)
Mosun Belo-Olusoga is the Chairman of the Board of Director, Access Bank Plc and the Principal Consultant/Programme Director of the KRC Limited. She has also served on the Board of Asset and Resource Management Company and has chaired the Equipment and Leasing Association of Nigeria. In 2006, she retired from Guaranty Trust Bank as an Executive Director, Investment Banking, Transaction Services and Settlement. Before her appointment to her current position in 2015, Mosun served as the Chairman of Credit and Finance Committee at Access Bank Plc.
Arunma Oteh (Vice President, Treasurer World Bank)
Currently the Vice President and Treasurer of the World Bank, Arunmah is a graduate of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. She has served as the Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Nigeria prior to her appointment at the World Bank.
She was also a member of the Board of International Organization of Securities Commissions and Chairperson of the Africa Middle East Regional Committee of IOSCO. Before Arunmah joined SEC, she was the Group Vice President, Corporate Services at the African Development Bank.
Ngozi Okonjo-Iwela (Board member of Standard Chartered Bank, Twitter, Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization and the African Risk Capacity) (Born 13 June 1954)
Okonjo-Iwela is a graduate of Havard University. She has been named five times as one of the 100 Most Influential Women in the World by Forbes Magazine and Most Influential People in the World by TIME Magazine. Okonjo-Iwela is a respected global leader, economist, and policymaker on finance and economic development.
She served two terms as a Finance Minister of Nigeria (2003-2006/2011-2015) and was previously the Managing Director of the World Bank (2007-2011). She set the pace high by being the first female and black candidate to contest for the Presidency of the World Bank Group in 2012.
Sola David-Borha (CEO of Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc)
A graduate of the University of Ibadan with an MBA from Manchester Business School, Sola is the CEO of Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc. Prior to her appointment, she served as the Deputy CEO of the same bank and it has been argued that she is the highest-paid CEO.
Sola has an Advanced Management Programme from Havard Business School and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers and Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group.
Modupe Mujota (Managing Director at UBA Asset Mangement Limited)
Modupe Mujota is the current Managing Director at UBA Asset Management Limited. Prior to her appointment, she served as the Managing Director at Kakawa Asset Management Limited (2011 – 2013) as well as the Managing Director of BGL Asset Management Limited.
Her career has spanned leadership and senior management roles in various areas in the Financial Services Industry, including Commercial Banking, Asset Management, Corporate Finance, and Risk Management.
Adeola Azeez (Deputy Country Head of the Deutsche Bank Nigeria)
A graduate of the University of Lagos and Law graduate from the University of Warwick, Adeola Azeez is the Deputy Country Head of the Deutsche Bank Nigeria, overseeing the bank’s business operations, including managing liaisons between the Deutsche Bank offshore and Nigerian banks.
She is one of the founding members of Women In Business, Management and Public Service (WIMBIZ). Adeola was elected as the Chairperson of the group in 2011.
Adebola Adesola (Senior Vice-Chairman at Standard Chartered Bank Group)
Adebola is an accountant and the Senior Vice Chairman at Standard Chartered Bank Group. She served as a CEO of Standard Chartered Bank for Nigeria and West Africa.
She started her career as a lawyer before she quitting to further her education in Accounting at Harvard Business School.
Her first practice as an accountant was at Citibank, Nigeria before she moved to First Bank of Nigeria as a Managing Director of a group of eight banks led by First Bank of Nigeria. She has also served as the CEO of the Standard Chartered Group.