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8 Women Who Were Appointed As Managing Directors Of Nigerian Banks



In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of female bank CEOs in Nigeria. Managing Directors Of Nigerian Banks

Indeed, this is a welcome development, as there has long been a call for greater female participation in all sectors. Clearly, the banking industry is no exception.

The rise in the number of female bank managing directors could be attributed to women’s growing reputation as better managers.

Previously, we have seen an increase in the number of women serving as chairpersons of bank boards, such as GTBank (Osaretin Demuren), Access Bank (Mosun Belo-Olusoga), and First Bank (Ibukun Awosika). All of this contributes to Nigeria’s alignment with the global movement toward gender equality.

Essentially, this reality will serve as great source of motivation for young females to strive for the pinnacle of whatever career path they have chosen.
In this article, we highlight seven women (plus one notable mention) who have held the coveted position of Managing Director/CEO of Nigerian bank.

Cecilia Ibru

Managing Directors Of Nigerian Banks

Cecilia Ibru was Oceanic Bank’s (now EcoBank) managing director and chief executive officer.

Oceanic began as a small family-owned bank, but under Ibru’s leadership, it grew to become one of Nigeria’s largest publicly traded institutions.

Ibru joined Oceanic Bank as general manager in 1990. She was promoted to managing director and CEO after seven years with the bank.

Ibru was one of five bank CEOs fired on August 13, 2009. Managing Directors Of Nigerian Banks

She was arrested and pleaded guilty to fraud charges in 2009. She was sentenced to prison and fined approximately one billion euros.



Faith Tuedor-Matthews

Managing Directors Of Nigerian Banks

Faith Tuedor-Matthews was formerly the Group Managing Director/CEO of Mainstreet Bank Limited.

She was appointed as the bank’s managing director in August 2011, following the nationalization of Afribank Plc, Bank PHB, and Spring Bank Plc, all of which were designated as bridged banks by the Central Bank of Nigeria, Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation, and Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria.

Tuedor-Matthews graduated from Harvard Business School and holds an MBA from Aston University in Birmingham, UK.

The board of Mainstreet Bank suspended Mrs. Faith Tuedor- Matthews in February 2013 for alleged misappropriation of funds.

She was accused of transferring funds into her personal accounts in other countries, which irritated the bank’s board of directors.

According to management, they had no choice but to suspend her. She was, however, given the option of resigning.

Bola Adesola

Managing Directors Of Nigerian Banks

Bola Adesola is the current senior vice chairman of Standard Chartered Bank, a position she has held since 2019.

She was previously the CEO of Standard Chartered Bank Limited.

In 2005, the law graduate from Buckingham University in the United Kingdom was appointed Managing Director of First Bank of Nigeria Plc (now FBN Holdings Plc). She was the person in charge of corporate banking.

Adesola joined the Standard Chartered Bank Group in 2010.

She has worked in the banking industry for over 25 years.


Sola David-Borha

From May 2011 to November 2012, Sola David-Borha was the CEO of Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc. In July 1994, she was appointed to the IBTC board of directors.

She was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Standard Bank Group in January 2017.

Since 2015, she has served as the vice-chairman of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group.

David-Borha will retire from Stanbic IBTC on April 15, 2021, after 31 years of service.

In 1981, David-Borha graduated from the University of Ibadan with a bachelor’s degree in economics. She then went on to earn an MBA from Manchester Business School in 1991.


Oluwatomi Somefun

Managing Directors Of Nigerian Banks

Oluwatomi Somefun is the current Managing Director and CEO of Unity Bank plc.

She earned a B.Ed. in English Language from Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile-Ife, Osun state, in 1981, and she is a graduate of Harvard Business School and the University of Columbia Business School in New York.

Mrs. Somefun worked for the United Bank for Africa Plc for many years (UBA). She managed and served on the boards of several subsidiaries while at UBA, including UBA Trustee, UBA Plc, UBA Capital, and Trustee Ltd.

Somefun was UBA Pension Custodian Ltd’s first Managing Director (MD)/Chief Executive Officer (CEO). She oversaw UBA Pension Custodian Ltd for eight years while also overseeing the bank’s South-West region.

Oluwatomi Somefun was appointed Executive Director of Unity Bank on March 4, 2015. In August 2015, her outstanding performance as Executive Director earned her the position of MD/CEO of Unity Bank.


Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe

On 1 January, 2021, Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe resumed as the managing director of Fidelity Bank Plc after her appointment.

She succeeded Nnamdi Okonkwo, the former managing director, whose contract officially expired on December 31, 2020.

Onyeali-Ikpe joined the bank in 2015 and led the transformation of the directorate, leading it to profitability and maintaining its impressive year-on-year growth across key performance metrics, including contributing more than 28% of the bank’s profit before tax, deposits, and loans.


Yemisi Edun

Managing Directors Of Nigerian Banks

Following the resignation of embattled Adam Nuhu, First City Monument Bank Limited named Yemisi Edun as acting managing director in January 2021.

The board of directors of FCMB Group Plc announced the appointment of Yemisi Edun as the bank’s substantive managing director on July 4, 2021.

Edun previously served as the bank’s executive director/chief financial officer before being named acting managing director.

Edun has nearly 35 years of work experience. She has a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Ife in Ile-Ife, Nigeria, and a master’s degree in international accounting and finance from the University of Liverpool in the United Kingdom.


Miriam Olusanya

Guaranty Trust Bank announced the appointment of Miriam Olusanya as Managing Director on July 14, 2021.

Olusanya has over 20 years of experience in Transaction Services, Treasury, Asset and Liability Management, and Risk Management.

Olusanya was an Executive Director at the bank prior to her appointment.

Miriam Olusanya joined Guaranty Trust Bank in 1998 and is responsible for the bank’s foreign currency balance sheet, asset and liability position, as well as money market, foreign currency, and bond trading.

Olusanya earned a Bachelor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Ibadan (UI) and a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) (majoring in Finance and Accounting) from the University of Liverpool.


Notable Mention:


Mary Akpobome

Managing Directors Of Nigerian Banks

On March 13, 2015, Heritage Bank appointed Mary Akpobome, its Executive Director, Retail Banking, as the Acting Managing Director of Enterprise Bank.

For a transition period, Akpobome would serve as the acting CEO of Enterprise Bank.

She was assigned the role in order to supervise activities during the final round of activities on the timetable for the integration of Enterprise Bank, which Heritage Bank had acquired, into the mainstream of its processes and operations. Managing Directors Of Nigerian Banks

Mary Akpobome is a seasoned banker with over two decades of banking experience. During that time, she worked at Citizens Bank and Bank PHB.

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