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  The Nigerian banking sector is witnessing a remarkable shift; a surge of talented women taking the helm of leading institutions. This is truly an amazing time for Nigerian women in banking, and it’s a moment to celebrate their achievements and their incredible impact on the industry.
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For far too long, leadership positions in finance were dominated by men. However, these pioneering women are shattering that glass ceiling, proving their expertise, dedication, and vision. Let’s meet some of these inspiring leaders, and take a closer look at their unique accomplishments:
  • Bolaji Agbede, Access Holdings

Businessday NG
Bolaji Agbede was named the Acting Group Chief Executive Officer of Access Holdings Plc. A visionary leader who has spearheaded innovative financial products and services at Access Holdings, a Nigerian banking giant. Her strategic thinking and focus on financial inclusion have been instrumental in the company’s growth and positive impact on the Nigerian economy.
  • Olusanya Miriam, GTBank

LinkedIn Nigeria
Miriam Olusanya is the Managing Director of Guaranty Trust Bank, She is also the first woman to ever hold the position. Olusanya brings a wealth of experience and a unique perspective honed over a long and successful career at GTBank, one of Nigeria’s leading financial institutions. Her expertise in risk management and regulatory compliance has been critical in ensuring the bank’s stability and growth.  She is also a champion for diversity and inclusion within GTBank, actively mentoring and promoting female talent.
  • Adaora Umeoji, Zenith Bank

Adaora Umeoji
Arise News
Adaora Umeoji is Zenith Bank’s first female GMD/CEO. She is a role model for aspiring bankers across Nigeria, Adaora Umeoji is a seasoned leader with a proven track record of success at Zenith Bank, a major player in the Nigerian financial sector. Her strong leadership skills and focus on customer satisfaction have been key drivers of Zenith Bank’s expansion and positive reputation.
  • Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe, Fidelity Bank

Leadership Conferences
Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe is the Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Fidelity Bank Plc. Nneka is a highly respected leader known for her exceptional talent and strategic vision. At Fidelity Bank, she has spearheaded several successful initiatives that have propelled the bank’s growth and profitability. Nneka is also a passionate advocate for financial literacy and empowerment, paving the way for a more inclusive financial system for future generations.
  • Oluwatomi Somefun, Unity Bank

Oluwatomi Somefun is the Managing Director and CEO of Unity Bank plc. Tomi’s strong leadership has been instrumental in transforming Unity Bank, a regional powerhouse, into a more inclusive and collaborative environment. She champions a culture of innovation and risk-taking, fostering an environment where employees can thrive and contribute their best ideas.
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  • Yemisi Edun, FCMB

Society Now
Yemisi Edun is the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of First City Monument BankYemisi is a strong advocate for diversity and inclusion within the financial sector. At FCMB, a leading financial institution, she has championed initiatives that create a more welcoming and equitable work environment for all employees, fostering a culture of collaboration and innovation.
  • Bukola Smith, FSDH

LinkedIn Nigeria
Bukola Smith is the Managing Director of FSDH. Bukola’s leadership at FSDH is synonymous with positive change and innovation. She has implemented forward-thinking strategies that have positioned FSDH as a leader in financial development within Nigeria. Bukola is also a vocal advocate for using financial tools to empower underserved communities.
  • Yetunde Oni, Union Bank

The Drum Reporter
Yetunde Oni is the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Union Bank. Yetunde is also a role model for aspiring bankers in Nigeria. Her collaborative leadership style at Union Bank fosters strong relationships with colleagues and industry partners, promoting a more cohesive financial sector overall. Yetunde is also a strong proponent of mentorship programs, actively supporting the development of future generations of female leaders in finance.
  • Ireti Samuel-Ogbu, Citibank

Businessday NG
Ireti Samuel-Ogbu is the Chief Executive Officer at Citibank. Ireti’s presence at Citibank strengthens the diversity of leadership within the Nigerian banking sector. Her extensive experience in international finance brings a valuable global perspective to the industry, fostering collaboration and innovation across borders.
  • Kafilat Araoye, Lotus Bank

Managing Director/Chied Executive Officer, LOTUS Bank. Kafilat’s leadership at Lotus Bank is proof of the growing influence of women in finance across the nation.  Her dedication and expertise drive positive change within the bank and inspire a new generation of female leaders to pursue careers in international finance.
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Nigeria’s banking sector is experiencing a golden age for women, and the future looks even brighter. With these talented leaders at the helm, the industry is poised for continued growth and success. The rise of Nigerian women in banking leadership isn’t just symbolic; it’s bringing positive change to the industry. Nigeria’s banking sector is experiencing a golden age for women, and the future looks even brighter. With these talented leaders at the helm, the industry is poised for continued growth and success.
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This article was first published on 21st March 2024 and updated on March 24th, 2024 at 3:20 pm


Chidiogo Shalom Akaelu holds a degree in English and Literary Studies, from the University of Nigeria. She is a freelance writer, editor and founder of Loana Press, a budding online publishing outlet.

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