As the world becomes increasingly aware of the important role women play in the corporate world, Leading Ladies Africa presents a list of 50 Nigerian women who are leading the cavalry in showing the impact they have in the Nigerian corporate and business sector.
First of its kind in Nigeria, the #50LadiesinCorporateNigeria list, published strategically on May 1, (Worker’s Day) makes a case for increased representation and appointment of women in leadership positions within the world of business.
“Studies have shown that organisations do better and companies thrive when more women are included in operations and business decisions,” says Francesca Uriri; Founder Leading Ladies Africa.
“In Nigeria, it is clear to see the impact women have made; from I.T and Technology to the Energy Sector, from Banking & Financial Services to Manufacturing and Production, women are translating positively what true diversity and inclusion mean. We hope that with this list, we encourage more women to aim higher and show up for the change and impact that is so needed within the corporate and business sector.”
Abimbola Wright is the Group Head Coverage & Corporate Banking Group at FBNQuest Merchant Bank. She oversees a team managing the Bank’s corporate/investment banking relationships across all sectors.
Her 30+ years in banking spans Coverage, Corporate Banking, Treasury, Wealth Management and Strategy. She was a member of the Board of Directors of Kakawa Asset Management from 2006 till 2012, chaired its Board Investment Committee for three years and was a member of the Steering Committee overseeing the establishment of FBNQuest. She has contributed to the development of the Nigerian financial market in several ways including serving on the Advisory Committee of the Nigeria Interbank Settlement System, and the Code of Conduct Committee of the Money Market Association.
Adeola Azeez is the Deputy Country Head of Deutsche Bank Nigeria. There she oversees the bank’s business operations in the region, including managing liaisons between Deutsche Bank offshore and its client base of Nigerian banks. She has successfully guided the local financial institutional clients across the spectrum of international financial services and the myriad of challenges of correspondent banking.
She is a seasoned banker with over 20 years of professional experience, more than half of which has been as Deputy Country Representative/Deputy Managing Director of Deutsche Bank Nigeria, the leading client-centric global universal bank with approximately 30 million customer accounts and activities in more than 70 countries and jurisdictions. She is also the pioneer of the current system of Correspondent Banking in Nigeria, which she has been developing since she joined Deutsche and its predecessor companies, Bankers Trust Company, New York, in 1989.
Adenike Adebola is the Marketing Director at Guinness Nigeria. There, she oversees Total Beverage Alcohol Marketing Strategy from Reserve through IPS, Mainstream Spirits, Stout, Lagers and Non-Alcoholic brands. Adenike joined Guinness Nigeria plc in August 2005 as Brand Manager. She is an accomplished marketer with proven record in marketing strategy and business leadership with 20+ years’ experience.
A versatile leader with considerable mastery at leveraging strong consumer understanding and commercial acumen to lead teams to deliver sustainable performance, grow brand love and profitability. She has robust experience spanning Commercial Capability training, Brand Marketing, Innovations and Customer Marketing.
Adekanla Adegoke is the Head of The Oando Foundation at Oando Plc. She leads effectively at all levels of development cooperation. She has over 15-years’ work experience in CSR Strategy formulation, Sustainability Reporting, Management, Coordination and Fundraising for poverty reduction focused development programmes within Africa and internationally.
A Master’s and Bachelor’s degree holder in Geography, she is well versed in facilitating community development meetings, supporting and guiding national and expatriate specialists, advising government officials and/or representatives of international development agencies and foundations.
Atinuke Ngozi Babatunde is Head of Channels – Africa Magic Showcase, Africa Magic Urban & Africa Magic Epic at M-Net West Africa. In this capacity, she is responsible for determining the Channels’ strategy in accordance with audience changes whilst also securing appropriate content for the channel.
A brand marketer with over 16 years experience spanning through Research, Media/Media Monitoring, Communication Development and Brand Management, she was formerly Senior Brand Manager at Airtel Nigeria and she worked with the Chief Marketing Officer and the General Manager in the development and implementation of the Airtel Brand Strategy. She was also responsible for the strategic implementation of all brand related activities for Assets and Sponsorship for the brand including Big Brother Africa, Africa Rising Stars and Nigeria’s Got Talent.
Atinuke is a graduate of the University of Ilorin with an MSc degree from the University of Lagos and an MBA from the prestigious Lagos Business School. She was selected in March 2018 into the first cohort of the Africa Women Entrepreneurship Cooperative (AWEC), a brain-child of the Center For Global Enterprise (CGE), USA as one of the 200 women from 52 African Countries out of an application of 2300 women.
She is an associate member of the National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria (NIMN), Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON). She is a mentor in the Light House Women Network, a mentor in Women in Management, Business and Public Service (WIMBIZ) and a mentor in the Cherie Blair Foundation for women.
Arunma Oteh, OON, served as the World Bank Vice-President and Treasurer from September 30, 2015 to November 30 2018. As Treasurer, she led a team that managed assets totaling USD200 billion for the World Bank Group, 60 central banks, sovereign wealth funds and other official institutions.
She and her team also maintained the World Bank’s global reputation as a prudent and innovative borrower in over 50 currencies by executing well-prepared transactions and carefully coordinating credit rating and capital market relationships for the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA). She was also responsible for an extensive financial advisory business for World Bank clients and cash flows of over $7 trillion.
Prior to joining the Bank, she served as Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Nigeria from 2010 to 2015.
During this period, she rebuilt the Nigerian capital markets after the global financial crisis and served on Nigeria’s Economic Management team.
Prior to joining SEC Nigeria, she worked at the Africa Development Bank for 17 years, including as Group Vice President, Corporate Services (2006 to 2009) and as Group Treasurer (2001 to 2006). She has served on several Boards during her 33-year career, notably, the International Organization of Securities Commissions (2010 to 2015), which regulates 95% of the world’s securities markets and the pioneer Board of the International Financing Facility for Immunization (2006 to 2011).
Ayodeji Ajibola is the HR Director Middle East & Africa Multi-Country Cluster at Microsoft.
In this capacity, she is responsible for driving end-to-end Talent Management, Organizational & Leadership Effectiveness with the Regional Leadership Team.
Prior to assuming her present role, she was HR Compliance & Localisation Manager, Africa at General Electric- an American multinational conglomerate. She is a seasoned Human Resources professional with a legal background, and over 12 years of experience in a broad range of HR functions. She possesses expertise in consulting, employee engagement and relations, compensation and benefits benchmarking & administration, recruitment and selection, talent management and HR strategy as well as mainstream HR generalist functions.
Bunmi Ajani Lawson is Director at EFinA- a financial sector development organization that promotes financial inclusion in Nigeria. Prior to assuming this role, she was the pioneer Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of ACCION Microfinance Bank Limited.
A former Executive Director, FATE Foundation Ltd/Gte, Co-founder and Executive Director, VLA Lawrence & Associates, she has over 30 years professional experience in finance, insurance, marketing, auditing and banking. She holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the IESE Business School, University of Navarra and is an alumnus of the Lagos Business School.
She is a Fellow, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, Institute of Credit Administration of Nigeria, Institute of Credit & Collections Management of Nigeria, Association of Investment Advisers & Portfolio Managers of Nigeria and Member, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria. She also sits on the board of various organizations including CIBN Press, Advisory Boards of Bridge International Academies, Co-Creation Hub (CcHub), Nigeria, Simply Exponential Consult Limited among others.
Colette Otusheso is the Head of Accelerate- a digital content platform owned by Access Bank, specialising in online content creation around lifestyle programming. She is an experienced, value-driven marketing, communications and project management professional with a proven record of championing organizational wide initiatives within cross-functional teams.
She has worked with well-established global and local organizations including VIACOM International Media Networks Africa and MNET Africa. She was instrumental in the successful launch of several Africa Magic channels across several African countries as well as the marketing of MNET’s Tinsel, Big Brother Africa and other MNET shows.
While at VIACOM, she spearheaded major MTV, Nickelodeon and BET projects in Nigeria including the MTV Africa Music Awards (MAMA’s), The MTV Africa All Stars and the MTV VJ Search.
Donna Obaseki-Ogunnaike is an Energy Law expert, poet, writer and a Partner of ACAS-Law (1st tier Nigerian law firm) possessing over 17 years of experience in Energy and Corporate Commercial Law practices. She consults extensively on a wide range of investment issues for international exploration, oil service and multinational trading companies. She advises on strategy, planning and development solutions to project specific ventures within the oil and gas industry.
She was nominated as a Seasoned Professional for the “W” Awards of Access Bank Plc in 2015, was awarded as an Outstanding Professional of the Year of the 40 Leading Lawyers Under 40 Awards from ESQ Legal Awards, 2016, and has been consistently ranked as one of the leading lawyers by the IFLR, 1000 for the years 2015, 2016 and 2017 in various categories. She has been described as the “go to” lawyer for leading and effective legal advisory services and has also been ranked highly by Legal 500 and Chambers Global. Donna was also awarded “Next Generation Lawyer” within the Legal 500 Hall of Fame, 2018 among many other awards.
Her contributions to the youth and society has earned her the honour of the Children’s Playground at the Yitzhak Rabin International School, Port Harcourt, Rivers State being named the DONNA OBASEKI-OGUNNAIKE CHILDREN PLAYGROUND. She is also currently the youngest recipient of the Yitzhak Rabin International Award for Excellence in Leadership (2014).
Eme Essien Lore is the Country Manager, International Finance Corporation (the private sector arm of the World Bank Group Nigeria). As Country Manager, she oversees all of IFC’s investment and advisory activities in Nigeria.
She first joined the IFC in Washington in 1999 and worked in the Oil, Gas & Chemicals Department. She then moved to the Nairobi office where she developed and processed business leads for a range of sectors and served on the Advisory and Executive Boards of IFC investee private equity funds and microfinance institutions in the East Africa region.
She has also served with Rockefeller Foundation Africa Regional Office in Nairobi supporting the development and execution of several initiatives. She helped lead the strategic development and implementation of Digital Jobs Africa, an initiative covering six countries, engaging private sector and public sector stakeholders with the aim of connecting youths to jobs in the digital economy.
She has also served as the regional champion for the Foundation, harnessing the Power of Impact Investing initiative, which works towards consolidating and catalyzing the evolving industry of impact investment for both social and environmental benefits.
Folake Adeniyi Adeleye is Regional HR Director-Oracle Corporation; Founder, Coachivate. Folake’s career of over 20 years spans industries such as management consulting, oil & gas, telco and info-tech.
She is today a seasoned executive in the fields of International Human Resource Management, Talent Management, Strategic Business Partnering & Organisational Development and has held various senior management roles in leading global multinationals like Oando, Celtel (now Airtel) and Microsoft – overseeing local and regional portfolios partnering with strategic business leaders across emerging and developed markets.
In her current role as Regional HR Director at Oracle, Folake collaborates with business executives and stakeholders in emerging and developed markets to implement global people and talent management strategies that deliver on the growth and expansion objectives in the company’s foremost emerging markets, as well as foster an enabling environment where employees can achieve career success.
Though coaching has always been an integral part of her work, Folake earned a Practitioner Diploma in Executive coaching in 2017.
In her words, “the outcome of the coaching relationship is to see the recipient become fully aware of their self-limiting performance obstacles, conquer them and learn new ways of thinking and operating successfully despite the disruptive change and transitions they face in their personal and professional lives.
She recently founded “Coachivate”, a human capacity development platform whose mission is to inspire personal leadership and enhance professional and executive potential through transformative coaching solutions.
Folake is also a member of various professional associations including International Coaching Federation (ICF), Society of Emotional Intelligence (SoEI), Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria (CIPMN). She currently sits on the Executive Council of WIMBIZ (Women in Management, Business and Public Service).
Funmi Omo is Managing Director at African Alliance. She began her professional career in 1991 at African Alliance as the Head of Department, Individual Business and Head of Technical, Insurance Operations. There she successfully led the retail marketing team to expand the business volume by over a 100 per cent.
Following that, she rose to the position of the Chief Operating Officer in 2006, where she was solely responsible for providing strategic direction for the company’s business operations.
In 2012, she resumed the position of Executive Director, Operations at African Alliance Plc, overseeing an 80-staff team. There, she doubled the gross premium income of the company within three years. She also pioneered the design of the annuity products of the company boosting the annuity product range of African Alliance Plc to become a top-3 market player in the industry.
Godrey Ogbechie is the Group Executive Director, Rainoil. She is a 1988 graduate of Agricultural Economics and Extension from the University of Calabar. She also holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. She has extensive banking experience, spanning Operations, Customer Service / Relationship Management, Audit and Human Resource Management.
Cumulatively, she spent 19 years with Universal Trust Bank Limited and Fidelity Bank Plc, where she managed high profile projects both within and outside the country.
As the Head – Human Resources of Fidelity Bank, she was a key member of the Fidelity, FSB and Manny Bank Merger Team.
She has been instrumental in growing Rainoil to include an asset base comprising of 53 service stations spread across the country, a 50 million litre capacity multi-product depot in Oghara, Delta State), a 50 million litre capacity multi-product storage depot in the Free Trade Zone, Calabar, a fleet of over 80 tank trucks for product distribution and five shipping vessels. She oversees Corporate Support Services functions which includes Human Resources, Information Technology, Admin and Facilities Management.
Ifueko Omoigui is Chair of Lagos State Employment Trust Fund. She currently serves on four public boards in Nigeria – Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS) Plc (Independent Director); Diamond Bank Plc (Independent Director); Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc (Independent Director) and Nigerian Breweries Plc (Non-Executive Director).
She is also a member of the Board of ReStraL Limited, a firm of Management Consultants, which she founded in 1996; a member of the Executive Committee of Women in Management, Business and Public Service (WIMBIZ), and a member of the Board of DAGOMO Foundation Nigeria (Limited by Guarantee) – a family based social enterprise.
A Chartered Accountant, Chartered Tax Practitioner and Management Consultant, she holds degrees from the University of Lagos, Nigeria, Imperial College, London Harvard Kennedy School and Cambridge, MA. She is also currently engaged as an associate with the Harvard University Faculty of Arts and Science (FAS) undertaking research in Leadership, Social Enterprise, Culture and the Nigerian Nation.
Jane Egerton-Idehen is currently the Country Manager Nigeria and Regional Sales Director West Africa at Avanti Communications Ltd. A telecommunications executive with over 16 years experience in Nigerian, Liberian and Ghanaian telecommunications markets, she holds an Engineering degree from the University of Nigeria, MBA from Warwick Business school, UK and an Executive education from Harvard Business School.
Jane has worked as part of the Ericsson Ghana and Liberia executive leadership team. There, she managed the Account teams and Nokia Siemens Networks.
Kari Tukur is the Group Head of Consumer Banking at Access Bank. In this capacity, she specialises in consumer banking strategy, development and execution in international markets.
Prior to assuming this position, she was Country Head, Consumer Banking at Diamond Bank Plc. Her expertise spans Africa retail banking and consumer market, market research and segmentation, market analytics and consumer insights, customer value proposition development and execution and retention strategies.
Kemi Okusanya is the Vice President at VISA West Africa. Prior to assuming this position, she was Cluster Country Manager, Visa, West Africa.
With an MBA from Warwick Business School UK, Kemi has over 17 years’ experience in Global Payments, Money Transfer and Banking. Prior to joining Visa, she worked as Head of Anglophone Africa for MoneyGram. She is a tested business manager skilled in the area of business strategy, key account management, business leadership/team management and project supervision.
Khadijah Abu is the Product Partnerships Lead at Paystack Payments Limited, a startup that enables businesses across Africa accept payments online.
She is a seasoned professional in the online payments space with over 10 years of experience working in Operations Management, Business Process Re-engineering and Product Management. In that time, she has managed products processing billions of dollars annually, and has led the design and implementation of payments automation projects.
An outstanding graduate of Electrical/Electronics Engineering, she hosts science-based game shows for Nigerian Students on DSTV and participates in a number of volunteer initiatives as a way to give back to the community.
Mairo Bashir is the Managing Director of Creditcorp Limited, a financial consulting firm in Lagos.
A 1983 graduate of Business Administration from ABU, Zaria, she holds an MBA from UNIJOS. She worked in the banking and finance sector for over 17 years and was Executive Director, Corporate Services at United Bank for Africa Plc. She has served in various management positions at United Bank for Africa, including Executive Director, Corporate Services.
Prior to that, she worked in institutions like the International Merchant Bank Limited, where she served in departments including operations, credit, and marketing. She was also a staff member of International Merchant Bank.
Since 1992, Ms. Bashir was a core member of the leadership team of the investment company. She started her banking career in 1985 with the International Merchant Bank, working in various functions in Credit and Marketing and Operations divisions. Mairo Bashir serves as ChairPerson at First Aluminium Nigeria Plc., Dangote Sugar Refinery Limited and Fiduciary Capital Limited.
Mayen Adetiba is the Principal Partner at Delkem Associates, a foremost consulting engineering outfit. She has served as a Non Executive Director at 11 plc (formerly known as, Mobil Oil Nigeria plc). She is a Non Executive Director of Footwear Accessories Manufacturing and Distribution Plc.
She is an engineer by profession and was educated at Columbia and Cornell Universities, United States of America. She is a former board member of the NPDC-NNPC and Nigerian Telecommunications Limited (NITEL). She is past president of the Association of Consulting Engineers and Vice- President of the Nigeria Society of Engineers. She is a fellow of several professional bodies including Nigerian Institute of Management, Nigerian Institute of Structural Engineers and Nigerian Society of Engineers.
Moky Makura is Deputy Director for Communications, Africa at Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Prior to that she was Communications Director for the Tony Elumelu foundation in Nigeria and before that, a TV presenter, producer, author, publisher, public speaker, moderator and a successful entrepreneur in her own right.
Moky holds an Honours degree in Politics, Economics and Law from Buckingham University in the UK. She is an experienced and skilled moderator who has appeared on a number of international platforms.
Her career in TV started in 2001 when she became the African Anchor and field reporter for South Africa’s award-winning news and actuality show – Carte Blanche.
In 2005, she produced and hosted a 26-part marketing show on the South African business channel- Summit TV. In 2008, she played a lead role in the groundbreaking and popular MNet Pan-African drama series- Jacob’s Cross.
Ngozi Madueke-Dozie is Country Manager for West Africa at IFLIX. She is an experienced professional in the Technology, Mobile and Entertainment ecosystem. Prior to joining IFLIX, she served as the Consulting Country Manager and Business Development Director at Viacom, Nigeria. She also served as the Growth and Partnerships Manager for West and Central Africa for Facebook. She has worked as the Geo-Marketing Manager at MTN Nigeria and the Chief Partnerships Officer at Iroko TV.
Over the years, she has gained a wealth of experience in International consulting, in-depth knowledge and exposure to the Media, Telecommunications, Technology and Mobile industries across Africa. She holds a BSc in Management Information Systems and Decision Science as well as an MSc in Systems Engineering and Engineering Management.
Nichole Onome Yembra is the Founder and Managing Director of The Chrysalis Co which houses The Chrysalis Capital, a new $15M Africa and Diaspora early stage tech fund and The Chrysalis Advisors, a strategy and investment advisory firm.
Previously, she was CFO of Venture Gardens Group. There, she drove the company’s financial progress and actively served as the local partner for foreign investors eager to transform African technology startups. She has guided the formal legal structure of the fund and led the investment into eight new ventures in 2016; raising the group to the 14 companies it has today. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina, and a Masters degree in Accounting from Wake Forest University School of Business.
She is one of 200 participants of the inaugural Obama Foundation Leaders: Africa program. She has also been named one of the Most Influential People of African Descent (MIPAD) in 2018. She co-chairs and sponsors the Garden Women’s Network, a group dedicated to the development and retention of high-performing women in the VGG ecosystem.
Ngover Ihyembe Nwankwo is Head Coverage at Rand Merchant Bank Nigeria. She is a Corporate and Institutional Banking Executive with 17+ years’ experience in Financial Services across a wide range of functions including, Corporate Relationship Management, Sales, Credit, Transaction Banking, Remedial Account Management and Risk.
Prior to assuming her current role, Ngover was an Executive Principal with Standard Chartered Nigeria responsible for anchoring the bank’s International Corporates Portfolio. She was responsible for structuring and implementing working capital and securities services solutions for Corporate Finance & Capital Markets clients across the Standard Chartered Bank’s Africa footprint.
She also managed the Multinationals Portfolio under the Global Corporates Team and before that was Country Head of Transaction Banking.
Ngover holds a Master’s degree in International Management from the University of Exeter and a Bachelor’s Degree in Combined Social Sciences (Politics, Philosophy & Economics) from the University of Durham both in the United Kingdom. She is a Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Credit Administration.
Nonny Ugboma is the Executive Secretary and CEO of the MTN Foundation (MTNF), an organisation committed to serving and executing sustainable projects in education, healthcare, economic empowerment and more.
Her dynamic professional and personal career of over two decades cut across financial services, telecommunications, technology and social enterprise, including work in audit and financial advisory, and with hi-tech firms in Silicon Valley before joining MTN Nigeria’s marketing department. She is a process driven leader, experienced in implementing sustainable business systems and sits on the boards of Asharami Energy and R.A.K Unity Plc.
Odiri Oginni is the Acting CEO at United Capital Asset Management Limited, a subsidiary of United Capital Plc and one of the premier asset management companies in Nigeria, with over 50 years of track record of investment excellence. Prior to assuming this role, she was Group Chief Financial Officer of United Capital Plc, one of the leading investing banking group in Nigeria.
In her current capacity as Chief Executive, she is responsible for the oversight and leadership of the Asset Management business of the Group.
Odiri is an astute Finance Executive with a good understanding of how an organization operates outside finance. She has over 13years experience in the investment and finance industry with key responsibilities in portfolio management, auditing, financial analyses, business analysis and management, treasury management, financial reporting enhancement etc. Odiri is passionate about finance, investment, career- advancement and has actively mentored and developed young finance professionals within her network.