Meet the 7 most powerful women in Nigeria’s financial industry

Business Insider Sub-Saharan Africa looks at the 7 most powerful women in Nigeria’s financial industry.

Business magnate and CEO Chair Centre; Ibukun Awosika at TFD Series in Lagos

Every March 8, the world celebrates International Women's Day. It is a day set out to talk about the movement for women's rights around the world.

The 2019 theme for the International Women’s Day is ‘BalanceforBetter,’ and Business Insider Sub-Saharan Africa looks at the 7 most powerful women in Nigeria’s financial industry.

7. Arunma Oteh – Ecobank board member


Currently, a board member at Ecobank Group, Arunma Oteh has a 33-year career ranging from finance to banking and international development. From Abia, Nigeria, Oteh is a former treasurer of the World Bank and former Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Nigeria.

6. Sola David-Borha - CEO, Africa Regions, Standard Bank

Sola David-Borha is currently the Chief Executive, Africa Regions at Standard Bank Group, the former CEO of Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc and the former CEO of Stanbic IBTC Bank.

She previously held executive roles which included acting managing director of IBTC Chartered Bank Plc and executive director of CIB (excluding South Africa).


Former Chairman of Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc, Atedo Peterside, described her as one of the finest bankers of her generation, a consummate professional and an exceptional human being.

5. Toyin Sanni - CEO, Emerging Africa Capital Group

Toyin Sanni was the immediate past Group CEO of United Capital Plc and now founder and CEO of the Emerging Africa Capital Group, a Nigerian-based financial services provider.


Sanni was the All African Business Woman of the year 2017 by CNBC Africa, & Nigeria's CEO of the Year 2017 by Pearl Awards.

She is a prominent Investment Banker, public speaker an author. Her previous roles included being CEO, UBA Trustees, CEO, UBA Global Investor Services, MD/CEO, Cornerstone Trustees & AGM at FBN Trustees, a part of the FBN Holdings group

4. Ibukun Awosika – Chairman, First Bank Plc

Ibukun Awosika is the current Chairman of First Bank of Nigeria Plc and the first women to take up such position since its establishment over a century ago.


Awosika is also a Nigerian businesswoman, author and motivational speaker and a board member of the Women in Management and Business (WIMBIZ) and Convention on Business Integrity.

In her interview with PUNCH in 2016, she said beyond monetary gains, her spiritual, social life and health are equally important to her and refers to them as meaningful prosperity.

3. Aishah Ahmad - Deputy Governor, CBN


Aisha Ahmad is an Accountant, financial manager and analyst by profession who was appointed to replace the retired Sarah Alade as the Deputy Governor of Nigeria's apex bank, Central Bank.

Prior to her appointment, Aisha was the Executive Director, Retail Banking at Diamond Bank.

Her experience cut across top financial institutions in Nigeria including Zenith Bank, Stanbic IBTC and Diamond Bank.

She was reported to have been tipped by Presidency to replace the current CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele among other shortlists.

2. Zainab Ahmed - Nigeria’s Minister of Finance


Zainab is an accountant by profession and became the Minister of Finance following the resignation of erstwhile Minister of Finance Kemi Adeosun last year.

She was previously the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning.

In over 30 years of her career, she has served the Nigerian public in various high ranking positions, including as managing director of the Kaduna State of Nigeria’s investment company, the Chief Finance Officer of the Nigeria mobile telecommunications company, and also as executive secretary and national coordinator of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI).

1. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala - Board member, Standard Chartered Bank


Okonjo-Iweala is a highly respected and influential global leader, economist and policymaker. She was two terms as Finance Minister of Nigeria and a coordinating minister of the economy. For five years in a role, she has consistently made Forbes's 100 Most Powerful Women in the World and one of the Most Influential People in the World by TIME Magazine.

In 2015, she was also listed as one of the 50 Greatest World Leaders by Fortune.

Okonjo-Iweala is also eyeing the World Bank presidency seat following the resignation of Jim Yong Kim.


Unblock notifications in browser settings.

Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or: