Global financial group Citi has announced the appointment of its longtime employee Ireti Samuel-Ogbu as its new Nigerian chief, the first time a woman will head the storied institution’s Nigeria arm.
Ms Samuel-Ogbu has been with Citi for thirty years, holding various roles in London, Nigeria and South Africa where she oversaw relationships with global subsidiaries and the public sector and corporate finance banking teams and also served as transaction services head for two of the largest markets in Africa.
For the past five years, she has been managing director of payments and receivables, treasury and trade solutions for Europe, Middle East and Africa at Citi’s London office.
She co-founded the Sapphire Leadership Programme for women in Africa and the Momentum Programme in the UK. She serves as a Non-Executive Director of Citi Nigeria. She was also listed in the 2017 Innovate Finance Women in FinTech Powerlist.
Ms Samuel-Ogbu will move to Lagos where she will report to her predecessor Akin Dawodu who will move to the new role of Cluster Head for sub-Saharan Africa in November after being named to that position in 2019.
In the past few years, Citi has elevated women to senior executive roles at its Nigeria unit, matching its avowed commitment to diversity with action. The bank’s Nigeria arm currently has eight women in senior leadership roles. Funmi Ogunlesi is the Executive Director/Public Sector Group for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA); Nneka Enwereji is the Executive Director/ Head Global Subsidiaries Group (GSG); Ngozi Omoke-Enyi is the Executive Director/Senior Country Operations Officer; Aderonke Adetoro is the Securities Country Manager, Direct Custody and Clearing; Olusola Fagbure is the Country Counsel and Company Secretary; Shola Phillips is the Citi Country Compliance Officer; Lola Oyeka is the Country Public Affairs Officer for Nigeria and Ghana and Chidinma Ohajunwa heads Operational Risk Management (ORM).
Citi, which previously traded in Nigeria as Nigeria International Bank mainly caters to large corporates and high net-worth clients in Nigeria, shunning the low-margin, expensive retail banking mass-market segment.
Ms Samuel-Ogbu takes over at a crucial time when the coronavirus pandemic is adversely impacting the sort of companies that form the bulk of Citi’s Nigeria client base. An acute dollar shortage means that Citi’s revenue is likely to drop as international trade volumes have fallen in the past few months.
The new country officer has a “talented and experienced team in Nigeria,” and will assist institutional clients in the country by plugging into Citigroup’s regional and global reach, the company said.
Citi has been in the country since 1984. The bank has seven branches in Nigeria, three in the commercial capital of Lagos, where it maintains branches in Apapa, Ikeja and Victoria Island; standalone branches in the Federal Capital Territory and Kano, one in the South-eastern city of Aba, one each in the oil-rich Southern cities of Warri and Port Harcourt. The group has offices in eleven countries across Africa.