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EFInA appoints ex-CBN boss Alade, Lawson as directors

By Daniel Anazia
21 May 2018   |   4:22 am
Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access (EFInA), a financial sector development organisation, which focuses on promoting financial inclusion in Nigeria, has announced its new board members and chief operations officer.

Dr. Sarah Alade

Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access (EFInA), a financial sector development organisation, which focuses on promoting financial inclusion in Nigeria, has announced its new board members and chief operations officer.

The company made the announcement following the departure of its pioneer Chief Executive Officer, Ms. Modupe Ladipo, who also served as chair of the company’s board of directors for the last two years.

Ladipo played a critical role in the development of EFInA and its establishment as a thought leader and ‘honest broker’ in promoting financial inclusion in Nigeria.

She achieved significant accomplishments, including, the provision of strategic guidance and innovation grants to several institutions over the years for the development of innovative inclusive financial services and building the capacity of key stakeholders in the private and public sectors on key aspects of financial inclusion.

She also supported the Central Bank of Nigeria with the development of the national financial inclusion strategy and played an instrumental role in the establishment of its secretariat.

Ladipo strongly advocated for the development and implementation of key financial inclusion policies such as, the regulatory framework for mobile payments services; guidelines on non-interest banking; tiered KYC regime; guidelines for agent banking and agent banking relations; Takaful-insurance operational guidelines, and the regulatory framework for licensing super-agents, and she established EFInA’s Access to financial services in Nigeria (A2F) survey as a credible benchmark for measuring access and the level of usage of financial services in Nigeria.

Between 2008 and 2018, Ladipo worked tirelessly with other stakeholders to reduce financial exclusion and during that period, the number of adults in the formal financial sector in Nigeria increased by over 26 million, even as EFInA’s grants directly benefitted over two and a half million people.

The new Board Chairman, Mr. Segun Akerele, in a statement released yesterday, said, “we look forward to following the clear success path you have laid out and we are hopeful and excited for the next chapter of EFInA as we continue to support the Central Bank and other important stakeholders in implementing the National Financial Inclusion Strategy.”

EFInA is happy to announce that the former Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Dr Sarah Alade and the former CEO of ACCION microfinance bank Mrs. Bunmi Lawson have joined its Board. .

EFInA, which is funded by the UK Government‘s Department for International Development (DFID) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation stated further that the two new directors come with stellar reputations especially in the finance industry and each has been named by The Guardian Newspaper among the ‘power women in Nigeria’s financial sector’.

Mr Akerele noted that Dr Alade remains the only woman to have served as CBN Governor by virtue of her appointment as Acting Governor in 2014, stressing that before her retirement in 2017, she spent 24 years at the bank, serving in many important capacities including; Head Fiscal Analysis Division, Director Banking Operations Department, and as Deputy Governor of Economic Policy, she coordinated the Economic Policy Directorate that comprised Research, Monetary Policy, Trade and Exchange, Statistics Departments.

Alade served as Chairperson, the Monetary Policy Implementation Committee; Chairman Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS); Secretary National Payments System Committee (NPSC), Chairman Nigerian Export and Import Bank (NEXIM), Chairman Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) and Chairman of the Financial Market Dealers Quotation (FMDQ) OTC Securities Exchange.

Mrs. Bunmi Lawson had prior to her appointment as a director, led ACCION Microfinance Bank, as the pioneer Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer to evolved from a one-room office space in 2007, to a multi award winning national Microfinance Bank with over 17 branches and 234,051 customer accounts spread across major states in Nigeria.

Prior to joining ACCION, Lawson was an Executive Director of FATE Foundation Ltd/Gte and Finance Director Tequila Direct Marketing Company, and has over 30 years post graduate experience in finance, insurance, marketing, audit and banking.

The company also appointed Mrs. Funmi Adesida, a member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountant with more than 20 years’ experience in finance, as its new COO. Adesida joins EFInA from Unilever Plc, where she was the Finance Business Partner, Brand Building (Ghana and Nigeria).