By Emma Ujah, Abuja Bureau Chief
Abuja—As the world marks this year’s edition of the International Women’s Day, IWD, the Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has called for more opportunities for women at top management and on boards of the nation’s banks.
Speaking at an IWD event organised by the apex bank in Abuja, yesterday, he said there were only three women out of the current 27 bank Managing Directors in the country.
According the governor, women were generally taken to be very thorough, a quality, he said was critical in the banking sector and should, therefore, be encouraged to rise to the peak in the industry.
Emefiele noted that the apex bank had started to implement a deliberate policy of encouraging women to rise to key positions, having increased the number of female directors from one in 2001 to six by last year.
The percentage of women employees in the CBN, he added, has been raised from 24 per cent in 2013 to 28 per cent, last year.
The need to deliberately increase women representation in top positions in banks, he said, has been recognised by the Bankers’ Committee but that the actual realisation has been, generally slow.
His words: “In realization of male domination of senior positions of the financial industry, the Bankers’ Committee adopted the quota system to increase women representation on Boards to 30 per cent and that of senior management level to 40 percent by the 2014.
“As a result today, 3 out of the 27 Bank CEOs are female with three women appointed as Chair of the Boards of three Banks for the first time.
“Despite this progress, it is obvious we have not met our goals. Therefore, we have to work much harder to improve these numbers and attain our objectives.”
“In recognition of the fact that gender equality and diversity are powerful tools for economic growth, the CBN institutionalized policies and programmes to overcome some of the barriers that are hampering women from rising to the top of their careers.”
In her remarks, the Special Adviser to the CBN on Sustainable Banking, Dr Aisha Mahmood, said that empowering empowering will be of immense benefits to the nation.