Women to get 30% of board seats & 40% of management positions by 2014!– CBN’s Lamido Sanusi to Nigerian banks

A topic worth revisiting now that 2014, the promised date of light-in-the-tunnel for women at the Central Bank, is more than half over.
It would be great to hear of even a 20% board seats and same for management positions for women. TOLA, August 8, 2014.
[Misleading headline but surprisingly Sanusi gets it … education, access to credit and fair human resource management practices will go a long way in empowering women. I also like the requirement for banks to publish their gender positions in their annual reports.  One of this blog’s ever-observant readers sent the following with this note to my mail box.  Thanks, Ola.]

Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi has said about N6 billion lost to banks by customers has been recovered by the apex bank.

Sanusi spoke yesterday in Abuja at the yearly Isaac Moghalu Foundation (IMOF) Lecture and Symposium, entitled: Women in leadership, the education pipeline.
He said the feat was recorded by the CBN’s Director of Consumer Protection, Hajia Umma Aminu Dutse, whom he described as “ruthless and hard working”.
His words: “The director of Consumer Protection has recovered over N6 billion in the last one year for customers that were cheated by banks. She takes sides with banks’ customers. Even when I plead with her to be gentle with the banks, she is very ruthless.”
Sanusi took a swipe at women at the top of their careers and those with political clout, accusing them of not doing enough for the womenfolk.
He said: “Not many women help other women and this is really a big problem. So, we need to be careful about just thinking that if you have  a group of people in top management level, things will be different.
“Ask the women in power what they do for other women who are voiceless, you may be the Minister of Finance or of Housing, many women cannot understand what we are saying here.”
The CBN helmsman lamented the low literacy level of girls in the North, saying in Jigawa State, for example, girls’ completion rate in school is as low as 7.6 per cent.
He explained that out of 100 girls, less than eight complete secondary school, adding that 70.8 per cent of girls in the Northwest between 20 and 29 years, cannot read when compared to nine per cent in the West.
Sanusi wondered how the country can be built when 93 per cent of the girls in the most populous region do not complete secondary school education.
He criticised female ministers who spend time in government without any tangible proof of their stewardship for the womenfolk. “If you spend four years in the cabinet and you cannot say after four years what you did for women during the period, shame on you!” he declared.
Sanusi said his desire is to see more women in positions of authority. “We want many skirts out there, and we want these skirts not to be limited to the top of the board, because for every one woman that makes it up there to the board, there are probably up to 5,000,000 or 10,000,000 women in the villages who don’t have access to education,” he said.
The CBN governor was also unhappy with the practice of credit processing in the country which he condemned as being “gender biased.”
According to Sanusi, “if you have a credit process that says you need tangible collateral or landed property in a society where women do not generally hold titles to land, you have already cut them off because men own the land and houses and for you (women) to even approach a bank for a loan is almost impossible.”
As a result, the CBN, he said, has resorted to forcing “the banks to look at those credit policies and get them to answer, how do you get credit to that group.”
“It is also wrong to promote men simply because they put in more hours at work whereas women have to go home by 5pm to attend to their families and as result get bypassed for promotion often. They are able to put in these hours simply because they are men.”
To promote gender balance in the banking sector, Sanusi disclosed it has been “agreed that by 2014, at least 30 per cent of the board seats in banks will be held by women and at least 40 per cent of senior management positions will be held by women.”
He further stated that “this year we require that all banks’ when they publish their statement of accounts, must publish its gender positions to name and shame, even the Central Bank will not be exempted from this. There is a lot of public pressure on these institutions that fall behind to make them to catch up.”
In the 50 years of the CBN’s existence “only four women had made it to director level and this was a period when we had 10,000 staff, today we have seven or eight female directors, this comes from a conscious policy of looking for qualified women to take these positions.”
The foundation’s executive director, Mrs Maryanne Moghalu said the lecture will “examine how far we have come in developing women leaders across Nigeria, why it is important to have women leadership as part of a broad agenda as part of our social and economic agenda, how we can ensure this goal in a sustainable manner by ensuring that women are trained and ready for leadership roles in the public, private and non profit sectors and that they are sent to such roles in their own merits and not just the values of voters.
Ola, the blog’s reader who pointed out the error, consults for state governments & international bodies on gender-sensitive issues in governance.
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3 Comments on “Women to get 30% of board seats & 40% of management positions by 2014!– CBN’s Lamido Sanusi to Nigerian banks”

  1. emotan77 Says:

    Reblogged this on emotanafricana.com and commented:

    A topic worth revisiting now that 2014, the promised date of light-in-the-tunnel for women at the Central Bank, is more than half over.
    It would be great to hear of even a 20% board seats for women. TOLA, August 8, 2014.



  2. Fatai Bakare Says:

    When I saw the title what came to my mind is the question of the Northern part of the country. The target of gender percentage for 2014 is easier said than to be achieved. Will the North be able to achieve that with the low level of female graduates in that part of the country? Will they be ready to employ female professionals from the South both Christians and Muslims to fill the vacant posts? I am sure the CBN Governor is directing his speech to the banks in the South. Well, let’s wait and see.



    • emotan77 Says:

      Dear Fatai,

      You are right on the mark! Laudable suggestions, and I’m impressed. I think the guy is also out fishing – 2015 on my & his mind! Politics aside – which is often near-impossible in Nigeria, the ball of female education needing more push in his part of the country is in his court and, indeed the collective court of educated and enlightened Northerners like him.

      Thanks, as always. Regards,



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