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Meet Aishah Ahmad, the CBN Deputy Governor in charge of Financial System Stability

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has been at the centre of online trends for quite a while. This is due to some of its recent policies.

First, it was the announcement of the naira redesign, and then there was the limits placed on cash withdrawals. Just this week, the CBN also announced an upward review of the earlier limits placed on cash withdrawals. This again got people talking on social media.

As a Deputy Governor at the apex Bank, Aishah Ahmad is not far from the trending discussions as well. Recently, she had to represent CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele before a senate hearing, a development that got her name trending.

This week’s profile will be on the woman who is in charge of leading the effort to promote a sound financial system in the country.

Birth and education: A native of Niger State, Aishah Ahmad was born in Lagos, sometime in the 1970s. She attended St. Catherine’s Primary School, Surulere Lagos, and Zarumai Primary School, Minna Niger State, before heading on to Federal Government Girls’ College, Bida, for secondary schooling.

Aishah went on to graduate with a BSc degree in Accounting from the University of Abuja and obtained an MBA (Finance) from the University of Lagos and an M.Sc. Finance and Management from the Cranfield School of Management (UK). She is a Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) and she holds the prestigious Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation.

Her career trajectory: Ahmad has had what one might call a very rich career in the banking and finance industry for over two decades, even before she joined the apex bank. Right before joining CBN, she was in retail banking at Diamond Bank Plc. She was also the Head of Consumer and Privilege Banking, a Deputy General Manager and the Head of the Retail Financial Services Division, overseeing Privilege Banking, Consumer Banking Group, Retail Assets, Cards and Customer Engagement & Insight, for about four years.

Before Diamond Bank, Aishah Ahmad worked with Stanbic IBTC Holdings (a member of Standard Bank Group, SA) between 2009 and 2014, holding different critical positions like Head, Private Client Services and Deputy Head, Private Client Services, and Head, High Net-worth Individuals.

Her two decades of banking experience also include Zenith Capital Limited where she was Head, of Business Development, Bank of New York Mellon (UK), Synesix Financial Limited (UK), and Zenith Bank Plc where she was Head, Retail Banking Unit.

She equally worked with NAL Bank Plc as Head, of Private Banking; as well as the First Interstate Bank Plc as Executive Assistant, Treasury Group, Manstructs Group Nigeria Limited as Group Accountant and Z. O. Ososanya & Co.

Appointment as CBN Deputy Governor: By the time the CBN announcement came, stakeholders in the industry could well agree that she had a well-rounded background in the space and was prepared to assume the role. In 2018, she succeeded two-time Acting Governor of the Central Bank, and Deputy Governor, Dr Sarah Alade who retired in March of the same year.

Her profile on the CBN board profile page says that as Deputy Governor in charge of Financial System Stability, she is responsible for leading the effort to promote a sound financial system in Nigeria. Aishah Ahmad is a member of the Governing Board and Committee of Governors at the CBN and Chairman of the Financial Institutions Training Centre (FITC) – a not-for-profit organization offering training, consulting and research services for the financial services sector.

Other roles and engagements: As one who has achieved impressive success in her career path, it naturally follows that Ahmad would now become a role model of some sort to other women. She was the former Chairperson of Women in Business and Public Service (WIMBIZ); a leading women-focused NGO in Sub-Saharan Africa. Aishah is a member of the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Association and the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) Association.

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