Our Chief Executive Officer
Mrs. Chidinma Lawanson is the Chief Executive Officer of EFInA.Â Mrs. Lawanson started her career in 1991, working for two non-bank financial services institutions.Â In 1994, she joined Diamond Bank Plc., where she gained 21 yearsâ€™ experience.Â She held significant roles in Operations & Business Development, rising to the level of Group Head. She also headed the Micro, Small & Medium Enterprise (MSME) unit in Diamond Bank, developing key partnerships with multilateral international agencies (IFC, USAID and Womenâ€™s World Banking) in the roll-out of retail banking products.Â In 2012, Mrs. Lawanson was appointed as Head of Human Capital Management with responsibilities covering Diamond Bankâ€™s locations in Nigeria, Francophone West Africa and the United Kingdom.Â Thereafter, she was appointed as the Bankâ€™s Head of MSME & Agency Banking, to serve entrepreneurs and the under-banked.
In 2008, Mrs. Lawanson earned a Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program, a Fulbright Scholarship Program in the USA and a Post Graduate Diploma in Entrepreneurial Management from Boston University, Massachusetts.Â She holds a B.Sc. in Chemistry from the University of Calabar, and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Computer Science from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.Â She is a Senior Honorary Member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria and an Alumna of the Lagos Business School.
Ms. Modupe Ladipo is the Chairman of EFInAâ€™s Board. Ms. Ladipo served as the first Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer for EFInA for eight years until January 2016; and was responsible for setting up the organisation.
Ms. Ladipo is one of the pioneers of financial inclusion in Nigeria.Â She has invaluable experience in financial inclusion, digital financial services, agent banking, and non-interest (Islamic) finance. Data from the EFInA Access to Financial Services in Nigeria surveys was a key source of information in the development of the Central Bank of Nigeriaâ€™s National Financial Inclusion Strategy; and is also widely used by a diverse range of stakeholders, including regulators, as a benchmark for financial inclusion in Nigeria. Furthermore, financial services providers use EFInAâ€™s research to develop a range of relevant financial products for the low income population, through gaining insights and understanding of their needs.
Ms. Ladipo has over 25 years of diverse financial services experience, predominantly in investment banking in the UK, covering corporate strategy & development, product development & implementation, mergers & acquisitions, retail and institutional brokerage. She has worked for Tata Consultancy Services, Merrill Lynch, ABN AMRO, the London Stock Exchange and Credit Suisse Financial Products.
Ms. Ladipo holds a Masterâ€™s in Business Administration from Manchester Business School and B.Eng. in Chemical Engineering from University College, London.
Dr. William Derban has 15 yearsâ€™ experience in providing sustainable, market-based financial services to the unbanked and under-banked in Africa, Europe and the Middle East. He has expertise in financial inclusion, microfinance, digital financial services, sustainability and corporate responsibility. Â
He is currently the Director for Inclusive Banking and CSR at Fidelity Bank Ghana Ltd, where he set up the first agency banking programme in the country. Prior to working at Fidelity Bank, Dr. Derban was the Head of Community Relations with Barclays Africa and Emerging Markets where he managed the community investment strategy across 14 countries in Africa, Middle East and Asia. He has also held various senior positions in the Global Community Investment and Financial Inclusion departments in Barclays London.Â
In addition to financial inclusion, he has established successful projects on youth entrepreneurship, preventive health, clean energy solutions, women's empowerment and integrated rural development programmes. Dr. Derban has received many awards in recognition of his work, including awards from the Kalahari Mobile Awards, Ghana Banking Awards, Clinton Global Initiative and Coffey International.
Dr. Derban earned his doctorate in Microfinance and Development Finance from the Nottingham Business School, UK. He has an MBA from University of Central England in Birmingham, UK and a first class degree in Economics from the University of Cape Coast, Ghana.
Dr. Keith Jefferis is a development macroeconomist and financial sector specialist, focusing on a range of macroeconomic, financial and development policy issues in Botswana and sub-Saharan Africa. He is a former Deputy Governor of the Bank of Botswana.
Dr. Jefferis has a PhD in Economics from the Open University, UK, a Masterâ€™s degree in Economics from University of London, and a BSc in Economics with Statistics from Bristol University, UK. He is originally from the UK and is now a naturalised citizen of Botswana.
His recent experience includes assessing the macroeconomic impact of pension reforms in Namibia; preparing financial sector development/financial inclusion strategies for Rwanda, Lesotho, Botswana, Liberia and Laos; developing strategic plans for the Central Bank of Rwanda and the Committee of SADC Stock Exchanges; and analysing the impact of global regulatory changes on banking supervision in several African countries. Furthermore, he has worked with institutions such as the World Bank, the African Development Bank, USAID and other development organisations.
Dr. Jefferis is currently the Managing Director of Econsult Botswana (Pty) Ltd.
Mr Akerele is the Managing Partner of Segun Akerele Legal Practitioners, a full service law firm based in Lagos, which he set up in 2008. He was admitted to the Nigerian Bar in 1995 after studying law at the University of Hull, where he obtained a LLB Hons degree. His early practice years were spent at the law firm of Chief Rotimi Williamsâ€™ Chambers where he practiced for over 10 years.Â
As Managing Partner, Mr Akerele is also the Chairman of the firmâ€™s Management Team and coordinates the various practice areas of the firm. In addition to his managerial role, he heads the firm's litigation practice.
Mr Akerele has extensive legal experience across the core areas of commercial activity including Commercial Law, Banking and Finance, Taxation, Intellectual Property, Labour, Employment and Pensions. He has also handled important and complex litigation cases in all the courts and in every region of Nigeria. Mr Akereleâ€™s legal practice extends into criminal law where he specializes in white collar fraud.
Mr Akerele retains an interest in public service and as a consequence he is a Trustee of the Eko Charitable Foundation for Poverty Alleviation, a Trust set up with the specific objects of bringing about positive financial change in the lives of ordinary Nigerians.
Mrs. Ogo Ibok is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Skill Enhancement Centre (SENCE) Limited, an HR consulting firm focused on Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and SENCE Agric., an agriculture based consultancy. Prior to founding SENCE, she was the Chief Operating Officer of the Law Event Limited, a support service company dedicated to the legal profession. She has over 22 years work experience in Law, Human Resource Management and Business Consulting.
A Lawyer by profession, Mrs. Ibok was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1992 and practiced Law for 5 years with the law firms of Uche Nwokedi & Co and Eniola Alakija & Co. both in Lagos, before pursuing a postgraduate degree in Human Resource Management from the Middlesex University, UK in 1996.
As a Human Resource Practitioner, she worked with Diamond Bank Limited as a Recruitment Officer and later as the Head of Personnel (1999- 2004). She moved to Food Concepts & Entertainment Limited as the General Manager, Human Resources and Administration. From Food Concepts, she took up the position of Associate Director for HR and Administration for East, Central and Anglophone West Africa Region with Pfizer Global Pharmaceuticals, overseeing 22 countries (2005 â€“ 2007). In 2008 she founded Skill Enhancement Centre (SENCE) Limited, an HR consulting firm focused on helping small businesses reach their full potential. She has also acted as Human Resources consultant in numerous projects over the years. Her consulting experience covers a wide range of businesses, cooperatives and association.
Through SENCE she has consulted for a wide range of start-ups and mid-level organisations covering industries such as Real Estate, Power, Food and Entertainment, IT, Construction, Education, Transport, Health, Agriculture, Social Sector etc.
In 2012 she founded SENCE Agric., an agriculture based consultancy. As an innovative and result oriented person with an extreme passion for Information Technology, she has developed various platforms that are used to improve the agriculture sector in Nigeria. This includes www.agriculturenigeria.com, an online platform that provides information to stakeholders and attracts about 3,000 visitors monthly and a â€˜soon-to-be-launchedâ€™ online agriculture marketplace where buyers meet sellers and farmers have the opportunity to own the market.Â She is a Faculty member of the Enterprise Development Centre of the Pan Atlantic University Lagos (2008 â€“ date) where she teaches HR, Leadership and Entrepreneurial skills to business owners. She is on the Board of several other organisations.
Our donors, DFID and The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are observers on the Board.