Banking in Nigeria dates to the pre-colonial era, when the first commercial bank in Nigeria, the First Bank of Nigeria was established. The iconic bank has produced many great personalities in Nigeria and one of them is a name that paved the way for female bankers, not just in First Bank but the industry at large. She is the first female banker in Nigeria and her name is Sarah Morocco-Clarke.
Sarah got into a male dominated sector and against the odds, rose to become a prominent banker. Sarah, who was born on the 13th of May 1938, grew up in Lagos. She is an alumnus of Queen’s College Lagos, although not much is known about her tertiary education.
Her popularity came when she got employed to work at First Bank of Nigeria, when the bank was known at that time as Standard Bank (formerly, Bank of British West Africa). She worked as the Services Manager and grew the rank to become the Secretary to the South Administration. As the secretary, her jurisdiction covered the services of all the First Bank branches in Southern Nigeria.
Her incredible hard work didn’t go unnoticed as she was promoted as manager of several First Bank branches in Lagos, before being made a regional manager in charge of Bendel, Ogun, and Oyo states. Sarah was known as a tough and tenacious worker termed the name ‘Iron Lady’.
Mrs Sarah Morocco-Clarke died on Sunday, the 16th of September 2018. At the time of her death, she was succeeded by six children, thirteen grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.