In a somber announcement, Access Holdings Plc revealed the devastating news of the passing of its esteemed Group Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Herbert Wigwe, CFR. Dr. Wigwe, a visionary leader and the founding Group CEO of Access Holdings Plc, as well as the former Group Managing Director of its flagship subsidiary, Access Bank Plc, tragically lost his life alongside his wife and son in a helicopter accident in the United States of America on Friday, February 9, 2024.
The news of Dr. Wigwe’s untimely demise has sent shockwaves throughout the Access Family, with colleagues and associates mourning the loss of a remarkable individual whose impact transcended borders. The Board of Directors, management, and staff of Access Holdings Plc extend their heartfelt condolences to Dr. Wigwe’s family and loved ones during this difficult time.
Dr. Herbert Wigwe was more than just a corporate leader; he was a driving force behind the transformation of the Access franchise since its inception in 2002. His passion, energy, and unparalleled dedication to excellence played a pivotal role in shaping Access Bank into one of Africa’s leading financial institutions.
Mr. Abubakar Jimoh, Chairman of Access Holdings, paid tribute to Dr. Wigwe, describing him as a great friend, fine gentleman, and indispensable asset to the Access Family. He acknowledged Dr. Wigwe’s prodigious intellect, admirable personal qualities, and vast business experience, which had a profound impact on the growth and success of the organization.
Dr. Wigwe’s contributions to Access Bank and Access Holdings were unparalleled. As co-founder of Access Bank alongside his business partner Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, he played a key role in steering the bank’s expansion in Nigeria and across Africa. Under his leadership, Access Bank became Sub Saharan Africa’s largest retail bank by customer base, achieving remarkable growth and operational excellence.
Beyond his corporate achievements, Dr. Wigwe was deeply committed to social causes and community development. He served on the boards of various organizations, including the Nigerian Business Coalition Against AIDS (NiBUCAA), the Nigerian Mortgage Refinance Company, and Friends Africa. He was also a passionate advocate for the eradication of malaria in Africa and supported initiatives aimed at achieving this goal.
Dr. Wigwe’s legacy extends beyond the confines of the corporate world. He was a two-time winner of the African Banker of the Year award and a staunch advocate of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. His academic accomplishments, including degrees from prestigious institutions such as the University of Nigeria and the University College of North Wales, reflected his commitment to lifelong learning and excellence.
In his memory, Dr. Wigwe recently founded Wigwe University, Africa’s first ivy league institution dedicated to nurturing the next generation of leaders. His vision and legacy will continue to inspire generations to come, leaving an indelible mark on the African continent and beyond.
Access Holdings Plc, a leading multinational financial services group headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria, mourns the loss of its visionary leader, Dr. Herbert Wigwe, CFR. As the organization grapples with this profound loss, it remains steadfast in its commitment to honoring Dr. Wigwe’s legacy and continuing his legacy of excellence, innovation, and impact.