The Chief Executive Officer, CEO, of Access Holdings Plc, Herbert Wigwe, is dead.
Herbert Onyewumbu Wigwe was born on August 15, 1966. He hailed from Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State, but lived and worked in Lagos.
He had a degree in accountancy from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
An MSc in Financial Economics from the University of London, and was an alumnus of the Harvard Business School Executive Management Program.
In 1990, Wigwe won the British Council Scholarship to do his masters at North Wales University (now Bangor University). In 1991, he got his masters in Banking and Finance.
He shared his life with Chizoba Wigwe (formerly Nwuba) and together they raised four children: Chizi, Tochi, Hannah, and David.
He was a pioneering leader in the Nigerian banking sector, instrumental in shaping the growth and success of Access Bank PLC. He was one of the founding members of Access Bank PLC and played a significant role in its establishment and early development.
Wigwe received numerous accolades and recognition for his contributions to the banking industry and business leadership, both locally and internationally.
In 2016, in recognition of “his exemplary role in the society and contributions to youth development”, the Boys’ Brigade (BB), inaugurated Herbert Wigwe as State Patron for Lagos State Council.
Wigwe was named 2016 Banker of The Year, separately, by The Sun and Vanguard newspapers.
In October 2022, former President Muhammadu Buhari bestowed upon him the Nigerian national honor of Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON), recognizing his significant contributions to the nation.
These many honors among others too numerous to mention.
Beyond banking, Herbert Wigwe was actively involved in community development initiatives and philanthropic endeavors, contributing to social welfare programs and projects across Nigeria. In 2016, he founded The HOW Foundation, a non-profit organization.
Wigwe has helped to develop some of Africa’s biggest companies in the construction, telecommunications, energy, oil and gas sectors through Access Bank.
The late mogul was the driving force behind Wigwe University, situated in Isiokpo, Rivers State. Wigwe University, a $500 million university named after himself in his hometown in Rivers State aims to provide undergraduate programs in management, science and engineering, information technology, and creative arts.
The university is scheduled to commence operations in September 2024.
Herbert Wigwe, along with five others, tragically lost his life in a helicopter crash near the California-Nevada border in the United States on February 10. Among the victims were his wife, Chizoba, his son, Abimbola Ogunbanjo, the Group Chairman of Nigerian Exchange Group Plc, and the pilots.