Herbert Wigwe: Peter Obi, Femi Otedola, Adesina others pay tributes to late Access Bank CEO 

The news of Herbert Wigwe, the esteemed Group Managing Director of Access Holdings, tragically passing away in a helicopter crash in California, near the Nevada border on the night of February 9, 2024, has sent shivers throughout the financial landscape in Nigeria.  

Ever since tributes and accolades have since poured in for the late 57-year-old and his family. Nigerian billionaire, Femi Otedola via a statement on X formerly Twitter reacted to the news on Sunday.

He expressed his shock and wished the soul of the departed eternal rest. 

What Otedola said 

  • “I am shocked and saddened to hear of the loss of a banking genius Herbert Wigwe, his dear wife Chizoba and first son Chizi.  
  • “Exactly two weeks ago Herbie and his wife hosted myself and Aliko to dinner at his newly built home in Lagos. I will cherish and fondly remember my memories of time spent together with him over the years.  
  • “Herbie, we will all miss you. Your legacy will live on forever. My heartfelt condolences go out to his children Tochi, Hannah and David. I pray God comforts them during this tragic time. May the souls of the departed rest in perfect peace… F.Ote”

Peter Obi, Former Governor of Anambra 

  •  “I’m deeply saddened by the tragic news of the passing of my dear friend, Mr. Herbert Wigwe, CEO of Access Holdings, along with his wife and son, and another close friend, Abimbola Ogunbanjo, former group chairman of NGX Group. 
  • This loss is profoundly felt across the nation. I first met Herbert during his early days, on the brink of starting his marital journey. I vividly remember assisting him in preparing for his traditional wedding and being there for the ceremony with his wife, Chizoba, from Achina,
  • Anambra State. Since then, I’ve maintained a connection to his endeavours in my modest ways. Herbert, a determined and forward-thinking individual, led Access Bank to new heights following his brother Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede…….. The loss of such an exceptional individual reminds us of life’s fleeting nature, encouraging us to live with a purpose that contributes to the betterment of humanity.
  •  My heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with Herbert, his beloved wife, his son, and all those who lost their lives in the tragic plane crash. May God grant them eternal rest and provide strength to Herbert’s family, Access Holdings, and all of us mourning this irreplaceable loss. -PO 

President AFDB, Akinwunmi Adesina 

  • “I am saddened by the tragic death of Herbert Wigwe, CEO and co-founder of Access Bank, his wife & son. He was a visionary and brilliant banker. May God comfort your aged parents, children, the Wigwe family and the staff and management of Access Bank. You will be greatly missed.”

Bukola Saraki, Former President of the Senate of Nigeria 

  • “I’m deeply shaken by the news of the helicopter crash in California that claimed the lives of my friend and brother, Herbert Wigwe, the Group Chief Executive Officer of Access Holdings Plc, his dear wife, son, and Abimbola Ogunbanjo, the Group Chairman of Nigerian Exchange Group Plc, alongside two others.  
  • “As the longtime CEO and Group Managing Director of Access Bank, Herbert was instrumental in transforming what was once a small commercial bank into one of the top five banks in the nation.  
  • “As we mourn his loss, we must view the passing of Herbert and these prominent individuals not just as a personal tragedy for their families but also as a significant loss for the business community and the nation at large. May the Almighty grant solace to the Wigwe family, the Ogunbanjo family, the Access Bank Group, and all families affected by this tragedy.

Bosun Tijani, Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy  

  • The passing of Dr Herbert Wigwe, Group CEO of Access Holdings PLC, his wife and son, is a huge loss to our financial sector and country as a whole.  
  • Dr Wigwe was a true pioneer and fine gentleman who blazed the trail in revolutionising our banking industry and more recently in education. Also saddening to hear was the loss of Mr. Abimbola Ogunbanjo, former chairman of the Nigeria Exchange Group PLC.  
  • My thoughts and prayers go to their families, friends and business associates and I pray that all the souls lost in this sad incident rest in peace.

Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, Former Kano State Governor 

  • “I’m saddened by the unfortunate incident that led to the passing of Mr. Herbert Wigwe, Group Chief Executive Officer of Access Holdings Plc, his family, as well as Bimbo Ogunbanjo.  
  • Herbert Wigwe, was one of the finest bankers in Nigeria, whose exemplary leadership led Access Bank to its present highs. I was also aware of the big plans he had for education, through his revolutionary university. 
  •  My deepest sympathies and condolences go out to the loved ones and associates of all involved in this unfortunate incident. – RMK” 


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