Wigwe: Access Holdings to announce acting CEO soon

Herbert wigwe
  • More tributes pour in for late banker

The board of Access Holdings Plc has assured that it would soon announce an acting Group Chief Executive Officer to replace its late CEO, Herbert Wigwe.

The company, in a statement on Sunday, confirmed Wigwe’s death alongside his wife and son in a helicopter crash in the United States of America on Friday.

According to the statement signed by the Group Company Secretary, Sunday Ekwochi, the appointment of a new head was in line with the company’s policy.

“In line with the company’s policy, the board will soon announce the appointment of an Acting Group Chief Executive Officer even as we remain confident that the Access Group will build further on Dr. Wigwe’s legacy of growth and operational excellence,” the statement read in part.

Also on board the ill-fated chopper are three others including the former Chairman of Nigeria Exchange Group, Abimbola Ogunbajo.

Preliminary reports suggest that the crash could have been caused by wintry weather and rain, a member of National Transportation Safety Board said after a press briefing on Sunday.

Prior to his appointment, Wigwe had occupied various positions within Access Bank, from being the deputy managing director at Access Bank from 2012 to 2014, when he became the group managing director and CEO.

He served as the chairman of Access Bank (Ghana), Access Investment & Securities Limited, Central Securities and Clearing System and presently as chairman of Access Bank Limited and Unified Payments Services Limited.

Meanwhile, more tributes have continued to pour in for the late banker.

Rivers State Governor, Siminalayi Fubara, has expressed shock at the news of the death of Wigwe, his wife Chizoba, his son, and others in a helicopter crash in California.

Wigwe hailed from Rivers State.

The governor described the incident as a “monumental disaster.”

He said Rivers State and Nigeria were in tears over the development.

This was contained in a statement on Sunday by the governor’s media aide, Boniface Onyedi.

Fubara, on behalf of his family, the state government, and the people of the state, commiserated with the Wigwe family over the incident.

He urged them to be comforted by God’s assurances of His love.

The governor said there were no words to convey how terrible the losses are, and the state and indeed Nigeria will miss “an unassuming, iconic, and accomplished illustrious son of Isiokpo in Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State.”

He stated, “Rivers State and the nation are in tears because it would be extremely difficult to understand this sweeping loss of a family involving a strong pillar, accomplished banker and philanthropist with tentacles in the education sector.”

Fubara said the Wigwe University, which the deceased pioneered, must not be allowed to die.

Also, prominent businessman, Femi Otedola, revealed how Wigwe hosted him and fellow businessman, Aliko Dangote, in his new house two weeks before his death.

Minutes after the official confirmation of Wigwe’s death, Otedola, in a short message posted on X on Sunday, described the death as a loss of “a banking genius”.

He stated that he will cherish the memories of time spent together.

“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,” Otedola wrote on X.

Similarly, Kwara State Governor/Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has joined the rest of the country to mourn the tragic death of Wigwe and some members of his family in an air crash in the United States.

The Governor similarly sent his heartfelt condolences to the family of Abimbola Ogunbanjo, former Group Chairman of the Nigerian Exchange Group Plc, who died in the same crash.

In a statement on Sunday by his Chief Press secretary, Rafiu Ajakaye, Governor AbdulRazaq said the incident was a huge loss to not just the Nigerian business community but to the entire country and its people who would miss the immense impacts of the two businessmen.

The Governor asked God Almighty to repose their souls and give comfort to their families and to the rest of the country at this difficult moment.