Tributes from state governors have been pouring in over the death of the Group Executive Officer (CEO) of Access Holdings, Herbert Wigwe, his wife, son; and the former Group Chairman of the Nigerian Exchange Group, Abimbola Ogunbanjo, in a helicopter crash in the United States.
Among them is the Governor of Kaduna State, Uba Sani; his Cross River State counterpart, Bassey Otu; the Anambra State Governor, Chukwuma Soludo; and the Rivers State Governor, Siminalayi Fubara.
Sani, in a statement, said he received with shock and deep sense of loss the news of the passing of Wigwe who was one of the state’s development partners.
He said, “Nigeria has lost one of its most innovative and creative entrepreneurs. He not only led Access Bank to become a global brand, he developed Access Corporation into a veritable vehicle for addressing developmental challenges.”
HERBERT WIGWE: NIGERIA HAS LOST ONE OF ITS MOST INNOVATIVE ENTREPRENEURS
I received with shock and deep sense of loss the news of the passing on of the Chairman/CEO of Access Corporation (one of Kaduna State’s development partners), Mr. Herbert Wigwe, CFR.
Nigeria has lost one… pic.twitter.com/IPbTPz9vk3
— Senator Uba Sani (@ubasanius) February 10, 2024
Also, Otu, in a statement on Sunday, described Wigwe’s death as a huge blow to the banking and financial sector not just in Nigeria but across Africa and the world.
He said, “I received with utmost shock and sadness the tragic death of one of Nigeria’s sterling banker and business icon, Dr. Herbert Wigwe alongside his wife, son and others aboard a helicopter in the United States. This a huge blow to the banking and financial sector not just in Nigeria, but across Africa and the world.
“Dr. Wigwe was a shining example of industry, brinkmanship and dedication to all of humanity. Dying at a time when he is pioneering world class education through his Wigwe University is a devastating loss to this lofty dream and all who hoped on him. My deepest condolences to his family, his community, the Board of Directors of Access Holdings Plc., his friends and associates.
“As painful as this death is, Dr. Wigwe will be remembered for the impactful life he lived and his unflinching dedication to excellence. May God rest the souls of all those in that tragic crash. Amen.”
Soludo, in his condolence message, described the late Group CEO Wigwe as a pillar of the Nigerian business community, a champion for economic development, an avid educationist and a true visionary who consistently pushed boundaries for growth and development.
“As a former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Governor Soludo had the privilege of witnessing firsthand Mr. Wigwe’s innovative approach to banking and his instrumental role during the Bank Consolidation in driving the growth and expansion of Access Bank, both within Nigeria and internationally.
“His leadership extended far beyond Access Bank. Mr. Wigwe was a pillar of the Nigerian business community, a champion for economic development, an avid educationist and a true visionary who consistently pushed boundaries for growth and development
“His contributions to the banking sector, and to Nigeria as a whole, will be long remembered. Mr. Wigwe’s legacy will live on through the countless lives he touched, the institutions he built, such as the Wigwe University, and the inspiration he provided to generations of youth, aspiring entrepreneurs and business leaders,” the statement read.
Fubara, in a statement on Sunday, said “there are no words to convey how terrible these losses are, and the state and indeed Nigeria will miss an unassuming, iconic and accomplished illustrious son of Isiokpo in the Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State”.
He said, “The state and the nation as a whole 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”, the Governor said, noting that the prestigious Wigwe University which he pioneered must not be allowed to die.”