Uncommon Legacy of Herbert Wigwe

On 10th February 2024, a tragedy happened in Wigwe family as Herbert, his wife Chizoba and son Chizi died in a helicopter crash somewhere in California United States.

The death of Herbert came with too many surprises as nobody expected death to take the billionaire banker at the apex of his legacy and career pursuit.

Herbert Onyewumbu Wigwe was born on 15th August 1966 to the Wigwe family. He studied at the prestigious University College of North Wales now known as Bangor University where he graduated with a degree in banking and finance.

He was notable for his success in the banking industry tracing from his career rise in the banking industry where he served as a Director in Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) before he and his business partner Aigboje Aig- Imoukhuede made a big move to acquire Access Bank in their youthful age.

His business partner served briefly as the CEO of Access Bank before Herbert took over or succeeded him and built Access Bank into one of the top five banks in Nigeria.

Herbert showed an uncommon legacy as he built Access Bank from an unknown bank to a big bank that acquired other banks in Nigeria such as the popular Diamond Bank and Intercontinental Bank. 

He became a billionaire who was very generous in his quest to support others which is all evident in his legacies in leadership.

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It is rare to see someone who built a business that outlived him or her but in the case of Herbert Wigwe he built Access Bank into a big bank that has outlived him. Upon his death, investors did not panic about the safety of their shares, nor did Access Bank customers threaten to liquidate their savings or money in Access Bank. The business of the bank continued and went on smoothly showing how he prepared the bank to be a reputable bank that is beyond his existence.

Hebert was a man who saw the importance of education and he made it clear that there was no late time to go back to school. He went back to school to study Law in line with pursuing his LLB but never lived to accomplish it.

He made another big legacy that will make him live among the living by announcing starting a private University called Wigwe University located in Rivers State.

He married Doreen Chizoba of Nwuba family and together they had five children in total but it was unfortunate that he lost his life, his wife, and his first son on the same day and time due to the helicopter crash on their way to watch his favourite sports game.

He married Chizoba in 1994 and stayed married to her until death took both of them on the same day,

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Many notable men in Nigeria and the world have cried for the death of Dr Herbert Wigwe who died at the age of 57 years. Among the billionaires who cried is the richest man in Africa Alhaji Aliko Dangote who cried on live TV while reading the biography of Herbert Wigwe. They were good friends and his death became a painful one to Dangote and many people in the world.

The former Emir of Kano His Royal Majesty Sanusi Lamido Sanusi also cried on live TV as he couldn’t control his emotions while talking about Hebert Wigwe. He was given moral support by the Executive Governor of Abia State His Excellency Alex Otti before he continued his narration on the roles Herbert played in his life and family.

Herbert Wigwe was the Group Managing Director (GMD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Access Holdings the parent company of Access Bank Plc until his death in February 2024.

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