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Port Harcourt
Saturday, July 13, 2024

A NIGHT OF TRIBUTE AND REFLECTION IN HONOR OF DR. HERBERT O WIGWE CON, CFR.

The Port Harcourt City One Love Family members hosted a night of tribute and reflection in honor of the late Dr. Herbert Onyeyumbu Wigwe MD/CEO, Access Bank Plc. The event was preceded by a 3Km. Legacy Procession Walk in the morning to honor the deceased.

City Members and friends of the deceased came out in numbers to show solidarity and also honor the memory of late Dr. Herbert Wigwe.

The procession started from Port Harcourt Club followed by stopovers at the schools Dr. Herbert attended ~ (Township school and Port Harcourt primary), then to his Port Harcourt residence in Old Gra and then back to Port Harcourt Club.

As the sun set on the day of remembrance, the 27th day February 2024, the night of tribute commenced in the presence of esteemed personalities including the Governor of Rivers State, Sir Siminialayi Fubara, sir Adokiye Tonbomieye, Chief Dumo Lulu Briggs, Dr. Joy Nunieh and other great sons and daughters of Rivers State

The event was marked with heartfelt speeches from his friends and classmates from primary to secondary school even up till his university days, lots of memories shared, and a collective spirit of unity and fond remembrance. It was a powerful testament to the impact and legacy of Dr. Herbert Wigwe, reflecting the deep respect and admiration he garnered within the community.

The evening was filled with reflection of the enduring influence of Dr. Wigwe, leaving an indelible mark on the hearts of those present and the broader Port Harcourt community.

The night of tribute served as a poignant display of respect, remembrance, and admiration for late Dr. Herbert Wigwe, symbolizing the profound impact he had on the community and the lives of those around.

Herbert Onyewumbu Wigwe was a Nigerian banker and entrepreneur. He was the CEO of Access Holding PLC, traded as the managing director /CEO of Acces Bank PLC. Throughout the course of his life, he remained a philanthropist and visionary leader who transformed Access Bank from a small commercial bank, into a global financial power house.

Herbert Wigwe was born on August 15,1966, to parents of Ikwerre descent from Omieke Isiokpo in Rivers State. He had three sisters and a brother.
Herbert had his early Primary education at at Township School, Port Harcourt, and later transferred to the prestigious Port Harcourt Primary School, where he finished his primary education. He further enrolled at Federal Government College, Sokoto, but left midway to Federal Government College, Warri, where he finished his secondary education.

He proceeded to the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, where he obtained a degree in accountancy in 1987. He furthered his education by obtaining a masters degree in banking and finance from the University College of North Wales, now called Bangor University in 1989.

He obtained another masters degree in financial economics from the University of London in 1990, and also attended the Harvard Business School executive management programme in 2006. He was a fellow of the Institute of chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), a fellow of the Institute of Credit Administration, an Honorary member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, a Commander of the Order of Nigeria (CON), as well as a Commander of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (CFR).

He rose to become the Executive Director in charge of institutional banking and was instrumental in developing GTBank’s public sector business. In 2002, he left Gtbank along with his business partner and friend Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, to acquire a stake in Access Bank PLC which was then a small Commercial Bank ranked 65th out of 89 banks in Nigeria.

They embarked on an ambitious transformation agenda that saw Access Bank grow from a regional bank with less than 10 branches, to a global bank with over 600 branches across Nigeria, Africa, Hong-kong, France, South Africa, UK and Dubai.

Herbert Wigwe started his professional career with Coopers and Lybrand Associates . An international firm of chartered accountants, where he worked as a Management Consultant and later qualified as a Chartered Accountant. He then joined Capital Bank as a Senior Manager in charge of treasury and financial services.

In 1992, he moved to Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank), where he spent over ten years working in various capacities such as corporate banking, institutional banking, and treasury. By 2002, Access Bank became one of the most profitable banks in Nigeria and Africa, under the leadership of Herbert Wigwe and Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede with a strong focus on innovation, customer service, corporate governance, and social responsibility.

They also led several landmark transactions such as the acquisition of Intercontinental Bank in 2012, which made Access Bank the fourth largest bank in Nigeria. Then, the merger with Diamond Bank in 2019 established Access Bank as the largest retail bank in Africa as well as the listry on the London stock exchange in 2019, which enhanced the bank’s international profile and access to Capital.

Herbert Wigwe succeeded Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede as the group Managing Director /CEO of Acces Bank PLC in January 2014 and continued to steer the bank to greater heights untill 2022 when he stepped down to become the CEO of Access Holding PLC, a new entity that was created to oversee the Non-banking business of Access Bank such as insurance, asset management, payment and digital banking.
He remained a non-executive director of Access Bank Plc until his death.

He founded the Herbert Wigwe foundation in 2008 to provide scholarship,mentorship and empowerment to young Nigerians.
One of his most remarkable achievements, was the creation of Wigwe University; a groundbreaking institution of higher learning in Nigeria and West Africa. With about $500 million dollar invested, the university set out to transform the landscape of education in the region, offering cutting edge programmes in management, science, engineering, and the arts.
The university located in Isiokpo, Port Harcourt, received its commission in June 2023. Its courses were tailored to meet the needs of vital sectors of the economy.

Herbert Wigwe was a major pillar, financier, and front line member of the Port Harcourt City One Love Family – A non Partisan and political group founded in the propagation of love, friendship and brotherhood in the Port Harcourt metropolis and beyond.
Herbert was married to his dear wife Chizoba Doreen Wigwe, who died with him in the ill fated crash along with their son, Herbert Wigwe JNR.

He leaves behind his aged parents and other children, Tochi, David, Hannah, and Ukachi..

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