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Port Harcourt
Monday, May 20, 2024

PORT HARCOURT CITY ONE LOVE FAMILY MEMBERS ATTENDS THE FUNERAL OF THE LATE DR. HERBERT ONYEYUMBU, HIS WIFE CHIZOBA DOREEN, AND SON CHIZZY HERBERT WIGWE JNR. 

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The Trio alongside former Group Chairman of Nigerian Exchange Group Plc (NGX Group), Abimbola Ogunbanjo, as well as two pilots were all in the Airbus Helicopter EC 130B4 with registration number N130CZ, which crashed near Halloran Springs, California, on February 9, 2024.

The exact cause of the crash is yet unknown , but a preliminary report released by the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) two weeks ago, said the chopper was seen by several witnesses in vehicles who reported it as a “fireball” before its eventual crash.

It was also gathered that witnesses reported that the weather on the fateful day of the helicopter crash was a mix of rain and snow.

Their funeral service was held on Saturday the 9th of March, 2024 at the Redeemed Christian Church of God church, Lion of Judah Parish, in Isiokpo, Ikwerre Local Government Area of the oil-rich Rivers State.

The Port Harcourt City One Love Family came out together in their very large numbers to pay their final respects to the deceased Herbert Wigwe, his wife Chizoba, son Chizzy, and the other individuals who lost their lives in a devastating helicopter crash in California. The funeral, held in Isiokpo, Rivers State, served as a solemn gathering to bid farewell to beloved member of the community and honor his enduring legacy of love and compassion.

 

The funeral service was a poignant reminder of the impact Herbert had on the community and the lasting memories he created. As the mourners gathered in solidarity, the air was heavy with a sense of loss and grief; yet, there was also a palpable feeling of togetherness and unity as the Port Harcourt City One Love Family stood as one in support of Herbert Wigwe’s family. The funeral service became a reflection of the strong bond that ties the community together in both times of joy and sorrow.

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.

BIOGRAPHY OF DR. HERBERT O. WIGWE CFR

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 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.

LIFE AND EDUCATION

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.

PROFESSIONAL ACHIEVEMENTS

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.

HIS TENURE AS C.E.O AT ACCESS BANK PLC

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.

HERBERT WIGWE FOUNDATION

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.

SOCIAL CONNECTIONS

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.

 

Dignitaries in attendance were Rivers State Governor Sim Fubara and State Commissioner of Police Olatunji Disu, who was the Chief Security Officer (CSO) of the burial ceremony, Senate President Godswill Akpabio; FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike; billionaire businessman Aliko Dangote, Tony O. Elumelu Chairperson of Heirs Holdings, Transcorp,and United Bank for Africa, Sir Adokiye Tombomieye, Adokiye Ikpoki CEO Chairborne Global Services, Sir O. C. J. Okocha , OFR, SAN, Ambassador Idaere Gogo Ogan, Hon. Edi Orubo, HRH Muhammadu Sanusi II, Gov. Alex Otti, Gov.

Dapo Abiodun, former Senate President Bukola Saraki; Gov. Babajide Sawno-Olu, Atedo Peterside CON founder Stanbic IBTC, former Anambra State Gov. Peter Obi, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, Ndutimi Alaibe, Dr. Agiriye Agba Harry and other notable captains of industry.

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