ACCESS Holdings Plc has officially confirmed the death of its pioneer Chief Executive Officer, Herbert Wigwe, and said it will announce the appointment of an acting Chief Executive Officer to run the affairs of the company.
In a statement issued on Sunday, February 11, confirming the death of Wigwe along with his wife, Chizoba and son, Chizi, the company secretary, Sunday Ekwochi, quoted the company’s chairman, Abubakar Jimoh as saying: “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 said, “It is with deep sadness that the Board of Directors of Access Holdings Plc (‘the Company’) announces the passing of Dr. Herbert Wigwe, CFR, the Company’s founding Group Chief Executive Officer and former Group Managing Director of its flagship subsidiary Access Bank Plc (‘the Bank’).
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“Dr. Wigwe died alongside his wife and son on Friday, February 9, in a helicopter accident in the United States of America.
“The entire Access Family mourns the loss of Herbert, Doreen, and Chizi. We extend our deep and sincere sympathies to his family and loved ones.
Wigwe was a key driving force and a larger-than-life personality who brought his remarkable passion, energy, and experience to the transformation of the Access franchise since joining the Bank in 2002.
Commenting on the passage of Wigwe, Abubakar Jimoh, Chairman of Access Holdings said: “The Access Family has suffered a major loss with the passing of Dr. Wigwe who was a great friend and fine gentleman. He had a prodigious intellect, admirable personal qualities, and vast business experience which he brought to bear on the Access Family and for which we owe him a debt of gratitude.
“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,”he added.
Also, the Bank on their X account said, “Today, we bid farewell to a visionary leader, @HerbertOWigwe, whose passion and unwavering commitment to excellence transformed Access into a global powerhouse.
“His legacy of excellence and compassion will continue to inspire us all.
“Rest in peace, Herbert Wigwe. Your impact will forever be felt.”
Earlier, Access Holdings Plc had acknowledged reports of a helicopter crash involving Dr. Wigwe but lacked specific details. The company stated its collaboration with US authorities for updates on the incident, which occurred near the California-Nevada border.
Harrison Edeh is a journalist with the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, always determined to drive advocacy for good governance through holding public officials and businesses accountable.