Get listed on our Fintech Service Providers Directory Sign Up Here

Herbert Wigwe: A Tribute to a Visionary Leader and Philanthropist.

The world mourns the loss of a visionary leader, a compassionate philanthropist, and a beloved husband and father, Herbert Wigwe. Born on August 15, 1966, in Ibadan, Oyo State, Herbert’s journey was one of resilience, determination, and unwavering commitment to serving humanity. From his humble beginnings in Isiokpo, Rivers State, Herbert exhibited an exceptional intellect and a passion for excellence.

His early education took him from Ibadan to the Federal Government Colleges in Sokoto and Warri, where he not only excelled academically but also showcased his talent as a skilled cricket player. Despite facing challenges, including an initial setback in his academic pursuits, After initially failing his first attempt at the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) examination, Wigwe persevered and secured admission to study accounting at the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) in Enugu state in 1983.

After obtaining a degree in accounting from the University of Nigeria Nsukka, he embarked on a remarkable career journey, honing his skills at Coopers & Lybrand and Guaranty Trust Bank (UK) Limited (GTB) before seizing the opportunity to acquire Access Bank in 2002. Together with his partner, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, Herbert transformed Access Bank from a regional player into a global powerhouse.

Under his visionary leadership, the bank fought through economic storms, navigated regulatory challenges, and championed innovation and digitization within the industry. The acquisition of Diamond Bank in 2018 further solidified Access Bank’s position as a leading financial institution, with subsidiaries spanning multiple countries.

Herbert’s impact extended far beyond the boardroom. He was a passionate advocate for social causes. His philanthropic work spanned various causes, reflecting his deep commitment to making a positive impact on society. Some of his notable philanthropic endeavours include:

1. Education: Herbert’s commitment to education was evident in his establishment of Wigwe University, a project aimed at providing world-class education and nurturing responsible leaders. He believed in the transformative power of education and sought to empower the youth through quality educational opportunities.

2. Malaria Eradication: Herbert was actively involved in advocacy and support for malaria eradication efforts in Africa. He partnered with organizations such as the Corporate Alliance on Malaria in Africa to promote initiatives aimed at combating malaria and improving healthcare systems. In addition to his support for malaria eradication, Herbert was involved in initiatives promoting awareness and early detection of diseases such as prostate cancer. He believed in the importance of accessible healthcare services for all.

3. HOW Foundation: In 2016, Herbert launched the HOW Foundation, aimed at making positive impacts outside of his work environment. The foundation focuses on youth empowerment, leadership and mentorship, malaria eradication, prostate cancer awareness, and support for children.

4. W-initiative: Under the auspices of Access Bank Plc in 2015, Herbert initiated the W-initiative. This scheme was designed to support and encourage more women to venture into business while also addressing maternal health issues.

5. Advocacy for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Herbert was a passionate advocate for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). He actively supported initiatives aligned with the SDGs, contributing to efforts aimed at achieving goals such as poverty alleviation, quality education, gender equality, and good health and well-being.

6. Youth Empowerment: Through various initiatives and programs, Herbert worked tirelessly to empower young people, providing them with mentorship, skills training, and opportunities for personal and professional development. One notable case is with Flutterwave ‘s CEO, Olugbenga Agboola:

In reflecting on the passing of Dr. Herbert Wigwe, Olugbenga Agboola expressed profound sadness and paid tribute to a mentor, friend, and visionary who left an indelible mark on his life and the lives of many others.

Agboola’s journey with Herbert began after his startup was acquired, stepping into a Senior Role at Access Bank Plc . Herbert’s belief in Agboola’s potential to spearhead digital transformation was pivotal, providing guidance and faith that made daunting tasks achievable. Beyond being a boss, Herbert was a mentor who shared his entrepreneurial journey, challenging Agboola to expand the horizons of ambition and set monumental goals. Under Herbert’s mentorship, Agboola learned strategic planning and the importance of dreaming bigger.

Herbert’s influence extended to Agboola’s approach to angel investing, encouraging him to invest back in Africa and support the next generation of entrepreneurs. Despite not owning stock in Agboola’s venture, Flutterwave, Herbert went above and beyond to offer support, demonstrating unwavering commitment.

In tough times, Herbert’s wisdom provided hope, offering advice and assistance with messages of encouragement. His belief in Agboola’s capabilities was evident, driving him to persevere and bring Flutterwave, one of the biggest fintechs in Africa.

One of Herbert’s most cherished projects was the establishment of Wigwe University, a testament to his belief in the power of education to transform lives. Though he will not witness its completion, his vision of nurturing responsible and thoughtful leaders will continue to inspire future generations.

In his personal life, Herbert was a devoted husband to Chizoba Wigwe and a loving father to their four children: Chizi, Tochi, Hannah, and David. He found joy in simple pleasures, from running and reading to playing polo and savoring his favorite dishes.

Herbert’s untimely passing leaves a void in the hearts of all who knew him. Yet, his legacy lives on in the countless lives he touched, the communities he empowered, and the institutions he built. As we bid farewell to a remarkable leader, let us honor Herbert Wigwe’s memory by continuing his legacy of compassion, innovation, and service to humanity.

Rest in peace, dear Herbert. Your light will forever shine bright in our hearts.

Leave a Reply

🌟 We've Upgraded! Find Us Here: 🌟
Ready to leave the old behind? We've built a brand-new digital home for Kenya's fintech community!
What you get:
💡 The inside track on Kenya's booming fintech scene
🤝 Networking events for power players like you
📰 Up-to-the-minute news to keep you ahead of the curve
🔗 Click here to join the future of finance – innovation awaits!