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Dangote, Sanwo-Olu, Cardoso, others bid Herbert Wigwe farewell in night of emotional tributes

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Dangote, Sanwo-Olu, Cardoso, others bid Herbert Wigwe farewell in night of emotional tributes

Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote shed tears and needed encouragement from Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede as he narrated the roles Herbert Wigwe, the former Group Chief Executive Officer of Access Holdings Plc who passed away along with his wife, Chizoba and son Chizzy in a helicopter crash in the United States last month, played in his life.

The occasion was a night of tributes tagged “Celebrating Herbert Wigwe- a professional legacy” organised by Access Bank, held in their honour at the Eko Hotel, Lagos on Monday night, and leading corporate giants and political figures took turns to speak very highly of Wigwe, a man who did what many thought impossible in his eventful lifetime as a banker.

Fighting back tears, Dangote noted that Wigwe was a pillar of support for himself and his businesses.

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To immortalize the late banker, he said he would name the biggest road at the Dangote Refinery after him.

Describing Wigwe as one of his mentees, Dangote said the late banker played a key role in ensuring that the Refinery project was successfully completed.

He noted that Wigwe was always there to encourage him and help tackle the challenges that could have hindered the completion of the Refinery.

Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Governor of Lagos State on his part said the late Wigwe was a detribalised Nigerian who contributed immensely to the development of Lagos.

Sanwo-Olu said he would always remember Wigwe for his tremendous support to his administration, emphasising that he went out of his way to contribute to the growth and development of Lagos.

The Governor, who noted that Wigwe was born in Lagos, said that the state will ensure that he is immortalised.

Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Olayemi Cardoso, in his own remarks, noted that from the interactions he had with the late Wigwe, he could tell that he was really concerned about his country’s economic challenges and was collaborating with the apex bank to address them.

Minister of Finance, Wale Edun also recalled the late Access Holding group CEO’s contributions to the nation’s economy.

“He was so full of ideas and creative in his thinking,” Edun said about Wigwe.

The President of the African Development Bank Group, Akinwumi Adesina also hailed Wigwe’s ingenuity, saying “everything he touched turned into gold”.

Other prominent Nigerians who spoke at the event such as Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, who along with Wigwe acquired Access Bank.

Along with his wife, son, and former chairman of the Nigerian Exchange Group Plc (NGX Group), Abimbola Ogunbanjo, Wigwe passed away in a helicopter crash outside Washington, D.C. on February 9, 2024. In the tragic accident, two crew members died as well.

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