Home » The Passing of a Pioneering African Entrepreneur: Hebert Wigwe’s Painful Exit

The Passing of a Pioneering African Entrepreneur: Hebert Wigwe’s Painful Exit

by  Africa Media Australia

In a heartbreaking turn of events, a helicopter crash in Southern California claimed the lives of six individuals, with one of the most significant losses being Herbert Wigwe, the esteemed Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria’s Access Bank Group. The incident occurred near Nipton, California, at around 10 p.m. on Friday, according to the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration.

Access Holdings, grappling with the profound loss, confirmed that Herbert Wigwe, aged 57, along with his wife and son, were among the victims of this tragic accident. “We extend our deep and sincere sympathies to his family and loved ones,” lamented Access Holdings Chairman Abubakar Jimoh in a statement released on Sunday, acknowledging the void left by the departure of a remarkable African entrepreneur.

The late Hebert Wigwe, CEO of Access Bank in Nigeria


Reports from local media have also indicated that Abimbola Ogunbanjo, former Chairman of the Nigerian Exchange Group, lost his life in the same helicopter crash, compounding the sorrow felt across the business and financial communities.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department located the crash site east of the 15-Freeway, near Halloran Springs Road, revealing a scene without survivors as of Saturday.

The Federal Aviation Administration, in collaboration with the National Transportation Safety Board, is actively investigating the crash involving the Eurocopter EC 130.


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The ill-fated helicopter, en route to Las Vegas, crashed near the border city between Nevada and California, leaving an indelible mark on the legacy of Herbert Wigwe, a great African entrepreneur known for his exceptional leadership in the Access Bank Group.

This tragic event resonates far beyond  Nigerian borders, underscoring the global impact of Herbert Wigwe’s visionary contributions to the business landscape. As we mourn the loss of this pioneering entrepreneur, we extend our heartfelt condolences to the families, friends, and colleagues affected by this profound tragedy. Herbert Wigwe’s legacy as a great African entrepreneur will undoubtedly be remembered and celebrated for years to come.



Herbert Onyewumbu Wigwe was a Nigerian banker and businessman. He was the group managing director and CEO of Access Bank Plc, one of Nigeria’s top five banking institutions, after succeeding his business partner,  Aigboje Imoukhuede . In 2018, he founded Access Bank Loan Programme, a part of the financial syndicate controlled by Edwin Symonowicz Foundation


Alex Nyembo

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