Tributes paid to Herbert Wigwe and Abimbola Ogubajo after deadly helicopter crash

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Tributes have been paid to Nigerian banking titan Herbert Wigwe, founder and group CEO of Entry Financial institution, and former Nigeria inventory alternate chairman Abimbola Ogunbanj, after their premature deaths in a helicopter accident in California.

Six individuals had been killed within the crash on Friday, which additionally claimed the lives of Wigwe’s spouse, Chizoba Wigwe, and son, Chizi Wigwe. The get together was reportedly on its solution to Sunday’s Tremendous Bowl NFL recreation in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Bola Tinubu, President of Nigeria, led the tributes to the victims.

“I’m shocked and deeply distressed by the information of the passing of Mr. Herbert Wigwe, a distinguished banker, humanitarian, and entrepreneur, and Mr. Abimbola Ogunbanjo, the previous Group Chairman of the Nigerian Trade Group Plc, together with members of the Wigwe household – Herbert’s spouse, Chizoba, and son, Chizi. Their passing is an awesome tragedy that’s surprising past comprehension,” he wrote.  

Herbert Wigwe, 57, based Entry Financial institution in 1989. It turned the biggest financial institution in Nigeria in 2018 after it acquired its primary competitor, Diamond Financial institution. 

In 2021, Wigwe was awarded African Banker’s prestigious African Banker of the 12 months award for a second successive 12 months after its transfer into South Africa following its acquisition of Grobank.

On the time of his second award, following a decade of speedy progress which had seen the agency increase in Kenya, South Africa and Botswana, Entry Financial institution had turn out to be one of many largest retail banks in Africa with over 40 million clients.

In 2020, African Enterprise sister journal New African interviewed Wigwe for a particular concern commemorating the sixtieth anniversary of Nigeria’s independence. He talked of his ambitions to develop the financial institution right into a pan-African power.

“We wish to have subsidiaries throughout 22 international locations over the subsequent 5 years, with strategic plans to be current within the main commerce corridors on the African continent…By 2023, Entry Financial institution can have consolidated its place as Africa’s gateway to the world with about 100m clients in Nigeria and extra 20m clients throughout our African subsidiaries,” he predicted. 

“I’m saddened by the tragic loss of life of Herbert Wigwe, CEO and co-Founding father of Entry Financial institution, his spouse & son. He was a visionary and good banker. Could God consolation your aged mother and father, youngsters, the Wigwe household and the employees and administration of Entry Financial institution. You can be drastically missed,” mentioned Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Growth Financial institution.

Abimbola Ogunbanjo, a veteran of Nigeria’s company authorized and capital market industries, served because the president of the Nationwide Council of the Nigerian Inventory Trade (NSE) from 2017 to 2021 and because the first group chairman of NGX Group from 2021 to 2022, following the demutualisation of the alternate.

In a press release, NGX Group mentioned that his “strategic acumen and dedication had been instrumental in shaping NGX Group’s transformative journey.”

“NGX Group mourns the premature departure of Bamofin Abimbola Ogunbanjo and Dr. Herbert Wigwe, alongside together with his spouse and son. Bamofin Ogunbanjo’s management has left an indelible mark on our group and the broader Nigerian monetary neighborhood, and his legacy will proceed to encourage us. Dr. Wigwe additionally leaves an unblemished footprint in our non-public sector. Our ideas and prayers are with their households throughout this troublesome time,” mentioned NGX Group chairman Alhaji Umaru Kwairanga.”The contributions of those two revered leaders to the monetary markets and the general non-public sector shall be remembered, and we’re dedicated to preserving their legacy by upholding the rules of management, innovation, and dedication that they exemplified,” mentioned Temi Popoola, group managing director and chief govt of NGX Group.


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