Access Bank Co-founder Herbert Wigwe Among Six Killed in California Helicopter Crash

The group was en route from Palm Springs to Boulder City in Nevada when the chartered helicopter went down approximately 96 kilometres (60 miles) from Las Vegas amidst adverse weather conditions of rain and snow showers

Herbert Wigwe, the co-founder of Access Bank, Nigeria’s largest bank, was among six individuals tragically killed in a helicopter crash in California.

The incident, which occurred on Friday, has sent shockwaves not only through Nigeria but also across the global banking community.


Accompanying Mr. Wigwe were his wife, son, and other notable figures, including a former president of the Nigerian stock exchange.

The group was en route from Palm Springs to Boulder City in Nevada when the chartered helicopter went down approximately 96 kilometres (60 miles) from Las Vegas amidst adverse weather conditions of rain and snow showers.

Mr Wigwe, aged 57, was reportedly travelling to Las Vegas to attend the highly anticipated Super Bowl on Sunday, an event he eagerly awaited.

His untimely demise has left a void not only in the banking sector but also in his ambitious plans for Access Bank’s expansion and his personal endeavours.

As the founder of Access Bank in 1989, Mr. Wigwe played an instrumental role in shaping Nigeria’s banking landscape. Under his leadership, Access Bank attained the position of the largest bank in Nigeria in 2018 following the acquisition of its main competitor, Diamond Bank.

Beyond Nigeria’s borders, Mr. Wigwe was dedicated to expanding Access Bank’s footprint across the African continent, with successful acquisitions in Kenya, South Africa, and Botswana.


Furthermore, his vision extended to the Asian market, where he had plans to launch a new banking service in the first quarter of 2024.

Tributes have poured in from all corners following the news of Mr Wigwe’s tragic passing. President Bola Tinubu expressed profound sorrow, describing the loss as an “overwhelming tragedy.”

The president’s office echoed similar sentiments, emphasizing the profound impact of Mr. Wigwe’s contributions to Nigeria and Africa’s banking industry.

However, Mr. Wigwe’s legacy extends far beyond his achievements in banking.

In a poignant newspaper article penned just last month, he emphasized the importance of investing in higher education as a means to address global migration, citing it as a destabilizing force affecting countries worldwide.

With this vision in mind, Mr. Wigwe was in the process of establishing Wigwe University, set to launch in September in Nigeria’s oil-rich Niger Delta region, his hometown.

He saw this endeavour as an opportunity to give back to society and tackle pressing issues at their root.

The tragic loss of Herbert Wigwe, along with the other individuals aboard the ill-fated helicopter, leaves an irreplaceable void in the hearts of many.

As investigations into the cause of the crash continue, the world mourns the loss of a visionary leader whose impact transcended borders.

Herbert Wigwe’s legacy will endure through the lives he touched and the institutions he built, serving as a beacon of inspiration for generations to come.

In the wake of this profound tragedy, the global community stands in solidarity with the families and loved ones of those lost in the California helicopter crash, offering thoughts, prayers, and unwavering support during this difficult time.


This article was created using automation technology and was thoroughly edited and fact-checked by one of our editorial staff members

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