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Welcoming Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede To A Non-Executive Chair At Access Holdings, A Tested Co-founder And Builder

The Oasis Reporters

March 14, 2024







By Greg Abolo


An important announcement came out of Access Bank Plc many hours ago asking “us” to join them “in welcoming Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede as the Non- Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors of Access Holdings PIc. We look forward to a promising future and the continued success of our great institution under his leadership”.

Earlier the Nigerian bank making waves on the continent of Africa had talked about their “fearless leader”, Herbert Wigwe who sadly passed on recently, reminding them “that fearlessness is a strong mindset that lets us break free from the feeling of being held back by our own limits.

Instead of worrying about losing, you concentrate on the happiness that comes with winning”.

We all miss Herbert.

Nigerians beamed with pride when Commander in Chief of Economic Freedom Fighters [EFF] and a Revolutionary activist for radical change in Africa, Julius Malema declared in
Johannesburg, South Africa (Born March 3) that “Nigerian banks are owned by black Nigerians”.


Julius Malema was packing a huge statement of proud admiration and history into his statement about Nigerian entrepreneurship.

There are drivers of the pride and awe we all hold about Nigerian enterprises and the entrepreneurs that are fueling this.

They include the late Herbert Wigwe and Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede. The duo teamed up to build a bank brand that has succeeded on the African stage, and also moving into the global arena in solid steps.

Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede was the pioneer Group Managing Director/CEO for about ten years before handing over to his partner, Herbert Wigwe who passed on recently.

It became necessary to bring Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede as a tried and tested hand on board as HoldCo Chairman to continue the dream of giving the company it’s trajectory of growth in the dream that the partners had.

When Herbert Wigwe teamed up with his friend, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede to power their dream of owning their own bank, what they had with them was bravado and vision.



Herbert Wigwe continued their dream when he succeeded Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede as Group GMD/CEO.


“For that bravado and vision, knowing that in a digital banking future, marginal cost is everything, and scale improves competitiveness”, Professor Ndubuisi Ekekwe @ndekekwe says that was the reason he chose Herbert Wigwe, one of Nigeria’s finest bankers as 2018 Tekedia Businessperson Of The Year.

Historically speaking, Access Bank initially started when then Nigerian military Head of State, General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida opened the floodgates for entrepreneurs to own their own banks.

A team of investors came together to set up Access Bank at Apapa in Lagos Nigeria.

The team led by Dr Lawrence Omole, now late, was the inaugural chairman. He was from Ilesha.
He was succeeded by James Oladipo Farodoye, another Ijeshaman.

Chief James Oladipo Farodoye is an accountant by profession, and a former General Manager, Finance and Administration of the then National Insurance Corporation of Nigeria, NICON. And Dr Omole was renowned as a business mogul with interests in many areas of commerce and manufacturing.


But as it used to be with businesses that had some envious people in the midst of good people, Access Bank then with a Balmoral blue logo that was doing well was bogged down by internal crises. Almost intractable.


The brains behind the bank were so frustrated that they saw only one option.


At that time, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede and his friend, Herbert Wigwe saw a fruit. Rather than start moulding blocks to build a bank, why don’t they buy up the crises ridden bank, solve the human factor and own a thriving bank?

The duo with their big thoughts, uncommon zeal, big vision and boundless capabilities made their proposal and bought Access Bank.

Ever since then, they went on to keep acquiring banks that had challenges in performances and with their Midas touch, continued to turn things around all over Africa.

That is basically a part of the success story of Access Bank Corporation today.

Welcome aboard, Aig.

Greg Abolo.

Greg Abolo

Blogger at The Oasis Reporters.

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