Leading African banker Herbert Wigwe has died in a helicopter crash in the United States.

Wigwe, who co-founded Access Bank, one of the largest banks in Nigeria, was among six people killed in the crash in California on Friday.

The BBC reports that his wife, son, and a former president of the Nigerian stock exchange were also killed in the crash.

The chartered helicopter was reportedly on its way from Palm Springs to Boulder City in Nevada when it went down on the edge of the Mojave Desert Preserve. Wigwe was evidently on his way to  Las Vegas to attend yesterday’s Super Bowl.

Nigerian President Bola Tinubu described Wigwe’s death as an ‘overwhelming tragedy’.

The BBC reports that Wigwe co-founded Access Bank in 1989. It became the largest bank in Nigeria in 2018 after it acquired its main competitor, Diamond Bank.

In recent years, Wigwe had been working to expand across the continent, acquiring banks in countries including Kenya, South Africa, and Botswana.

He was planning to open a new banking service in Asia in the first quarter of 2024.

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