The Managing Director/CEO, Access Bank PLC, Herbert Wigwe has revealed that he and his Co-founder, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede did not have all the requisite skills and knowledge to build a bank that has been referred as the largest bank in Africa after its merger with Diamond Bank on 1 April 2019.
Wigwe in his interview with CNBC Africa explained that there is no such person that has all the skills when starting any endeavour in life, but what has made the bank outstanding is being able to bring on board brilliant minds that have complimentary and managerial skills to travel with them on the journey of building great institution.
“Access Bank has never been one person’s effort; it has been the efforts of a strong team and God’s blessings because we had several challenges on the way when we were starting the bank”
“There were people who felt that we were not going to pull it together as young people, some even said that young people don’t work together, that we will quarrel and go on our different ways,
Some were just waiting for us to fail, saying that something will happen. Some consulting firms were not going to take on our mandate because they felt that we were young at that age”.
“But within us, we didn’t see ourselves as being young because there were people who have done it at that age maybe with smaller business when they started. Age was in number but if you tracked what we have done at that time, we were not 35”, Wigwe pointed.
Wigwe further explained that starting Access Bank has been great, but there had been challenges forging ahead.
“There had been trying times, but the journey has been great. There are times that we roll on the floor and pray unto God that some things should not happen. There had also been days of so much celebration, but we give all thanks unto God who always make us strong”
Apart from the enjoying banking, Wigwe said that he does not know anything about work, life, balance because he has always been balanced and enjoy all what he’s doing in his work.
“The only way to continue to sustain a business over time is to always be in day one mood as something can go wrong”
Wigwe in his words said that Access Bank is not a Nigerian bank neither it’s an African bank.
“When we started, we were not building a Nigerian nor an African business, but a global enterprise that everybody will see and be proud that Africa can truly create institutions alongside world class enterprises.
We went to the best schools like everybody else in the world, so why can’t we perform at the same level and develop our country to the point where people can look at and compare us with other western countries”, he asked.