Access Holdings, the umbrella company overseeing Access Bank, Nigeria’s largest bank by assets, has appointed Bolaji Agbede, an executive director within the organization, as interim CEO.

The board of directors of Access Holdings released a statement dated February 12, 2024, announcing Agbede’s interim CEO role, pending approval from the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The circumstances leading to this appointment stemmed from the unfortunate demise of Herbert Wigwe, who, along with his wife, son, and former chairman of the Nigeria Exchange Group, Abimbola Ogunbanjo, lost their lives in a helicopter accident on Friday.

“Further to its announcement dated February 11, 2024, the Board of Directors of Access Holdings Plc has today announced the appointment of Ms Bolaji Agbede as the Acting Group Chief Executive Officer of the Company following the unfortunate demise of its former Group Chief Executive Officer, Dr Herbert Wigwe, on February 9, 2024”.

Abubakar Jimoh, chairman of Access Holdings, expressed confidence in Agbede’s ability to lead the company during this challenging time, citing her position as the most senior executive within the organization and emphasizing the alignment with the company’s succession planning practices.

“The appointment of Agbede is in alignment with our robust succession planning practices,” said Abubakar Jimoh, chairman of Access Holdings, in a statement published on the NGX.

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“We are strongly convinced that Agbede, being the company’s most senior executive, would provide the much-needed leadership to steer the company towards the attainment of its strategic vision.”

Agbede’s qualifications and extensive experience within Access Bank are highlighted in the statement, showcasing her academic background and professional achievements. Holding a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Statistics from the University of Lagos and a Master of Business Administration degree from Cranfield University, Agbede is also a member of esteemed professional bodies such as the Chartered Institute of Management UK and the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria.

Prior to her appointment as interim CEO, Agbede served as the bank’s most senior founding executive director in business support for two years, with a total of 21 years of service at Access Bank. Her tenure at the bank included notable roles such as assistant general manager overseeing the management of the bank’s portfolio of chemical trading companies, as well as a 12-year stint as the head of Group Human Resources.

Agbede’s professional expertise spans various domains, including human resources management, customer relationship management, and banking operations. She is recognized for her successful track record in managing people integration during mergers and acquisitions, driving culture transformation, and executing corporate strategies.

Bolaji Agbede’s appointment as acting Group Chief Executive Officer of Access Holdings has shown the company’s commitment to continuity and stability in the face of unexpected challenges.

With her wealth of experience and leadership skills, Agbede is poised to guide Access Corporation through this transitional period, pending regulatory approvals from the Central Bank of Nigeria.