Home » Nigerian banker Herbert Wigwe says 370 million Africans have no access to financial services

Nigerian banker Herbert Wigwe says 370 million Africans have no access to financial services

by Mfonobong Nsehe
Herbert Wigwe

Herbert Wigwe, a multimillionaire banker who is the group managing director of Access Holdings, Nigeria’s largest financial services group, has disclosed that 370 million Africans and about 60 million Nigerians do not have access to financial services.

The statement highlights opportunities to expand financial services in Africa following the launch of the banking group’s 2023–2027 corporate strategy, which aims to serve 100 million retail customers by 2027.

The Lagos-based tier-1 bank intends to accomplish this objective by utilizing its well-established presence in key trade and financial centers globally, such as London, Dubai, Hong Kong, Lebanon, Beijing, and Mumbai. It also aims to boost intra-African trade by establishing a subsidiary and forming strategic partnerships with development finance institutions.

As part of its 2023–2027 corporate strategy, Access Holdings intends to migrate the majority of its customers to digital platforms by 2027 and expand its presence in at least 26 countries, including several in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

At the launch of the corporation’s new plan (2023–2027), Wigwe addressed a diverse audience of analysts, researchers, shareholder leaders, and journalists, stating that Access Holdings would serve as a driving force for the corporation’s transformation. 

He emphasized that the company, with its core business as the foundation, will be at the forefront of this transformation, positioning itself as a leading financial and ecosystem player

“We want to be truly known as a global player in the market,” Wigwe said. “I have no doubt that we are truly on our way to becoming a global bank with an African heritage. We will also make sure that our correspondent banking is made stronger at the end of the five-year plan due to the fact that our subsidiaries, especially the one in UK, are growing well.”

Access Holdings, which is Nigeria’s largest financial services group in terms of assets and one of the most capitalized financial institutions listed on the Nigerian Exchange, presently operates in 11 African countries, including South Africa, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, and Mozambique.

Wigwe, a significant shareholder with a 4.51-percent stake in the group, has been instrumental in driving Access Holdings’ growth and expansion.

The group aims to establish itself as a leading player in the African and global financial services industries, with plans to expand into Europe by launching a unit in France and consolidating operations in London.

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