To those who know Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, former managing director and co-founder of Access Bank Plc, they would attest to the fact that his personality speaks of modesty, humility and service. While some called his calm mien and act as arrogance, this astute investor and leading figure behind one of Nigeria’s top finance and investment industry players, sees it as confidence.
After his meritorious tour of duty as the helmsman of Access Bank Plc, Aigboje has quietly embraced philanthropy as he now spends quality time on charities. Of course, there is no gainsaying that he is passionate about quality public service, perhaps, because his parents were public servants. To achieve his desire for a better society, the former President of Nigeria Stock Exchange floated a platform, the Africa Initiative for Governance (AIG), a 5-year partnership programme with the Oxford University’s Blavatnik School of Government that offers scholarship scheme that sends qualified Africans to the prestigious Oxford for a Master of Public Policy Degree.
Presently, his AIG is working with various levels of government, academic institutions and other partners to improve governance and transform public sector performance. This pioneering initiative brings proven private sector innovation, leadership and funding in a private-public partnership to attract, inspire and support future leaders of the public sector. “With our continuing support, these high-calibre individuals will drive best practice standards of governance across Africa, ensuring sustainable economic growth and social justice,” said Aigboje.
But this Sabongida Ora, Edo State-born wealthy banker is not only concerned about public service but also keen about ending poverty as well as provision of quality primary healthcare for all. To this end, he has taken up a position as the first African co-chairman of the Global Business Coalition on Health (GBC Health) and the Chairman of Friends of the Global Fund – Africa (Friends Africa). In 2010, he made a $1 million contribution to the Global Fund, and he has since made other huge donations to the fund through the ‘Gift from Africa’ campaign. He has also been deeply involved in another international charity, Global Citizen Nigeria, as its co-chair alongside billionaire businessman, Tunde Folawiyo.
While delivering the overview of this Global Citizen’s Nigeria Policy intervention on the healthcare delivery system last week at an event held at The Wheatbaker Hotel, Ikoyi, Lagos, he called the attention of everyone to the state of Primary Healthcare system in Nigeria with a verdict that out of the 30,000 primary healthcare centres in the country, less that 3000 are functioning well. To him, Universal Healthcare cannot be achieved without a robust Primary Healthcare system as the bedrock. He also said the Nigerian government at all levels cannot, on their own, meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals without the private sector’s involvement. “It is impossible for the Nigerian government on its own to meet the SDGs. The private sector and the civil society must join the efforts. Government in Nigeria only controls 10 per cent of the entire GDP while the private sector controls 90 per cent. This shows the strength of the private sector in our country. The private sector must work with the government to deliver the SDGs,” he said.
He then told the gathering of his commitment to personally build a world-class primary healthcare centre in each of the 774 local governments in Nigeria and called on his fellow wealthy Nigerians to commit to different initiatives that will help the country to meet other objectives of the SDGs by 2030.
Spotlight gathered that Aigboje really meant to deliver on this pledge, which will definitely cost him hundreds of millions of naira. He has put motion in practice to realise the project across the country.
Where his peers tail off, he soars like falcon. His distinguished banking career spans over two decades that saw him move a fourth-tier bank to a first-tier within a decade, amongst other achievements. Aside his credential as the co-founder of Access Bank Plc with his buddy, Herbert Wigwe, incumbent MD/CEO of the bank, Aigboje is also the founder and Chairman of Coronation Capital Nigeria Limited; co-chairman of the United Kingdom-Nigeria Capital Market Task Force; a board member of TCX Investment Management Company Netherlands, chairman, Board of Trustees of the Financial Market Dealers Association, and chairman of Wapic Insurance Plc.