Most world billionaires, including their Nigerian counterparts, have vanities they choose to spend their money on. Some pump their monies into bizarre projects while others care about leaving lasting legacies. Both serve the symbolic purpose for these wealthy individuals.
Aside from a few flashes of trappings of wealth though, Nigerian banking magnate, Herbert Onyewunbu Wigwe seems to be one billionaire not too keen about luxury. As much as he loves a good life, Wigwe gives much attention to social interventions and two areas that he thinks would make the greatest impact on the people are in education and healthcare.
On the latter, Wigwe, through his HOW Foundation, recently adopted 25 primary healthcare centres in Rivers State —at least one in each local government area— to refurbish, rejig with quality equipment and manpower and run for five years before handing over to the state. However, his main vanity project is on education.
The 57-year-old banking don is so passionate about education and he is committing billions of naira into building a state-of-the-art privately owned university in his own name.
In recent times, Wigwe has been so upbeat. In fact, his zest has been so infectious since Friday 9 June when the National Universities Commission (NUC) finally approved and issued the licence to Wigwe University.
For the unassuming, debonair Group Chief Executive of Access Corporation Plc, it was a dream come true after years of conception, planning and hard work. The traditional almost obsolete education system doesn’t work for young people of today, so Wigwe set out to build his libertarian university where they will teach courses focused on business skills and leadership.
Located on about 300 hectares of land in his sub-urban hometown of Isiokpo in Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State, Wigwe is building a university that would attract successful business leaders like Aliko Dangote, Mike Adenuga and Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede into its faculty as lecturers to give hands-on experience.
With many of the facilities in the well-laid out campus built, Wigwe University —the second private university in Rivers— is almost ready to receive its first set of students expected by September 2024 when lectures are expected to commence.
Spotlight learnt every week, Wigwe flies down to Port Harcourt and drives the short distance from the international airport to the university campus —planned to be the best in the country when fully completed— to look at the pace of work and savour his investment where he intends to craft bold leaders, innovative thinkers and empower a fearless generation.
Original article culled from TheSUN| Funsho Arogundade| P.M. Express