By Adedapo Adesanya
The management of Wigwe University, the tertiary institution established by the late group chief executive of Access Holdings Plc, Mr Herbert Wigwe, has promised to carry on the visions of the late founder.
Recall that Mr Wigwe alongside his wife, Doreen, his son, Chizi, and a former chairman of the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Group Plc, Mr Abimbola Ogunbanjo, all died in a helicopter crash in the United States over the weekend.
He had made a substantial investment of $500 million to establish a new university in Rivers State to address the skills gap in the finance and technology sectors within Nigeria.
A statement signed by the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Wigwe University, Professor Fabian Ajogwu, it was emphasised that, “The foundation he laid for this institution is strong and we are resolute in our determination to honour his memory by continuing to build a world-class educational institution.”
“Dr Wigwe was a visionary, whose commitment to education as a catalyst for Africa’s future advancement was inspiring and unwavering. He believed fervently that education is the cornerstone of progress and transformation, and his vision for Wigwe University was rooted in the profound belief that it could change the course of history for the African continent.
“He envisioned Wigwe University as a crucible for nurturing future fearless leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs who would contribute significantly to Africa’s global standing.
“While we grieve the loss of Dr Wigwe, his wife, and his son, we assure our stakeholders, including prospective students, Faculty, and staff, that Wigwe University remains committed to ensuring that his dreams and aspirations for the university are fulfilled,” the board stated.
It stressed that it would work tirelessly to uphold the standards of academic excellence, innovation, and societal impact that he envisioned.
“The torch he lit will guide us as we forge ahead, nurturing the next generation of fearless leaders and entrepreneurs who will undoubtedly leave an indelible mark on Africa and the world,” it added.
Set to commence next year, Wigwe University plans to offer courses in management, science and engineering, information technology, and creative arts. It aims to enrol 1,400 students in its first year, with a projected increase to 10,000 within five years.
The university also planned a hybrid teaching nature, integrating technology to match the education quality found in the US and UK.
Tuition fees at Wigwe University are expected to be around $12,500 annually, significantly higher than public universities in the country.
The university plans to recruit 30 per cent of its teaching staff from the United Kingdom and the US.
Mr Wigwe, before his demise, also intended to personally teach and mentor students. He also envisioned collaboration with notable entrepreneurs, including Mr Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man.
The school’s leadership team includes Professor Miles Davis as Vice-Chancellor, Professor Nelson Uzoechi-Uzoma Alino as Deputy Vice Chancellor of Administration, and Professor Dal Didia as Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Academics.