Herbert Wigwe, the CEO of Access Bank Corporation, is building a $500 million university in his hometown of Isiokpo, Rivers State. The university, named after him as Wigwe University, will be one of the most expensive universities in the country.
The tuition fee for the university is set at around $12,500 plus N3.5 million ($4,171) per year, according to Bloomberg. This amounts to a total of $16,671 per annum, which is more than eight times the average income of Nigerians. The university is expected to start enrolling students in the 2024/2025 academic year, with 1,400 students.
Wigwe told Bloomberg that he wants to train the “next set of leaders in banking” and other sectors, and that he will recruit 30 percent of the teaching staff from the US and UK. He also said that he will invite some of the country’s notable successful business people, such as Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man, to teach at the university.
Wigwe University will offer undergraduate courses in various fields, including management, science and engineering, information technology, and creative arts. The university will also use technology such as holograms and artificial intelligence to ensure a hybrid system for students.
According to Herbert Wigwe, the university has built a power plant to supply electricity to the campus, which is still under construction.
The university will be led by Professor Miles Davis, the president of Linfield University, a private university in the US, as the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Nelson Uzoechi-Uzoma Alino as the Deputy Vice Chancellor of Administration, and Professor Dal Didia as the Deputy Vice Chancellor of Academics.
Wigwe University will also offer a refreshed curriculum that reflects the future of jobs, and will incorporate the elements of leadership, innovation, and entrepreneurship into the course of study. The university aims to produce leaders who can transform Nigeria and Africa, and ensure that they get the respect that they deserve in the world.
In an interview with BusinessDay, Herbert Wigwe revealed the motivation behind Wigwe University is to give his society a world-class quality education that will drive development in Nigeria and Africa.
“One of the key drivers of the creation of Wigwe University is molding innovative leaders that will effect positive change in our society. We are not just looking for people who will be job seekers, but people who are entrepreneurial and changemakers. We will place great emphasis on innovation so that we become less reliant on the rest of the world. The goal is to create an efficient ecosystem that produces fearless leaders who are passionate about preserving our cultural values. Wigwe University is poised to empower individuals with the requisite knowledge to transform Nigeria and Africa and ensure that we get the respect that we deserve in the world.
“The project’s major focus is nurturing and building responsible and thoughtful leaders who have the capacity to ignite the potentials of the continent and take its rightful place as far as the global stage is concerned. We want to build people who will alter where Nigeria and Africa is going, and make sure that we remain a very competitive place,” he said.