HomeViews and ReviewsHerbert Wigwe (1966-2004): Abridged Life of A God-Loving Billionaire!

Herbert Wigwe (1966-2004): Abridged Life of A God-Loving Billionaire!

By

Chukwudi Iwuchukwu

Last year, in December, Herbert Wigwe moved into his new house at Queen’s Drive, Ikoyi, Lagos: A mighty, imposing edifice that speaks to his ambition and class.

It was his dream house, and so no cost was spared in building it: A state-of-the-art house that is fully digital and automated as well.

You know the type of house where Siri and Google Assistant control the basic functionality of the property.

According to a rough estimate from those with knowledge of the property that I spoke to, over 10 billion naira were spent on the project.

And the reason why Herbert spent that much on the property was not far-fetched.

It was meant to serve as his retirement home in Lagos, so he made sure he spent money to build it.

Three weeks ago, he hosted Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, and his bestie, Femi Otedola, in the new property.

They had dinner together, but before that, he took them around his new property to show the two Forbes billionaires his new acquisition.

His new toy.

He was a man whose palm kernel was cracked by the gods.

Little did Herbert know that it would be the last time he would be hosting Aliko Dangote and his bestie, Femi.

Herbert was a very wealthy man in his lifetime.

Before he died, he was the majority shareholder of Access Bank, as he controlled 9% of the bank.

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That 9% shareholding made him the largest shareholder of Access Bank, and the shares he controlled are collectively worth $54 million as of Friday, last week.

For all this humongous wealth, one thing that stood out in my book is that he loved God and then committed the wealth that God gave him to serving him and supporting his work.

Before he died, he was an active member of Adeboye’s RCCG, and he worshipped with a branch of the RCCG called City of David, an upscale RCCG church in Lagos, and he was present until his death.

He worshipped with them two Sundays ago.

In 2018, the City of David had an outreach in Makoko; the budget was 800 million.

Herbert brought 500 million of the money, and the church brought the rest.

Until he died, he was paying the salaries of the choir members of City David Church secretly and quietly, without making a fuss about it.

The City of David has the biggest church building. for the RCCG family in Lagos, complete with a helipad, and when the project was at its infancy level, Herbert made sure that Access Bank paid for a 10-year lease of the office space to be domiciled in the building.

He did this when the church project was at the foundation, a greenfield project and it took 5 years after the payment for the project to be done and for the bank to occupy the space.

But he did more than this.

When the City of David ran out of funds as they were building the church building on Victoria Island, Herbert used his influence to facilitate a loan from Access Bank for his local church to complete God’s project.

Three weeks ago, the city of David Church had an issue paying back a billon of naira, which was the loan Hebert facilitate from Access Bank for them.

He gave the church an interest-free 1 billion naira of his money, which they are expected to pay back this year to him before he died.

This was who Herbert was. A man who loved God and was unapologetic about it.

CHUKWUDI IS FOUNDER AND CEO AT VISAGE MEDIA NIGERIA AND CIRCULATED THIS PIECE IN LAGOS

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