Chizoba Wigwe, Wife of Herbert Wigwe, Built One of Nigeria’s Largest Construction Companies

Chizoba Wigwe, Wife of Herbert Wigwe, Built One of Nigeria’s Largest Construction Companies

  • The wife of Herbert Wigwe built Craneburg Construction in 2016 to offer diversified services to private clients and public agencies
  • Before venturing into construction, she was a legal advisor focusing on corporate law, commercial litigation, and arbitration
  • She successfully built significant projects, including the construction of multiple expressways, flyovers and bridges journalist Zainab Iwayemi has over three years of experience covering the Economy, Technology, and Capital Market.

Renowned Nigerian banker Herbert Wigwe tragically died in a helicopter crash in the United States on February 9, 2024, along with his wife, son, and former Nigeria Stock Exchange president Abimbola Ogunbanjo.

While Herbert Wigwe has been in the news for his impact on the financial industry, little is known about his wife, Chizoba Wigwe, who owns Craneburg Construction.

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Chizoba Wigwe, wife of Herbert Wigwe, built one of Nigeria’s largest construction company
Craneburg Construction was established by Chizoba Wigwe in 2016. Photo Credit: Herbert Wigwe
Source: UGC

Craneburg Construction was established by the late Mrs Wigwe in 2016 to offer diversified services to private clients and public agencies in Nigeria.

What Chizoba Wigwe did before building Craneburg

Before Craneburg, Chizoba worked as an advisor in the legal area for a while, focusing on corporate law, commercial litigation, and arbitration.

She received a master's degree in international law from the University of London and later served on the legal board of Access Bank.

Chizoba was a creative and business-minded law practitioner. Embodying concepts, she took a significant step into the business world when she founded Craneburg Construction, a firm specialising in building and civil construction with offices in Ikoyi, Lagos, Nigeria.

The business expanded rapidly in a few years, successfully completing numerous large-scale projects nationwide.

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Ijeoma Nwogwugwu, former managing director of Arise TV and editor at This Day newspaper, wrote in a tribute to the late Chizoba Wigwe:

“Just a few of us knew that Craneburg Construction Company was your baby. You would regale me with stories about the size of the contracts your company was taking on, and I was amazed at your trips all over the country, executing and monitoring road, infrastructure and building projects.”

Over 7,000 jobs created by Craneburg

With over 7,000 jobs created across critical industries, Craneburg Construction takes pride in being one of Nigeria's most extensive and diverse private construction groups.

The corporation has led the construction of multiple skyscrapers, expressways, and bridges.

One such project was the Wigwe home, a billion-dollar structure built almost two years ago on Queens Drive in Ikoyi.

Reportedly, the Wigwes used the best materials possible, 80% of which were imported, to build the estate as a family home and retirement residence.

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Notable projects at Craneburg

Providing further insights into the activities of the company, Nwogwugwu wrote in her tribute:

“It was your construction firm that built the highways, bridges and toll plaza from Lekki Phase II to and within Epe town, making the journey to Ijebu Ode in Ogun State less arduous. It was your construction firm that built roads and flyovers in Ondo, Imo, Adamawa, Ogun, Bauchi, Gombe and other states.
"You took on airport construction projects, oil and gas, and marine projects like fish to water. Today, Craneburg is one of Nigeria’s largest, diversified construction groups that employs 7,000 people working across all major sectors of the economy.”

In addition, Craneburg has worked on several significant projects, such as the Epe phase 1 project in 2017, which includes managing the renovation and restoration of Professor Agbalajobi's, Lagos Road's, and Oloja Estate's roads.

The Yaba and Abule-Egba flyovers in Lagos, the 12.6 km bypass road in Okitipupa, Ondo state, and the Badeku interchange along the Ife-Ibadan expressway are just a few of the road projects in which Craneburg has been involved.

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Others are the Ijebu Ode interchange flyover and the reconstruction of the Ijebu Ode-Epe Expressway with a flyover in Ogun State.

The 49.5-kilometer Lekki-Epe Expressway renovation project is the most current and is anticipated to be finished in January of this year.

Craneburg did not only engage in road construction but also played a role in erecting notable structures.

These include the distinctive bright blue Number One Lagos building (formerly known as IMB Plaza) situated in the Victoria Island neighbourhood of Lagos, the Access Bank branch in Apapa, and the runways at both the Anambra and Ogun airports.

Businesses owned by Herbert Wigwe earlier spotlighted businesses owned by the late Herbert Wigwe. Using calculated acquisitions and collaborations, he converted Access Bank Plc into Access Holdings, which is currently the biggest lender in Nigeria in terms of assets.

Wigwe started his career at Coopers & Lybrand Associates and managed various portfolios for over ten years at Guaranty Trust Bank Plc.

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He bought Access Bank in 2002 along with business partner Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede.


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