JUST IN: Legacy of 2 Giants – Herbert Wigwe and Tayo Aderinokun

Reflecting on the moving tributes to Herbert Wigwe for the past 3 days, a financial titan of our time, I am compelled to share the extraordinary journey of Wigwe and his mentor, Tayo Aderinokun of GTBank, who we sadly lost to cancer in 2011<<<READ FULL ARTICLE>>>

In the dynamic world of Nigeria’s banking sector, Herbert Wigwe and Tayo Aderinokun stood as pillars of innovation and unwavering integrity. Wigwe, with his calm demeanour and incisive intellect, was profoundly shaped by Aderinokun’s mentorship (He worked with Aderinokun at GTBank), a leader known for his charisma and visionary foresight, guided their shared mission to revolutionise Nigerian banking. Together, they were instrumental in elevating Access Bank and GTBank into bastions of excellence and trust.

Their aspirations reached beyond the confines of finance. Both harboured a common dream to transform Nigeria’s educational landscape. Wigwe’s creation of Wigwe University aimed to rival the finest global institutions, blending state-of-the-art facilities with a pioneering curriculum. Aderinokun’s legacy, Day Waterman College, a coeducational all-boarding school, emerged as a standard-bearer in Nigerian education, rivalling prestigious boarding schools like Harrow and Wellington.

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The passing of these luminaries was not just a loss of two outstanding bankers but of visionaries who dared to dream of a brighter Nigeria. The future of Wigwe University, a testament to Herbert’s vision, now hangs in a delicate balance. It is our collective hope that this dream of an Ivy League-caliber university will not be buried with its founder.

Day Waterman College experienced its share of challenges following Aderinokun’s demise in 2011. The departure of highly qualified teachers he had personally recruited impacted the school’s growth. Nevertheless, the tireless efforts of Tayo’s wife and associates have kept the school thriving, cultivating many successful students.

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The looming inauguration of Wigwe University this September underscores the profound impact of these leaders. The bereavement experienced by Wigwe’s family, colleagues, and the wider community highlights the immense void left by a man revered for his integrity and leadership.

As we remember Aderinokun, we recall the transformative opportunities his vision for Day Waterman College provided for its scholarship students. Their narratives interweave, painting a vivid tapestry of loss, gratitude, and the indelible impact of Wigwe and Aderinokun’s ambitions.

Their untimely departures have left deep voids, but in this moment of sorrow, we are buoyed by the strength of their legacies. Their dreams, embodied in the educational institutions they founded, continue to kindle inspiration and hope.

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Their lives were a mirror reflecting Nigeria’s societal and economic aspirations. They were more than successful bankers; they were compassionate, fearless leaders, motivated by a vision far beyond material wealth. Herbert, known for his fearlessness, and Tayo, often referred to as the ‘elephant of the boardroom,’ have left an enduring legacy.

We must ensure that Wigwe University flourishes as Herbert dreamed, and Day Waterman College continues to be a benchmark of educational excellence. As we mourn, let us honour their memory by upholding their vision, a vision for a thriving Nigeria anchored in education and integrity.

May their souls find eternal peace, and may their dreams live on through our efforts<<<READ FULL ARTICLE>>>