Chizoba Wigwe

Inspiring Story Of How Chizoba Wigwe Built One Of Nigeria’s Leading Construction Companies

The story of how late Chizoba Wigwe built Craneburg, a leading construction company in Nigeria.

Not many knew a lot about Chizoba Wigwe before her heart-wrenching death alongside her husband, Herbert, and their son, Chizi, in a helicopter crash.

She was born into the family of the late Chief Cyprian Chukwuemeka Nwuba, who worked for Shell Petroleum Development Company, where he rose to the position of African Financial Controller, before transferring to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, where he was the Group General Manager, Finance and Accounts, before his retirement.

Besides being a wife and a mother of four children, Chizi, Tochi, Hannah, and David, Chizoba was a lawyer and entrepreneur. Chizoba, who had a master’s degree in international law from the University of London, had worked as an advisor in the legal sector with a special focus on corporate law, commercial litigation, and arbitration. She once served on the legal board of Access Bank.

She was also the founder of Craneburg Construction Company, a foremost multinational civil and building construction company situated in Ikoyi, Lagos, Nigeria.

Craneburg currently employs 7,000 people and is said to be one of Nigeria’s largest and most diversified construction groups.

Her friend, Ijeoma Nwogwugwu, former managing director, of Arise TV, and editor at THISDAY newspaper, reiterated this in an emotionally charged tribute to her.

She wrote:

I recall when you ventured into the construction industry. Just a few of us knew that Craneburg Construction Company was your baby. You would regale me with stories about 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. You would sometimes call me from Bauchi or Sokoto State and I would ask, “Chiz Baby, what on earth are you doing there?” You would always respond with your trademark laughter, “Ijeoma, I am working.”

It was your construction firm that built the highways, bridges and toll plaza from Lekki Phase II all the way 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. When you were not travelling around Nigeria, you would take off to China or Hong Kong to import all sort of things that you sold. No enterprise was too big or too small for you to handle. You revelled in it like very few people could.

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