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Barely six months after the Director General, National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), Mr. Jelani Aliyu, challenged five Nigerian ranking institutions to make proposals on how to produce electric cars in the country, University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) has unveiled its product; a five-seater electric car branded ‘Lion Ozumba 551’.
Coordinator of UNN Medtronic team that produced the car, Ozoemena Ani, revealed that it was produced with 80 per cent local materials, adding that it would go 30 kilometres when fully charged.
Other tertiary institutions commissioned by NADDC to come up with the innovation are University of Lagos (UNILAG), Usman Danfolio University, Sokoto (UDUSOK) and the Metrological Institute.
Address the crowd during the unveiling of Lion Ozumba 551 at Nsukka, Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Charles Igwe, said the car was part of the drive to accord innovation and technology the highest attention to reposition the institution for greater heights and hailed the immediate past Vice Chancellor, Professor Benjamin Ozumba, for laying the foundation for the innovation and technology upon which the car dream was produced.
Continuing, he averred that “I inherited a strong institution from Ozumba and I promise to consolidate on his achievements by taking the innovation to the next level”.
In his remarks while unveiling the car, Aliyu, commended the University for coming first in record time and urged other institutions in the country to give priority to technology and innovation.
Represented by David Oyetunji, Director of Finance and Accounts, Aliyu noted improving on the automobile industry in the country would help create more employment and reduce huge amount of money used in importing cars into the country.
Besides, he also commended UNN for the rare feat in the recent production of the gasification plant that uses organic waste to generate electricity.
Earlier in his excitement-laden remarks, the former VC of UNN, who pioneered the innovation, Prof Ozumba expressed his happiness for being invited to witness the unveiling of the electric car, which was initiated under his administration.
He said “When I came on board, I said we need innovation and technology to be at par with China, United States, Sweden and other developed countries of the world.
“That was why I provided the resources and encouragement for innovation and technology, because I believe that is one of the ways we can improve our country’s economy.
“It was part of my desire to improve UNN’s and Nigeria’s economy and boost the country’s foreign exchange earnings,” Prof Ozumba said.
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