A cross section of Nigerians believe that the breakthrough by the Engineering Department of the University of Nigeria Nsukka, UNN, can best be harnessed if the University will partner with Innoson Motors, who are already in the process of indigenous manufacturing of a local brand, the IVM series.
It will be recalled that the University, in response to a request by the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDCD), manufactured a 5- seater Electric Car named’ Lion Ozumba 551″ . UNN was one of the Universities mandated by the Council to manufacture an electric Car. Others are University of Lagos, Usuman Danfodo University and Matrological Institute representing the three major zones-North, East and West. UNN was the first to actualise the mandate.
According to the University, the car can travel 30 kilometers when fully charged.
“We used 80 per cent local material content in building this electric car”,
said Mr Ozoemena Ani, from faculty of engineering who coordinated the UNN Metetronic team that produced the Lion Electric Car. “It cost us N800,000 to produce the car. When the car is fully charged it will go up to 30 kilometers before it can be recharged.”
But Nigerians talked to by this magazine said” the dream must not be allowed to die like other dreams that were aborted, suggesting that the University partner with Innoson Motors.
“If the government will allow it to happen, let them partner with Innoson. Innoson is already a pioneers in that business”, a banker who did not want his name in print said.
That was the general sentiment of those talked to.
Innoson is the only indigenous car manufacturer in Nigeria. Instead of Government has, ,however, been making frantic efforts to partner with foreign car producers to site their plants in Nigeria.
Currently, Innoson supplies vehicles to some state governments, and has an understanding with the Nigerian Airforce for local maintenance of military jets.