Nigeria’s lower legislative arm, the House of Representatives has mandated it Committees on Tertiary Education and Services, Land Transport, Environment and Science and Technology to engage stakeholders to design a 10–Year Action Plan to improve the research capabilities of the country’s tertiary institutions with the intent to improve the automobile industry.

This is part of resolutions reached following the adoption of a motion moved by Hon. Babajimi Benson, wherein he noted that the Faculty of Engineering, University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) recently unveiled its first five-seater electric car, Christened “Lion Ozumba 551.”

Lion Ozumba 55, a five-seater Electric Car, produced by the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN)

The legislators noted that it was time for the Federal Government of Nigeria to adequately fund Institutions involved in research in the production of electric and solar cars in the country.

Consequently, they have urged the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC) to design a workable plan on how to produce electric cars in commercial quantities in Nigeria, using homegrown human capital.

Benson noted that “the car, which is said to be part of the drive to accord innovation and technology attention in

the institution was made with 80 per cent locally–sourced materials and can cover a 30–kilometre distance when fully charged.”

He disclosed that “in 2014, an undergraduate of the Faculty of Engineering, Obafemi Awolowo University, Segun Oyeyiola converted a Volkswagen Beetle into the wind and solar-powered car.”

A solar-powered car produced by an indigenous innovator

“…given the wanton environmental pollution and renewed campaign for a greener source of energy and transportation, any vehicle that is environmentally friendly and doesn’t emit toxic gasses should be encouraged.”

He said tertiary institutions are essential for the discovery, proper dissemination and application of knowledge and countries that prioritize research “are usually more equipped to deal with new challenges and technological advances.”

The lawmaker appreciates the tenacity of tertiary institutions in Nigeria and “high flying students who have, against all odds, continued to push the limits to ensure Nigeria competes favourably with other developed economies.”

He believes that “research is essential to economic and sustainable development and if tertiary institutions in the country are adequately funded, it could result in an industrial revolution for the country.”

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