The director -general of the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), Mr Jelani Aliyu, has applauded the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, for producing the first electric car in the country.

Aliyu, represented by Mr David Oyetunji, director of finance and accounts in NADDC, spoke in Nsukka on Monday during the unveiling of a five-seater electric car named “Lion Ozumba 551″ produced by the Faculty of Engineering of the university.

He urged other universities in the country to emulate UNN by giving serious attention to issues concerning innovations and technology in order to move the country to greater height.

The electric car was driven round the UNN campus to the applause of many staff and students. Mr Ozoemena Ani, from the Faculty of Engineering, who was the coordinator of the UNN Metetronic group, the team that produced the Lion Electric Car, said the car was produced with 80% local content materials. Ani said the car could be charged in any electric socket and when fully charged would go a distance of 30 kilometres before it can be recharged . He  noted that “it cost us N800,000 to produce the car.”

“NADDC on February 6, 2019, invited UNN, University of Lagos, Usuman Danfodo University and Meteorological Institute and urged them to prepare a paper design on how to produce an electric car in the country. The council is happy that UNN is the first to prepare a paper design and produced an electric car that has been unveiled and test-run in the university,” Aliyu said. “We urge other universities and higher institutions in the country to emulate the innovation and technology spirit of UNN.”

Aliyusaid improving on the automobile industry in the country would help create more jobs as well as reduce huge amounts of money used in importing cars into the country.

“We commended UNN which recently produced the first gasification plant that used organic waste to generate electricity and today the same university is unveiling the first electric car built in the country,” the Dg said.

New vice-chancellor of UNN Professor Charles Igwe excitedly said his administration would continue to give innovation and technology the highest attention in order to move the university forward.

 Igwe expressed appreciation to the immediate past vice-chancellor of UNN, Prof. Benjamin Ozumba, who he said laid the foundation of innovation and technology in the university.  “I feel happy that I inherited a strong institution from Ozumba and I promised to consolidate on his numerous achievements.  I commend the engineering faculty for making the university proud as well as naming the car after Ozumba who ignited the fire of innovation and technology in the university. I also commend NADDC for its encouragement as well as for giving UNN a chance to show its potential.”

Prof. Ozumba said he was overwhelmed when he received invitation to come and witness the unveiling of the electric car which was initiated by his administration. “When I came on board I said we needed innovation and technology to be at par with China, U.S., Sweden and other developed countries of the world. That was why I provided the resources and encouragement for innovations and technology because I believe that is one of the ways we can improve our country’s economy. It is my desire to improve the economy of UNN , the economy of Nigeria as well as increase the country’s foreign exchange,” he said.


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