By David Onwuchekwa Nnewi
The Faculty of Physical Sciences, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University (COOU), Uli, Anambra State, in its monthly brainstorming series “Distinguished Lecture Program”, exposed the position of the automotive industry in the state .
The program with the topic of the lecture, “Towards Reinventing Anambra State’s Leadership Position in Nigeria’s Automotive Industry: Tasks and Goals for Indigenous Scientists, eminent scholars present from the University and other industry participants.
Acting Dean of the Faculty of Physical Sciences and Program Leader, Professor Kingsley Nwozor, said in his address that the focus this time has been on industry, which has prompted the faculty to bring together people- resources from academia and industry.
He said it was the duty of academics and industry operators to help the state government under the leadership of Governor Charles Soludo achieve what was projected as the state’s status in matters of industrial development by 2030 and beyond.
Professor Nwozor argued that the university should recharge the industrial sector through research that can solve the problems of industry to achieve what the state wants.
To the students present at the program, Professor Nwozor told them to engage the industry operators at the right time to learn entrepreneurial skills. He made them understand that entrepreneurs never look for jobs.
Nwozor, who represented the university’s vice-chancellor as well as the main event host, Professor Greg Nwakoby, said many of Anambra’s contractors were in auto repair, component manufacturing and equipment. other commitments in the auto industry while others were in auto parts. concession.
Apart from that, he said there are those who occupy the routes as carriers including carriers like GUO, Dandollars, De Young, Chisco among others. He judged Anambra as a state that was doing very well in the automotive sector.
“But for us, as a university, we are in research and studies. We take our time to look at these things and realize that we need to re-engage society.
“We have to question the economic system, we have to recharge the framework, we have to build up a formidable work force for the university for economic and scientific benefits.
“If you look around you will see that there seems to be a disconnect between academia and industry. We do research at the university that can really solve industry problems.
“If students decide to engage in research to solve parts of the problem in industry, there is no way to do research without engaging with those who operate in industry, be it as an intern, employee or otherwise,” he said.
He said researchers at the university have focused their research efforts on how to solve youth unemployment as a social problem.
Another speaker, Professor Philip Atanmo thanked the faculty for initiating the monthly lectures. He regretted that the efforts made by COOU engineering products in foreign competitions successfully have not been appreciated by the federal government in the field of funding to consolidate the efforts.
“We have the zeal, the intelligence, the will but the country lacks the will. We beat the Germans, the Americans and the English but were not funded by the federal government which called us a “state university”. He urged students to believe in themselves.
One of the Resource Persons and Managing Director, Chairman and CEO of Global Sky Industries Ltd, Ogidi, Mr. Oliver Ikwueto in his presentation named some of the challenges that have continued to stand in the way of the growth of the automotive industry, including weak government and the general public. sponsorship of local automobile products.
Mr. Ikwueto, after dwelling at length on the history of the automotive industry in Nigeria and Anambra in particular, also said that low capacity utilization and high rate of corruption among government officials were some of the factors that inhibited growth.
“Poor perception of locally made auto products, high cost of production, inconsistency of tariff policy and insufficient government protection policy as well as inadequate funding are some of the major issues hindering the growth of the automobile industry.
“Again, the massive importation of vehicles from overseas, the shortage of local supporting industries that lead to a shortage of local raw materials should not be overlooked,” Ikwueto said.
Another resource person, Mr. Ekweozoh Michael spoke about the achievements of the Nuta Bolts Racing Team of the COOU and the breakthroughs in racing car production that had taken the team off the shores of Nigeria. He cited insufficient funding as one of the major issues with the team’s exits.
Highlights of Mr. Michael’s presentation was a review of their previous appearance in domestic and overseas competitions. He also explained the team’s many wins between 2028 and 2020.
A group photo of speakers and program participants.