Automotive industry

Representatives ponder a 10-year action plan for the auto industry

The House of Representatives on Tuesday unveiled plans to engage stakeholders to design a 10-year action plan to improve the auto industry in the country.

The resolution was passed following the passage of a motion on the “need to increase funding for innovation and technology in higher education in Nigeria”, sponsored by the chairman of the committee of the Defense of the House, Hon. Babajimi Benson.

In his main debate, the Hon. Benson applauded the Faculty of Engineering, University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) which recently unveiled its first five-seater electric car, dubbed the Lion Ozumba 551.

“The Chamber also notes that the car, which would be part of the desire to pay attention to innovation and technology in the institution, was made with 80% locally sourced materials and can travel a distance 30 kilometers when fully charged.

“The House is aware that in 2014, an undergraduate student from Obafemi Awolowo University Faculty of Engineering, Segun Oyeyiola converted a Volkswagen Beetle into a wind and solar powered car; Knowing that given the gratuitous pollution of the environment and the renewed campaign for a greener source of energy and transport, any vehicle that is environmentally friendly and does not emit toxic gases should
be encouraged.

“The House is also aware that higher education institutions are essential for the appropriate discovery, dissemination and application of knowledge and that countries that prioritize research are generally better equipped to deal with new challenges and technological advances.

“The Chamber appreciates the tenacity of Nigeria’s tertiary institutions and top-flight students who have, against all odds, continued to push the envelope to ensure that Nigeria competes favorably with other developed economies.

“The Chamber believes that research is essential for economic and sustainable development and if the country’s higher education institutions are adequately funded, it could lead to an industrial revolution for the country,” he said.

Lawmakers, who stressed the need to ensure value for money, urged the federal government to adequately fund institutions involved in research into the production of electric and solar cars.

In a bid to improve the productivity level of the industry, lawmakers have urged the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC) to come up with a workable plan on how to produce electric cars in commercial quantities in Nigeria, using local human capital.

To this end, the Chamber has mandated the Joint Committees on Higher Education and Services, Ground Transportation, Environment, and Science and Technology to engage stakeholders in designing a ten-year action plan to improve the research capabilities of tertiary institutions in Nigeria with the aim of improving the automotive industry.

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