David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka
National Engineering Design Development Institute (NEDDI) has said it is set to launch a exclusively made-in-Nigeria executive model of tricycle, popularly known as Keke NAPEP.
The Executive Director of the Institute, Chidi Chukwudubem, who disclosed this in Nnewi thursday, said the executive tricycle would be fitted with special features to guarantee comfort and durability.
He said unlike the conventional tricycles, the NEDDI executive tricycle would be fitted with doors, air-conditioner, soft and comfortable seats as well as metal body instead of the regular tarpaulin cover.
Chukwudubem stated this at a ceremony for the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Anambra State Government and some mechanical/engineering/computer engineering services training institutions on information technology in the state.
He said NEDDI commenced work on the project about a year ago when the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, urged them to go ahead after seeing other bikes produced by the institute.
The executive director said the tricycle has reached above 70 percent production level, and would have participated in the on-going national fair, but for lack of funds.
â€œSo it would be ready to hit the road and markets within the next one to two weeks,â€ he admitted.
Chukwudubem disclosed that NEDDI has other projects it had also delivered, including its made-in-Nigeria passenger and cargo-carrying tricycles tagged â€˜NASENI M1 and NASENI M2â€™ respectively.
He said their products have so far been known to record over 70 percent local content and has attracted international applause and orders.
The director however regretted that lack of funding has remained NEDDIâ€™s biggest challenge, and that they were ready to go into partnership with interested manufacturers for mass production.