House Urges FG to Fund Institutions for Electric, Solar Car Production

Juliet Akoje, Abuja

The House of Representatives has urged the federal government to adequately fund institutions involved in research in the production of electric and solar cars.

It also 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.

The House consequently mandated its 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 Nigeria’s tertiary institutions with the intent to improve the automobile industry.

These resolutions followed the adoption of a motion on the need to Increase Funding for Innovation and Technology in Tertiary Education in Nigeria raised by Hon. Babajimi Benson, during the plenary session yesterday.

Benson noted that the Faculty of Engineering, University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) recently unveiled its first five–seater electric car, Christened Lion Ozumba 551.

“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–kilometer distance when fully charged,” he said.

He revealed 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.

“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.

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

“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.

“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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