***Tasks FG on adequate funding of research into production of electric, solar cars

The House of Representatives on Tuesday unveiled plans to engage stakeholders with a view to designing a 10–year Action Plan to improve the automotive industry in the country.

The resolution was passed sequel to the adoption of a motion on the ‘Need to increase funding for Innovation and Technology in Tertiary Education in Nigeria,’ sponsored by Chairman, House Committee on Defence, Hon. Babajimi Benson.

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

According to the Lawnmaker,,*The House also noted that the car, which is said to be part of the drive to accord innovation and technology attention in the institution was made with 80 percent locally–sourced materials and can cover a 30–kilometer distance when fully charged.

“The House is aware 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;
Cognizant that given 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.

“The House is also cognizant that tertiary institutions are essential for the discovery, proper dissemination and application of knowledge and countries that prioritize research are usually more equipped to deal with new challenges and technological advances.

“The House appreciates 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.

“The House believes that 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,” he stressed.

The lawmakers, who stressed the need to ensure value for money, urged Federal Government to adequately fund Institutions involved in research in the production of electric and solar cars.

In the bid to improve the productivity level of the industry, the lawmakers urged 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.

To this end, the House mandated the joint 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.

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