Dr. Ezekiel Izuogu of Akokwa
Nigerians are mourning the loss of life of famend scientist and inventor, Dr. Ezekiel Izuogu of Akokwa clan in Ideato North Native Authorities Space of Imo State.
The African foremost automobile inventor and producer died on Saturday after a quick sickness.
Earlier than his loss of life, Izuogu as soon as contested for Imo Governorship Election. He was a BoT member of the All Progressives Occasion (APC).
In 1997, the sensible lecturer on the Federal polytechnic Nekede designed and developed the Izuogu Z-600, the primary African indigenous manufactured automobile.
The automobile was described by the BBC as “the African dream machine as 90% of its elements had been sourced regionally. At a projected gross sales value of $2000, it might have taken the world by storm and change into the most cost effective and most inexpensive automobile on earth.
“With mass manufacturing deliberate beneath Izogu Motors plant in Naze Owerri, the prospects of an industrial revolution in Igbo land and Nigeria, was within the making.”
The automobile was outfitted with a self-made 1.8L 4 cylinder engine that obtained 18mpg and allowed the automobile to realize a high velocity of 140 km/h.
Entrance Wheel Drive (FWD) was chosen over Rear Wheel Drive (RWD) as a result of a transmission tunnel, which RWD would require, could be costlier to manufacture.
The late Common Sani Abacha arrange a 12 -man panel of inquiry made up of execs to establish the highway worthiness and authenticity of the automobile.
After a number of days of probing, the committee gave Izuogu’s automobile a clear invoice of well being, recommending a few of the bumps on the physique of the automobile be smoothened.
It’s worthy to notice this was 5 years earlier than India constructed its first automobile often known as the Indi.
At a well- organised unveiling ceremony, which had Common Abacha represented by Oladipo Diya, over 20 overseas ambassadors and hundreds in attendance, the Federal Authorities promised a grant of N235 million to Dr. Izuogu.
An excited Izuogu waited for the grant until he died.
In 2006, South Africa invited Dr. Izuogu for a presentation on the automobile within the presence of a number of world class engineers.
The nation invited the inventor to arrange a plant in South Africa and start the manufacturing of the automobile.
Izuogu reluctantly agreed, although he wasn’t blissful advantages of employment era might be misplaced on the locals of Naze and human assets setting.
On March 11, 2006, at about 2.00 am, twelve closely armed males broke into Izuogu’s manufacturing unit in Naze, Owerri North LGA and carted away varied machines and instruments together with the design historical past pocket book of Z-600, the design file Z-MASS, containing the design historical past for mass manufacturing of Z-600 automobile and mold for varied elements of the automobile.
He mentioned: “Plainly the goal of this theft is to cease the efforts we’re making to mass-produce the primary ever regionally made automobile in Africa.
“Different objects stolen included regionally produced timing wheel, regionally produced camshaft, regionally produced crankshaft, regionally produced engine tappets, all 20 items every.
“Additionally stolen had been ten items of regionally produced Z-600 engine blocks, ten items of regionally produced pistons, 4 items of engine block mounds, 4 items of high engine block moulds, ten items of engine fly wheel and two items every of rear automobile and entrance mudguard moulds.”
The inventor regretted not solely did he lose over one N1 billion but additionally a couple of decade of time and power it took to design and produce the moulds.
He regarded the incident as a nationwide financial catastrophe, stating Nigeria had misplaced a technological and mental property.
The setback and governmental angle annoyed Izuogu and his dream died.
President Muhammed Buhari by means of Femi Adesina, his media and publicity aide, additionally mourned the nice icon as a “trail-blazing innovator, a well-respected tutorial and gifted engineer” as he requested God to grants his son an everlasting relaxation.
The president additionally mentioned that the person was additionally a vital political determine other than the nice innovation with a recognisable management within the nation’s political panorama.