Why FUTO Car Is Yet To hit Auto Market —VCLatest News, News From The State Friday, October 10th, 2014
From IGNATIUS OKPARA, Owerri,
Vice Chancellor (VC) of the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, FUTO, Prof. Chigozie Asiabaka, has explained why the car being manufactured by the institution is yet to hit the automobile markets.
African Examiner recalled that the university boss, had about four months ago disclosed that FUTO, as a foremost university of technology in Nigeria, had lived up to its billing by commencing automobile manufacturing, named A-car.
He had also said the university entered into partnership with the Technical University, Munich, Germany and the Imo State Polytechnic, Umuagwo to develop the vehicle for the purpose of solving the automobile needs of Nigerians in particular and other African countries.
However, speaking with journalists in Owerri, Asiabaka hinted that the university only produced the prototype of A-Car (Afri-Car) and that the project required some funding to be fully realised.
“Nothing is holding it. You see, if you look at the process of development, it’s just you do research, you come to prototype and when you do the prototype, you start looking for commercialisation and funding.
“You know that the task of making a car is over 250 several parts. So you can’t just do it alone. What we are doing is once we’ve done the prototype, we are looking for funding on how to improve and how to make it be on the road”, he said,
On why FUTO went into manufacturing of an automobile, the VC explained that the university thought of a vehicle that would be environmentally-friendly and cheaper for people to be able to buy.”
“Because we can’t compare with Mercedes or BMW but we need to have a car that can be affordable to the generality of the country”.
Asiabaka, who commended the federal government for remaining consistent in funding the numerous universities and tertiary institutions in the country, urged the government to challenge the university and others like it to perform their duties.
According to him, FUTO and some other institutions of higher learning in the country had all it takes to be at par with other universities in the developed countries of the world, but “What we are challenging government is to start what other governments do—challenge the university. A technological university is there to solve technological problems of the country.
“In FUTO, our mandate is research in S&T. That is, Science and Technology. Because the founding fathers have known that there are several conventional universities, and they know that for the country to move forward, technological advancement in science and engineering is paramount. That’s why 34 years ago, the federal government established university of technology with FUTO as the premier one and we have not disappointed”.
He also lauded the educational development of the country in the last few years, saying that the nation had a great potential to compare with other nations of the world in the next few years.
This, he said, is because “We have what it takes. We have over 120 universities in Nigeria. Nigeria should be education hub of Africa, where people can come and exchange ideas. This is because no country in Africa has up to 10 universities. Even Ghana doesn’t have what we have”
” So we are a great potential, a great nation. Like I said, FUTO is a brand name. The same way I believe Nigeria is a brand name” he stated
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