Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora, has expressed excitement over the establishment of an auto assembly plant in the University of Lagos by Nord Automobile Limited.
He commended the partnership between the University and Nord during the inauguration of the multi-purpose automobile complex in Lagos on Thursday, describing the initiative as “a demonstration of abundant innovative energy of the youths of this country.”
Mamora said the project was in line with the motive behind the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.)’s recently signed Executive Order 5, “which essentially has to do with indigenous components across all sectors of the economy. That is what we are putting into practice. And this project is part of that.”
Speaking on the drone technology, the minister said, “This is relevant in many areas even in the delivery of drugs and in the area of security. It can be used to gather information that will be needed to move forward.”
He promised the support of the ministry to ensure the sustainability of the venture, stressing that such a partnership was needed for the economic growth of the country.
Chief Executive of Nord, Oluwatobi Ajayi, said the new automobile complex, which he called “the end-to-end of automobile business,” comprised the Research & Development Centre, the manufacturing and assembling point, the showroom, and the after-sale centre.
He said, “Some of the things we intend to achieve here include to research and develop world-class auto technology. Research and development are the bedrock of advancement in technology. We need to take it seriously. This is better achieved in the university. And what better university can we have than UNILAG, right in the middle of town with brilliant students and lecturers and facilitators around here working with our team. This must be a marriage made in heaven.”
Ajayi explained that as a country with a large population and high gross domestic product, “we cannot continue to import what we use,” including vehicles.
The Nord CEO said, “We need to have a nationalistic view about things by being industrialised. Europe, United States and China have become powerful today because of their industrial powers. And the auto industry is the mother of all industries. It is the industry other industries thrive on.”
He thanked the UNILAG team for giving his company the opportunity to make the project a reality, adding that Nord offers lovely pick-ups, SUVs and cars at 60% price of the popular brands.