Only recently President Goodluck Jonathan inaugurated the National Space Council and entrusted it to make Nigeria produce motor vehicles, boats and aircrafts in short notice. This Tuesday, the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) presented the first exclusively Nigerian motorcycle, NASENI M1, in Nnewi, Anambra State.
The 80C engine motorcycle was designed and manufactured by the National Engineering Design and Development Institute (Nnewi), a subsidiary of NASENI.
Speaking at the launching in Anambra State, the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the agency, Dr.Mohammed Haruna, said the made-in-Nigeria motorcycle was proof of the potential capability of the agency to provide necessary engineering and technology infrastructure for Nigeria's industrial development.
The EVC explained, "The Federal Government, which the Agency is part of, has promised Nigerians a better socio-economic deal by year 2020 even as Mr.President has also committed the government to elevate the economic status of Nigeria to be among the 20 fastest growing economies in the world by 2020."
Dr.Mohammed Haruna remarked, "Nigerians must demonstrate real capacities for engineering technology development and production of manufactured goods and a service, saying that is why NASENI had taken this bold step to demonstrate to Nigerians that Mr.President's dream is both realizable and is even being realized."
He called on the federal government to ban the importation of motorcycles: "NASENI is angry that all these things are continuously being imported when we have the capacity to produce them locally. We are urging government to ban the importation of these items and we assure government that with the needed financial support, NASENI can do even better than what is being imported.
"The motorcycles produced here have local components. The plastics and iron used were produced by other institutes of NASENI. The ductile iron that is used was produced by our institute in Akure. The plastic components of it are also partially produced by our institute in Okene and also by a private company here in Nnewi. The electrical aspect of it was produced by Cutix Nigeria PLC in Nnewi."
"About 20 million Nigerians today rely on motorcycles as a means of transport and many unemployed youths and men support their families or earn a living from running motorcycle as a commercial venture. Imagine the large number of jobs that will be created if only Nigeria could close her borders against the importation of motorcycles and allow entrepreneurs to invest in the manufacturing of the parts including production of the motorcycle locally.