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For Engineer James Umbugadu Enwongulu Nasawara Eggon, Nasarawa state, there should be no end to the level of innovation one can embark on especially in Africa.
The 31-year-old graduate of Ahmed Bello University, Zaria recently built motorbike from locally sourced materials.
In an exclusive chat with WITHIN NIGERIA reporter the budding Engineer bared his soul on his reasons for the innovation.
In the beginning
My name is James Umbugadu Enwongulu from Nasawara Eggon, Nasarawa state. I was born 15/11/1991.After my secondary school in 2009, I got admission to study in the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria in 2011 and graduated 2018 from the department of mechanical Engineering.
I did my National youth service corps (NYSC) in grand ceareals Jos within 2018-2019. Now I am an assistant Lecturer with the Isa Mustapha Agwai Polytechnic Lafia, Nasawara state.
Why I built the motorbike
By and large, I decided to build the motorcycle when I realized I can no longer afford transportation as before and because I also love to try new ideas. So, the idea came when I looked at my mum’s bicycle and then I thought I can buy an engine and fit into it to turn it into a motorcycle because buying a motorcycle is very expensive too.
How long/much it took me to build the motorbike
To build this bike it took me less than one week but with the assembly, it took more than a month. I can not precisely say the amount I spent during the cause of production because I had some losses and I had to also learn through the process in which I acquire more experiences and incurred more expenses.
I got most of my materials from scrap yard, scrap motorcycle, spare motorcycle parts and from china.
Is this not copy work?
Most importantly I took note of the criticism levelled against me for allegedly copying what is already in existence, and made it better. So far I think my work is appreciated but I’m sure I cant please everyone.
How does the motorbike work?
It is no longer a bicycle because it doesn’t have pedals instead a petrol engine. So, it uses an internal combustion engine and it has four gears, a disk breaking system at the front wheel and a drum break at the back wheel. Both brakes are hand controlled as in a bicycle. I named it spiritual because it is a product of spiritual imagination.
Criticism of the product
It is easy to make some unpleasant comments because it was not imported rather is built here in Nigeria. Secondly, there is nothing like copying in engineering developments as every product is unique in its own way from materials to design , build quality and durability, functionality and so on. Honda and Toyota may look similar but they are different.
Therefore, my motorcycle is a product of my own idea and design. I didn’t copy anyone and as a matter of fact I have about 3 other models of similar bicycle style motorcycle pending far more unique than this to be produced. So I don’t feel deterred by what some people say.
What I will do differently if I have opportunity to be in government
If I am to become the minister of science and technology or anything as far as Science and Technology is concerned, I will focus on talent hunting so as to pick the best brains in the country in various aspects of science and technology.
I will focus on automotive technology, information and communication technology ,mining technology, marine technology and so on.
Putting heads together with a good management will certainly yield good results. The ministry of Science and technology I believe is broad enough to possibly affect every other ministry and the entire country through technology.
Do I have any other inventions?
Yes I have some other inventions. They are confidential for now. Letting the cat out of the bag at this stage is not necessarily important.
Why Nigeria is lagging behind in area of Science and Technology
There is no gainsaying the fact that Nigeria is seriously lagging behind in the area of Science and Technology.
However, this is hugely caused by the fact that we simply believe in buying foreign products rather than our indigenous products. We don’t encourage ourselves knowing full well that we can do it even better.
We don’t support ourselves to inventions. It may not always be to finance but to access to some research facilities. Another reason is that we are lazy to learn and try out new things.
Most times we want to have what we didn’t work for, and such is bad. Lastly, we don’t have a conducive environment, though availability of electricity is becoming a thing of the past but the cost of electricity has now become the issue and the cost of materials and consumables used for research has now gone so high and as a matter of facts most times you will incur wastages during experiments.
I want to encourage the youths not to give up the struggle especially those of us who are trying to be creative. We are the ones to make this country better. We can work hard to make it easy for our government and lastly we need to be patient.