September 17, 2021
HISTORY NEWS

Nigeria Mourns Death Of Popular Igbo Inventor Izuogu Who Built Z-600 Car In 1997 (Photo)

Nigerians are mourning the loss of life of famend scientist and inventor, Dr. Ezekiel Izuogu of Akokwa clan in Ideato North Local Government Area of Imo State. The African foremost car inventor and manufacturer died on Saturday after a brief illness. Before his death, Izuogu once contested for Imo Governorship Election.

He was a BoT member of the All Progressives Party (APC). In 1997, the sensible lecturer at the Federal polytechnic Nekede designed and developed the Izuogu Z-600, the first African indigenous manufactured car. The car was described by the BBC as “the African dream machine as 90% of its parts were sourced locally. At a projected sales cost of $2000, it would have taken the world by storm and become the cheapest and most affordable car on earth.“With mass production planned under Izogu Motors plant in Naze Owerri, the prospects of an industrial revolution in Igbo land and Nigeria, was in the making.” The automobile was outfitted with a self-made 1.8L four cylinder engine that bought 18mpg and allowed the automobile to attain a prime velocity of 140 km/h. Front 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 General Sani Abacha arrange a 12 -man panel of inquiry made up of execs to determine the road worthiness and authenticity of the automobile. After a number of days of probing, the committee gave Izuogu’s automobile a clear bill of well being, recommending a few of the bumps on the physique of the automobile be smoothened. It is worthy to notice this was 5 years earlier than India constructed its first automobile generally known as the Indi. At a well- organised unveiling ceremony, which had General Abacha represented by Oladipo Diya, over 20 overseas ambassadors and 1000’s in attendance, the Federal Government promised a grant of N235 million to Dr. Izuogu. An excited Izuogu waited for the grant until he died.

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In 2006, South Africa invited Dr. Izuogu for a presentation on the automobile within the presence of several 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 technology might be misplaced on the locals of Naze and human sources surroundings. On March 11, 2006, at about 2.00 am, twelve closely armed males broke into Izuogu’s manufacturing facility in Naze, Owerri North LGA and carted away numerous 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 numerous components of the automobile.

He stated: “It seems that the target of this robbery is to stop the efforts we are making to mass-produce the first ever locally made car in Africa.“Other items stolen included locally produced timing wheel, locally produced camshaft, locally produced crankshaft, locally produced engine tappets, all 20 pieces each.“Also stolen were ten pieces of locally produced Z-600 engine blocks, ten pieces of locally produced pistons, four pieces of engine block mounds, four pieces of top engine block moulds, ten pieces of engine fly wheel and two pieces each of rear car and front mudguard moulds.” The inventor regretted not solely did he lose over one N1 billion but in addition a few decade of time and vitality 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 perspective pissed off Izuogu and his dream died. President Muhammed Buhari by way of Femi Adesina, his media and publicity aide, additionally mourned the good icon as a “trail-blazing innovator, a well-respected academic and gifted engineer” as he requested God to grants his son an everlasting relaxation.

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The president additionally stated that the person was additionally a vital political determine aside from the good innovation with a recognisable management within the nation’s political panorama.

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