BY TONY EDIKE
ENUGU—THE Scientific Equipment Development Institute, SEDI, Akwuke, Enugu, has made a breakthrough into indigenous manufacture of a prime-mover, a machine which could be used by vulcanizers as a pressure pumping machine.
Chief Executive of the institute, Prof. Christian Nwajagu, who announced this while speaking with newsmen on the achievements of the institute which was set up by the Federal Government in 1987, said the equipment could also be relevant as a spraying machine for painting of motor vehicles, as well as water pumping machine for those who want to drill bore-hole.
He said manufacturing of the machine in large quantity could go a long way in saving Nigeria from huge importation of same equipment which had caused a lot of capital flight from the country over the years.
Explaining that the institute used what he described as “reverse engineering” or “copy technology”, in manufacturing the machine, Nwajagu noted that SEDI started nursing the idea of manufacturing the machine about three years ago after realising that same machine could serve dual purposes, and that the nation was spending lot of money importing it.
Upon realising the various uses of the machine and the fact that all the ones used in the country were imported, SEDI decided to get the imported one, dismantle it, studied all the components and began to manufacture each of the components locally, after acquiring the necessary technology used in producing them, the SEDI boss said.
“You can’t just achieve much if you don’t put in the correct equipment. You cannot do technology with bare hands. It takes time and money to develop the machines. It takes millions to achieve it. But if you begin to consider the huge sum involved, you may be discouraged,” Nwajagu added.
He stressed that until such a time the government would implement policies and create enabling environment for technology to blossom, the nation would continue to lag behind the rest of the world in terms of technological growth and development.
Nwajagu, a renowned Metallurgical engineer, said the institute has retrained about 300 graduate engineers to make them relevant in the society, stressing that the main reason the nations graduate engineers lag behind was that they were exposed to obsolete and bad equipment during their period of study in the nation’s tertiary institutions.
He therefore called on investors in the country to embraced some of SEDI’s new technological breakthrough, especially the reversed prime mover single cylinder machine capable of doing multiple jobs, saying if properly funded, the institute had the capacity of meeting the nation’s science equipment needs.
Nwajagu maintained that no nation of the globe “can develop without having the capacity of producing products locally especially in the area of science and technology which now rules the world, because no amount of workshops or seminars can do the magic since it is a practical thing”.
Insisting that Nigeria has qualified engineers that can turn the nation around technologically, the SEDI boss said: “The white men do not have two heads, but they are making headways just because their governments invest heavily in human and infrastructural development so, with modern and adequate infrastructure in place, Nigeria can also advanced technologically. What our nation needs is just the political will by the leaders.”