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Moulds of Nigerian made car stolen
- Masterweb News Desk
( Monday, April 17, 2006 )
BBC News, Friday, April 17, 1998
*The all-African dream machine
It's African, it's new and it's different. The latest - and the first - in the Z series, the Z-600, is the first ever all-African car, reports the BBC's correspondent in Lagos, Hilary Andersson.
It was designed and made in Nigeria for the family market and has a top speed of 140km (86m) an hour.
Ninety per cent of its parts are locally produced - it has a doorbell for a horn. And if it ever goes into mass production it will cost just $2,000 (£1,195), making it the most affordable car in Africa - and probably the world.
The Z-600's inventor, Dr Ezekiel Izuogu, says that many Nigerians simply cannot afford a car. He believes his home-grown machine will be an instant hit.
"The common man is very, very keen. He's very interested. Many of them have dreamt of having their own cars over the years," he says.
The car is already an icon in Nigeria. The prototype received a rapturous reception on the streets of the capital, Lagos.
But back at the workshop, Dr Izuogu is working on another idea designed to appeal to the "common man". He is adapting the engine to allow the Z-600 to double up as a lawnmower - or even an electricity generator.
Photo Above:- Curious Nigerians surround first Nigerian made car( Z-600 ) on display by the manufacturer Dr. Ezekiel Izuogu
Business Day News, Wednesday, February 8, 2006
South Africa is set to acquire the rights from an automobile engineer to mass produce Nigeria's first car, the Z600, in that country.
South African President Thabo Mbeki has instructed his deputy-president to finalise details of the agreement with the car manufacturer with a view to producing the vehicle in South Africa.
Ezekiel Izogu, managing director of Izogu Motors Limited managing director disclosed this in an exclusive interview with BUSINESSDAY.
Izogu said the car was first launched in Owerri in 1997 by then Chief of General Staff Oladipo Diya during the regime of former Head of State Sani Abacha.
But the success story really began last year when Izogu was invited by South Africa to deliver a lecture on science and technology. Izogu said: "The South African Government encouraged me more than my own country. Mbeki sent his deputy-president to receive me and told me how ready they were to encourage me and to provide what I wanted.
"However, they said I must take the car to South Africa to let it be manufactured in their country. If they are putting up the money it is only fair that the car is made in their country".
He added that the board of directors at Izogu Motors was in the process of taking the car to South Africa, but he stressed that the Z600 would "lose its Nigerian identity".
For the car to be truly Nigerian, he said, the engine, chassis and body would have to be made in this country.
He claimed that "ethnic politics killed this product in Nigeria". "After the car's launch the Federal Government formed a high-powered team of scientists to probe my work. This team was led by the then Science and Technology Minister, Sam Momoh.
The team was drawn from research institutions in Nigeria. "They spent three days in Owerri investigating my job. Questions were asked and I answered them.
"When the team went back to Abuja, matters concerning the car were discussed at an executive council meeting which resulted in a commendation letter being sent to me.
"But politics of ‘why must it be an Igbo man' came up. I was shocked!"
Despite these set-backs Izogu said "the world will feel and touch a car made in |South Africa instead of a car that should have been made in Nigeria".
"This car must be mass produced. It is worth doing that I as a Nigerian.
This project has given my fellow countrymen a sense of pride. No matter where it is produced the most important thing is to co-operate.
This project remains my contribution to the development of Africa," he said.
Vanguard News, Sunday, March 19, 2006
An indigenous motor manufacturing company, Izuogu Motors Limited, Naze Owerri, Imo State, has lost property valued at over one billion naira to burglary.
According to the chairman of the company, Dr. Ezekiel Izuogu, some armed men numbering about 12 broke into Izuogu Motors factory, Saturday, March 11, between 1.00 and 2.00 a.m. and carted away various machines and tools including a design history notebook of Z-600, the design file Z-MASS, containing the design history for mass production of Z-600 car, a proposed locally made car and the moulds for various parts of the car.
Izuogu, who has laboured for 18 years under very difficult circimstances to design and produce the stolen moulds, lamented that the moulds took 10 years to design and build.
“The perplexing thing about this theft is that it is clear that none of the stolen items can be sold in the market. Since the Z-600 is not yet in the market, the items stolen can only be used by the 600 phototype which is just one car,” he told journalists.
He wondered why other highly valued machines and tools in the factory were not touched by the robbers if they were looking for money.
“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,” he stated, adding: “Other items stolen after a quick inventory conducted by the company soon after the incident include locally produced timing wheel, locally produced year camshaft, locally produced crankshaft, locally produced engine tappets, all 20 pieces each. Also stolen are 10 pieces of locally produced Z-600 engine blocks, 10 pieces of locally produced pistons, 4 pieces of engine block mounds, 4 pieces of top engine block moulds, 10 pieces of engine fly wheel and 2 pieces each of rear car and front mudguard moulds.
The moulds stolen took 10 years to design and build. In monetary terms they are valued over one billion Naira. But the problem is not the money but the time and energy it took to design and produce these moulds. To worsen the matter, our design notebook has also been stolen.”
He regarded the loss as a national economic disaster were the nation to appreciate the value of technological and intellectual property.
Izuogu therefore appealed to the Federal Government, the security agencies and all well-meaning Nigerians to assist in the recovery of the stolen items.
The robbers had mercilessly beaten the security men and tied them up before forcing the factory open, he added.
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