…As Unilorin don fabricates pencil making machine***
The Vice-Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Prof. Eyitope Ogunbodede highlighted on Monday, that the institution will begin to generate its power on the completion of its power generating plant in October.
Ogunbodede stated this at the biennial conference of the African Institute for Science Policy and Innovation held at OAU, noting that the project which started in 2017, would be ready by the end of October, just as a Senior Lecturer in the University of Ilorin, Dr Habeeb Ajimotokan fabricates a machine capable of producing different shapes of pencils in commercial quantities. Only few days ago, the University of Nigeria, Nsukka produced an electric car.
He added that the institution was working with a rural electrification agency that would provide a gas-powered turbine that would generate 8.0 megawatts of electricity for the institution.
“Because of the fast pace of the work, the project will be delivered by October ending.
“We are now very sure that by October ending, the university will be generating its own electricity and what that means is that we will be off the national grid,” he said.
Ogunbodede stated further that by the time the project was delivered, the university would be saving between N35 million and N65 million in energy cost monthly.
He said that the university’s daily energy need was below six megawatts, adding that the plant would also power the institution’s teaching hospital.
The vice-chancellor stated that the institution’s neighbouring communities would also benefit from the excess energy that the plant would generate.
Meanwhile, a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Ilorin, Dr Habeeb Ajimotokan has fabricated a machine capable of producing different shapes of pencils in commercial quantities.
According to the University of Ilorin bulletin issued on Monday, the machine was fabricated from locally-sourced off-the-shelf materials.
The report stated that the machine had been tested and found to be capable of producing 400 units of pencils in an hour.
The publication described Ajimotokan as a specialist in Mechanical Process and Energy Engineering.
It stated that the inventor and his team were currently working on producing eraser-fitting and pencil-end-cutter, which would make the local production of pencils a resounding reality and for which a patent would be sought thereafter.
The publication noted that the initial pencils produced through the machine “could only be sharpened with razor blade’’.
It added that the situation compelled the don and his team to go back to the drawing board, which culminated in the production of a normal pencil comparable with the imported ones in every parameter.
The bulletin noted that: “The engineer said that the raw materials for the pencil itself were gotten from waste papers and graphite that abound everywhere.
“He added that pencil-making is not only cheap but can provide job opportunities for many unemployed Nigerian youths.’’
It said Ajimotokan was propelled to work on the domestication of the pencil-making machine in order to reduce the hard currency being expended in the importation of that essential material for the nation’s education sector.
The publication commended the enterprising dispositions of the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. Sulyman Abdulkareem and his management team for encouraging productivity and ingenuity among staff members and students.
It further stated that Ajimotokan called on wealthy entrepreneurs to collaborate with the university in producing the machine in large quantities.
The bulletin noted that this was because its economic value could not be overemphasised, considering the number of end users of the product.