Nigeria mourns as popular inventor Izuogu who built Z-600 car dies

Nigeria mourns as popular inventor Izuogu who built Z-600 car dies

- Nigeria lost a great one as an African foremost inventor from Imo state, Ezekiel Izuogu, died after a brief illness

- The Imo-born manufactured Africa's first car, Z-600 in 1997 to much applause when he was still a lecturer

- President Muhammadu Buhari mourned his death as he described him as a great innovator and an important figure in the nation's political terrain

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Nigeria was thrown into great sorrow as a popular scientist, Ezekiel Izuogu of Akokwa clan in Ideato North local government of Imo state, died.

The popular inventor died on Saturday, July 18, after he was sick for a while as revealed by family sources, The Nation reports.

It should be noted that Izuogu once competed for the Imo state governorship election and was a BoT member of the All Progressives Congress.

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His invention astounds the world

He created the Z-600 in 1997 when he was a lecturer at the Federal Polytechnic Nekede, making it first Africa's indigenous produced car.

“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 BBC described the car.

He got FG's attention but not the grant

Another thing worthy of note is that after the federal government under the late General Sani Abacha’s regime gave the car a clean bill of roadworthiness, it promised to give the inventor a grant of N235 million. The grant, however, never came.

A collage of the man and the car he built. Photo source: The Nation
A collage of the man and the car he built. Photo source: The Nation
Source: UGC

The Nation reports that after the inventor reluctantly agreed to set up a factory in South Africa, it was broken into on March 11, 2006, by heavily armed men, taking away machines and the design history of Z-600 and file of Z-MASS.

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“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.," the inventor said after the robbery.

President Muhammed Buhari through Femi Adesina, his media and publicity aide, also mourned the great icon as a “trail-blazing innovator, a well-respected academic and gifted engineer” as he asked God to grants his son an eternal rest.

The president also said that the man was also a very important political figure apart from the great innovation with a recognisable leadership in the country’s political landscape.

Meanwhile, earlier reported that the chief executive of Tonimas Oil and Gas Group and one of Nigeria's richest oil magnates, Chief Anthony Enukeme, died at the age of 75.

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He died on Monday night, June 8, after a brief illness. The deceased used to travel overseas every year for routine health checks but was unable to travel this year due to the pandemic.

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