Bolu Akindoyin and Grace Alegba
Sitting from left, Founder, Safe Automotive Works Sustainable Centre, Mrs Osazoduwa Agboneni; Baale of Bagidan, Chief Owolabi Bashorun; Past President Nigeria Society of Engineers, Mr Ademola Olorunfemi; Program Leader, Quality/Project Management, University of West of Scotland, Dr Evi Viza; Professor of Energy Studies, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Bauchi, Prof. Robinson Ejilah and the Graduating Students Nenis Auto Care and Royal Academy of Engineering during the Grand Opening Ceremony of the Premier Automotive Hub and Museum in Lagos on Friday.
Auto Care, in collaboration with the Royal Academy of Engineering, on Friday inaugurated an Automotive Hub and Museum in Bagidan, Ikorodu Local Government Area of Lagos State, for women and youths empowerment.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the facility was unveiled under an initiative tagged Safe Automotive Works Sustainability Centre (SAWSC), Ikorodu.
From left, Managing Partner Saide Consultant Ltd, Dr Patricia Nekpen Opene-Odili; Founder, Safe Automotive Works Sustainable Centre, Mrs Osazoduwa Agboneni; Program Leader, Quality/Project Management, University of West of Scotland, Dr Evi Viza; Past President Nigeria Society of Engineers, Mr Ademola Olorunfemi and Chairman Association Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria, Mrs Mojisola Oyelowo during the Grand Opening Ceremony of the Premier Automotive Hub and Museum in Lagos on Friday.
The facility, sitting on over two plots of land in Bagidan, has six rooms used for library, 3D printing, tyre making, Robotics, shoe making and computer lab.
The metal fabrication and furniture sections are open spaces in front of the facility while a second building serves as raw materials storage filled with condemned auto parts.
NAN reports that during the opening ceremony of the premier facility, 45 graduands were given certificates after presentation of different things they produced from vehicles wastes.
They showcased shoes, tables, chairs and other household items produced from old tyres, seat belts and other accessories of discarded vehicles.
Mrs Osazoduwa Agboneni, founder, Safe Automotive Works Sustainability Centre (SAWSC), said that the programme was funded by Royal Academy of Engineering.
Agboneni said the aim of the initiative was to remove huge automobile waste from the environment and reuse them for production of things trainees could sell to make money.
She said that women and unemployed youths in the community had been trained to retrain others as a way of creating mass employment and empowerment in the area.
The founder said being an environmentalist, her “passion is to ensure that automobile waste does not cause harm to individuals but are put to good use.”
Program Leader, Quality/Project Management, University of the West of Scotland, Dr Evi Viza, said taking waste from the environment and reusing them ensures environmental sustainability.
Visa said Nigeria has huge amount of automotive waste which should be removed and reused to create wealth and preserve the environment.
She added that the initiative was the first in the area, giving back to the community as well as an opportunity for awareness creation that people of all ages could make money at the hub.
“This is circular economy principles where you take something and finish using it, then you find another purpose for it,” she said.
The traditional head of Bagidan, Chief Owolabi Bashorun, expressed joy that such laudable project came to his domain and thanked the engineers.
Bashorun congratulated the graduands and appealed to youths to desist from internet fraud and other social vices to join the empowerment training.
He pleaded with government and individuals to support and encourage youth empowerment programmes.
Some graduands who spoke with NAN expressed delight for the opportunity to use the hub for creative innovations they could sell to make money.
Oluwafemi Shotikare, an engineering undergraduate of Ibadan Polytechnic, told NAN that the hub would encourage him to work on innovations to contribute his quota to national development.
Another beneficiary, Maria Bashorun, said the hub had made engineering lucrative through creativity, adding that she was already making sales from her inventions.
She appealed to other ladies to join the hub in learning new skills that would earn them money, respect and prestige.
Other speakers shared their thoughts on how the inventions would curb capital flight and brain drain.
The guests also patronised the graduands, as they bought centre tables, chairs and other items. (NAN).