Posted by By Franklin Alli on
CAN something good come out of Nigeria? The answer is a resounding yes. This was confirmed last weekend, at MAN House, Ikeja Lagos, when Austin Laz & Co.
CAN something good come out of Nigeria? The answer is a resounding yes. This was confirmed last weekend, at MAN House, Ikeja Lagos, when Austin Laz & Co. Ltd., moved the country forward technologically with its latest refrigeration technology Ď Thermoelectric Cooler & Warmer.í The Thermoelectric Cooler & Warmer, designed to last more than 20 years, is ozone-friendly produced to the UNIDO International Standards, and was endorsed by Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, NEPC, the Nigerian Customs Service, COREN, and United Nationís Industrial Development Organisation, etc. The companyís Managing Director, Dr. Austin. L. Asimonye, shares with us what motivated him to invent the product, and other issues on the countryís industrialisation drives. Excerpts.
How did you come about this product idea, and how long did it take you to complete it?
I have been on the project since five years ago. The technology is new in the world, and it newly came up in the refrigerators industry in year 2000 or 1999. Since then, I ve been following the development, worked hard on it, and I'm delighted to introduce the Nigerian Spec of this technology into the African market. It is a square peg in a square hole. So it took me about five years to research and develop the product.
What inspired or motivated you?
What motivated me started when I invented the first Made-in -Nigeria Ice Machine. Thereafter, I want to contribute something else to the people of my generation. I strongly believe every human being should be able to contribute to the people of his generation in every facet of life. And I believe the country should move forward technologically. Besides, I always feel insulted whenever we are referred to as a consuming nation, and not a producing one. I was inspired, not just by monetary gains, but the necessary redemption of our waning pride in the sphere of technology. This has become more imperative in the changing quick sands of the 21st century.
So, this is my little way of breaking the technological backwardness of our nation, by contributing my humble quota in my chosen field of engineering (Refrigeration) for the overall socioeconomic benefit and pride of both our company, our country and our black race.
How about cost / funding?
I donít have the right figure offhand, and even if I have it, I donít deem it necessary to disclose it to you on the pages of newspapers. However, this project costs a lot of money, and it was profits from our other operations that we ploughed back into it. The journey was thorny. We did not benefit from industrial development banks in the country, which is meant for the real sector (mining, agriculture and manufacturing), but have preference for funding large scale industry. Also, we didnít go to the commercial banks because, if you go to them to finance the project, they may give you the loan, but the aftermath of that loan may destroy the very business you established
What is your assessment of the countryís industrialisation drives?
Oil wealth has hindered the countryís industrial development. It has created easy wealth for Nigerians. Nigerians are simply behaving like the children of a wealthy man whose naughty children folded their arms because if they ask for this and that, their parents give them. On the other hand, if you look from left to right, and there is nothing coming from anywhere, it will be left for the children to know that they have to strive to do something intelligent. So, I believe, without having quantum oil, the country would have moves forward better than this. So, itís the easy life, without working, people acquire money. I call it acquiring because people donít work to earn money. So, easy life, caused by oil wealth, has been the bane of Nigeria industrial growth. What mattered now is what you know, the amount of knowledge, and not the amount of money you have. Itís technology that rules economy of nations. Like we all know, the essence of technology is to bring comfort to life, and to bring relief to our daily activities. I want to declare that this new device-cum technology is going to impact positively on the lives of our women, folk, caterers, hoteliers, researchers, health institutions, picnic centers, and the entire working class.
I believe in being dynamic. I believe in improving on what Iíve had already. I donít believe in being static. I kept telling people, if you copy my technology, if you imitate or mimic my designs, you cannot tap my brain. I will continue to be a pacesetter, and you will continue to be a follower. I will leave you and move ahead. So it is my determination and that of my company to come up with more inventions that will impact positively on Nigerians, and that will jump the country industrially.