A lecturer in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering of the University, Dr. Olayide Adetunji, has called on the government to support ideas and knowledge that would grow the economy. Dr. Adetunji made the call while speaking on the invention of the Maize-shelling Machine, which was fabricated by him, through the Postgraduate Diploma project supervision which involved the design, construction and performance evaluation in the University during the 2012/2013 Academic Session.
He said that the machine was designed to bridge the gap between the highly expensive threshing machine and manual method of hand-shelling, to aid food production and improve farmers’ productivity and profitability, emphasising that the machine was meant for local farmers for personal use on farm settlements and for group of farmers in the form of cooperatives, market-women and house-wives as a means of generating income.
Dr. Adetunji noted that the production cost of the machine was over N100,000 because the materials used in its production were sourced manually, but when commercialized, the cost price could go for about N200,000. Describing the mode of operation of the machine, he said, if well maintained, it could be guaranteed for about two to three years by working efficiently without any fault and could last for about 50 years. He stated that the dual-powered machine uses both fuel and electricity, because most of the people that use it are rural dwellers, as they do not have to worry about electricity.
When asked about the number of the machines produced so far, he said it is “just the prototype that is available”, stressing that finance had been a major problem in exhibiting the machine and that the machine had been nominated for the African Prize for Young Engineers Research. He added that COLENG was planning a conference, where the machine would be showcased, saying “we are also looking forward to the Exibition Day. The machine was displayed at the College workshop and the video can be viewed via the facebook link; facebook/olayideadetunji/video.
On his future plans, Dr. Adetunji said he plans to construct different types of machines like palm-oil extracting machine, rice milling machine, palm-kernel and fruit juice extracting machine, and block-making machines, as he looks forward to partnering with professional bodies like the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Manufacturers’ Association of Nigeria (MAN) and the Bank of Industry (BoI).