Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
The chief executive officer, Erotechnique Nigeria Limited, Engr. Nathaniel Erondu, has disclosed the rationale behind the invention of a disinfectant and temperature tunnel aimed at curbing the spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus in the country.
In this interview with Daily Sun in Abuja, Erondu, an indigene of Abia State, narrated how Erotechnique Nigeria Limited and its partners invented the novel tunnel, which he said, will reduce the workforce and ease the hassles associated with disinfection of people in different ministries, parastatals, offices and other public and private places.
Who invented this disinfectant and temperature tunnel?
It was invented by Erotechnique Nigeria Limited.
What is Erotechnique Nigeria Limited all about?
We are into construction and are general contractors.
In terms of electrical?
Yes. We are engaged in electrical, mechanical and engineering of any type.
How long have you been doing this?
We have been into the business for a long time, for over 10 years now.
Are you based in Abuja or Lagos?
We are based in Abuja.
Why is it that not much was heard about you prior to this time?
Actually, it depends on our field of business and the kind of people we deal with. We are government contractors and we have been working with a lot of ministries and parastatals.
What notable projects have you executed so far?
We have done a lot of projects with the military, specifically with the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria, known as DICON, in Kaduna.
So, how did you come about this disinfectant and temperature tunnel?
During the lockdown, it was a huge challenge. We had to sit down and think of something we could come up with to help curb the spread of the virus in our country and also provide jobs for the less privileged and people who are out there looking for jobs.
How many of you worked to bring about this?
We are three partners that did this. Some other persons brought the idea of the temperature and we sat down together and we were able to come up with this.
What are the feature, what exactly does it do?
Before you go through the tunnel, you have to scan yourself, using the temperature scanner. It is confirms that your temperature is okay and you can go inside. Once you go inside, you will be disinfected completely, 360 degree disinfection.
Do you apply chemicals?
Yes. We have an alcohol-based sanitizer, a body disinfectant solution.
What other function does it perform to curb the novel coronavirus?
It makes things easier. For instance, when you go to offices, you see people standing, checking temperature and all that. You don’t have to. It is going to reduce the workforce and also help sanitise people before they come into your office.
How many have you produced so far?
We have been working with DICON for a long time to get a prototype for them, which we just finished rounding up days back, although we have a lot of calls and orders already, which we are also working on.
How many do you intend to produce for the Nigerian market?
We can produce between 100 and 200, depending on the order.
How soon can you make this happen?
In three to five days. In one week, we can at least get up to 20 or 30 done.
What does it take to put it together?
It takes components such as aluminium metals, acoboard and the technical part of it.
What did the invention cost you in terms of stress, financial or mental?
It has been a wonderful one anyway, getting to have this. It is actually international standard when you look at what we have out there today in our country. There are a lot of competitors out there, but, so far, there hasn’t been something like this in the market. And it took us a lot.
Have you engaged the regulatory agency for inspection?
We have sent a letter of introduction to the Minister of Science and Technology, for which we are yet to get a response.
Are you also looking at the international market?
Oh, yes! We are.
Which countries are you looking at?
At least, we should be able to cover African countries like Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, and others that have been affected by the virus.
How about the Western countries?
We know this is a huge market. Even here in Nigeria, it is a huge market here. All the parastatals, ministries, government agencies, offices and whoever needs this in their premises to be protected.
Don’t you also think that you need to bring this to the awareness of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19?
Yes, it is going to be a good one, if we can get the opportunity. We have tried to source for the opportunity to do that, but it hasn’t been easy to get across to them.
What about unveiling to the public? Do you have such plans?
We do. We have been advertising on Instagram, Facebook and most of the social media platforms.
How much does it cost to purchase one?
We are looking at N3 million.
At the end of the day, what do you hope to achieve?
We are here to help humanity. Some civilised countries all have this and when we realised that our people were about to import all these into the country, we decided to sit down and strategise on how to get it done locally in order not to stress ourselves with the importation. Also, we are creating a platform for people who do not have jobs. We have a lot of youths out there today who do not have anything to do. Instead of going about the streets aimlessly, our platform also can give them an opportunity to make ends meet at the end of the day.
Has the efficiency been tested?
It has been tested. A lot of professionals have been coming, even from DICON. They came here with their engineers to check what we have and they were satisfied.
With this, how do you feel as a Nigerian and an entrepreneur?
I feel very happy that our company was able to come up with such an initiative that can help curb the spread of coronavirus in our country and also provide something on the table for those who don’t have jobs.