By Simeon Mpamugoh
Stakeholders in the transport sector gathered recently in Lagos for the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the sale and assembly of solar and electric-powered tricycles in Nigeria.
The signing of the agreement between Oldang International Nigeria Limited and Hornson Development Partners, China, at the Lekki Conservative Centre, was witnessed by members of the Tricycle Owners Association of Nigeria (TOAN) and Amalgamation of Commercial Motorcycles Riders Association of Nigeria (ACOMORAN).
Also launched at the event was a green transport system, which would herald the use of solar-powered automobiles in the conveyance of passengers, goods and services in the country.
Briefing journalists, managing director, Oldang International Limited, Mr. Olubunmi Oluwadare, stated that over-dependence on fossil fuels in the cities has led to high carbon emission, which he blamed for ozone layer depletion and climate change.
Oluwadare explained why his company got involved in solar electric vehicles, explaining that, apart from the sunny weather in Nigeria, which was very good for green energy, the venture was in line with the United Nations’ goals on replacing carbon emission with green emission, which many countries like China, the United Kingdom and France have keyed into.
He explained that Oldang tricycle models use both solar and electric power sources, thus making them dual powered vehicles, therefore, “The beauty of this means that the brand will enjoy continuous charging when on the move through the abundant sun rays, which would be stored in the battery.
“In case of continuous rain, one can charge it with electricity sources from Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), or generator power. And when it is fully charged, it can take one through a 120-kilometre journey, which is like Lagos to Ibadan,” he said.
The Oldang boss hihglighted the features of the product as: “Comfortable leather and fabric seats, low maintenance, indoor fan, roomy interior, arm rest, FM/CD sound system, side mirrors, high ground clearance, reverse camera uncommon in most of vehicles of such device, screen wiper, brake light and many more.”
He said that plans were afoot for an assembly plant to be located at Lagos and Kano, with mini plants in other major cities, which would help skills transfer to local engineers.
Comparing the product with those that use petrol and diesel, national president of TOAN, Mr. Augustine Apeh, said, “There are no similarities because Oldang solar and electric tricycle does not emit carbon that could be harmful to health.
“This is the kind of transportation model we need in Nigeria. We are not saying that the other ones that use petrol and diesel should be phased out, rather, both versions should compete for share of the market.”
Represented at the event by Alhaji Ibrahim Folorunsho, chairman, TOAN, Osun State chapter, he said that TOAN would partner with the management of Oldang in organising training and workshops for members on how to effectively maximise the features of the automobile.