By Simeon Mpamugoh
Stakeholders in the transport sector gathered recently in Lagos for the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the sales 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 movement of passengers, goods and services in the country.
Briefing journalists, Managing Director, Oldang International Limited, Mr. Olubunmi Oluwadare, stated that over dependence on fossil fuel in the cities has led to high carbon emission, which he blamed for ozone layer depletion and climate change.
Oluwadare explained reason why his company got involved in solar electric vehicles, explaining that apart from the sunny weather in Nigeria which is very good for green energy, the venture is in line with the United Nations’ goals on replacing carbon emission with green emission, which many countries like as China, 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, adding, “The beauty of this means that the brand will enjoy continuous charging when on the move through the abundant sun ray which would be stored in the battery.
“In case of a 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 120 km journey, which is like Lagos to Ibadan”.
He disclosed the features of the product: “It has leather and fabric comfortable seat, low maintenance, indoor fan, roomy interior, arm rest, FM/CD sound system, side mirrors, high ground clearance, reverse camera uncommon in most of the vehicles of such device, screen wiper, brake light and many more.”
He said that plans were afoot for possibility of 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, 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 faced out. Rather, both versions should compete for the 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 organizing training and workshop for its members on how to effectively maximize the features of the automobile.