The University of Ilorin has recorded another research breakthrough as a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Dr. Habeeb Adewale Ajimotokan, recently fabricated a machine that is capable of producing different shapes of pencils in commercial quantities.
Speaking to Unilorin Bulletin in his office last Tuesday (July 9, 2019), Dr. Ajimotokan disclosed that the machine, whose fabrication from locally-sourced off-the-shelf materials he supervised, has been tested and found to be capable of producing 400 units of pencils in an hour.
Dr. Ajimotokan, who is a specialist in Mechanical Process and Energy Engineering, said that he and his team are currently working on producing eraser-fitting and pencil-end-cutter, which will make the local production of pencils a resounding reality and for which a patent will be sought thereafter.
He said that the initial pencils produced through the machine could only be sharpened with razor blade, a situation that compelled him and his team to go back to the drawing board, which culminated in the production of a normal pencil comparable with the imported ones in every parameter.
The erudite Registered Engineer said that the raw materials for the pencil itself were gotten from waste papers and graphide that abound everywhere, saying that pencil-making is not only cheap but can provide job opportunities for many unemployed Nigerian youths.
Dr. Ajimotokan said that he was propelled to work on the domestication of the pencil-making machine in order to reduce the hard-earned hard currency being expended in the importation of that essential material for the nation’s education sector.
The don commended the enterprising dispositions of the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. Sulyman Age Abdulkareem, and his management team, which, he said, is encouraging productivity and ingenuity among staff members and students of the University.
He particularly hailed Prof. Abdulkareem for his personal encouragement, saying that he commenced the processes which led to the re-modification of the machine when the Vice-Chancellor was the Director of the University’s Laboratory to Products (LABTOP) Unit based on the advice he was offered by the Unit.
Dr. Ajimotokan, who lamented that paucity of funds impeded the speed with which he had intended that the machine would be produced, called on well-to-do entrepreneurs to partner the University in producing the machine in large quantity, adding that the amount needed to do so is not too much, as its economic value cannot be over emphasised considering the number of end users of the product.
He also said that it was important for governments at various levels to encourage scientific and technological innovations through favourable public policies and adequate funding of research, saying that Nigerian scholars have the expertise to go places if they are given the enabling environment.
Culled from Unilorin Bulletin (July 15, 2019)