ACADEMIC STAFF UNION OF UNIVERSITIES, ASUU – FEDERAL UNIVERSITY OF AGRICULTURE MAKURDI PRESENTED A LOCALLY PRODUCED PROTOTYPE VENTILATOR TO THE BENUE STATE ACTION COMMITTEE ON COVID-19
The occasion took place today 20th May, 2020 at the Benue State Deputy Governor’s office, Makurdi. While presenting the prototype ventilator, the ASUU Chairperson, UAM Chapter, Dr. Simon A. Ejembi appreciated the Benue State Government for giving flesh to this idea that was borne out of the fact that Nigerian academics certainly have answers to the country’s socio-economic and developmental challenges by providing the needed financial resources 100% to get ASUU-FUAM to work.
The chairperson applauded the Benue State government’s support, stating that, the support came at a time that other Nigerian leaders do not appear to believe that the academics in Nigeria should be supported to achieve any feat, it is at a time that some leaders demand that ASUU should make the best bricks without providing any straws.
The chairperson maintained that, this singular act by the Benue State Government under Gov. Samuel Ortom has placed a moral burden on the ASUU-UAM body to justify the confidence reposed in them.
He said, with the support of both Benue State Government and the amiable Vice Chancellor of the University of Agriculture Makurdi, Prof. Richard Kimbir they went all out to ensure that every gap created by the lockdown order with its attendant consequences on the forces of demand and supply vis-à-vis their estimated cost of materials was closed. Although, UAM’s core mandate does not include the production of medical equipment. However, it is to make the statement that universities are the zenith of research centres and that the answers to the developmental challenges facing our dear country can be provided by its own academic community, he said.
Dr. Simon Ejembi, finally thanked Engr. Benson Abouno, the chairman, Benue State Action Committee on Covid-19 and his team, Prof. Richard Kimbir, the Vice Chancellor University of Agricultuere Makurdi, ASUU National President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi and ASUU NEC, the NSUKKA Zonal Coordinator of ASUU, Dr. Igbana Ajir for their various contributions in making today a reality.
He particularly thanked the team of ASUU-FUAM scientists headed by Comrade Ikyume Timothy for designing and producing this ventilator for the ingenuity and doggedness to make the equipment a master piece.
It was explained that the ventilator is adjustable in a manner that it can be use for both the young and adults and the accerelation rate of air supply can be increased thereby increasing breathe rate per minute. It is said to consumes less power compared to the conventional one and that the device is powered by both offgrid and electricity.
In his response, the deputy governor and chairman, Benue State Action Committee on Covid-19, Engr. Benson Abouno appreciated ASUU-FUAM for the great job. He nodes to the fact that, through consultancy and innovations like this, the Nigeria Universities were capable of funding itself. He stated that, there was every need to discourage importation but encourage local production. He added that, China economy is growing fast because of her innovative production.
As an engineer, he acknowledged the level of sophistication, portability and the functionality of the prototype ventilator as produced by ASUU-FUAM. He said, the equipment is cost friendly considering the amount that was given to ASUU and compared to the cost of a ventilator in the market. He, therefore, scored ASUU-FUAM 98% for the wonderful job. Engr. Abouno made suggestions to the team from ASUU-FUAM to improve more on the device, asking them to present the ventilator at the expanded exco meeting of the Action Committee on Covid-19 tomorrow 21st May, 2020 where the governor and other stakeholders will be present.
Prof. Richard Kimbir, the VC, FUAM, Hon. Dr. Sunday Ongbabor, the Honourable Commissioner Minstry of Health and Human Services, Rt. Hon.
Ngunan Beeka Addingi , Honourable Commissioner, Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, Prof. Daniel Amine, Prof. Mrs. Tuleun and others were also present at the occasion.
Rex A. Saanmoyol Akpenmo