By Abraham Jonah, Middle East Editor
FRI, NOVEMBER 4 2016-Something good is coming from the African Continent once in history. The lead is coming from the African heartland, Nigeria, as historical ingenuity and technological miracle are being recorded by Nigerians in Diaspora in the zone of transportation. Nigerians in Diaspora have registered a technological breakthrough with the manufacture of buses of various sizes that will be made with Nigeria in mind and the 21st century millennium in mould and content.
The name is ZHOPE AUTOMOBILES: Zhope Automobiles is a super quality and first made –in-Nigeria designed to carry people in great comfort and style and yet at affordable price.
The Executive Director of Operations of Zhopes Automobiles and the brain behind the whole concepts is Dr. Marcel Ezenwoye, a Nigerian egghead from Aguata in Anambra State. Dr. Ezenwoye is the Head of Zhope Group of companies, including Zhope Nigeria Ltd, Zhope Integrated Services Ltd and Zhope World Wide with head office in London and plants in China. Dr. Ezenwoye is also the President of Concepts University College, London, the Leader African Excellence Award, Diaspora Properties Ltd, Nigeria and many innovative organizations.
The philosophy guiding the Management of Zhopes Automobiles is the need to raise the bars retarding progress in Nigerian auto-industries and the entire transportation system. With this in mind, the management, has come up with total supply structure in the Nigerian transport system which is expected in the short-run to fabricate, assemble, sell, distribute and facilitate the procurement of Zhope buses into Nigeria, the provision of coaches in completely knocked down parts and other formats put in shape to enhance speedy dissemination and transfer of technology in Nigeria and the whole of the West African sub-region.
Part of the Zhope package is to build development centres across the Federation of Nigeria and across the ECOWAS sub-regional countries and sales outfits expected to catalyze Nigeria’s restrategizing efforts. This in turn is expected to fast-track, rabidly develop and attain high level manufacture of automobile component parts.
Other parts of Zhope’s corporate strategy aim at working in partnership with commercial transporters, local transport proprietors, the public sector operators or users and other stakeholders in the market. To create adequate and systematic links with this aforementioned sub-sectors of the transportation industry, Zhope has concluded plans to put in place, a one –stop-shop for automobile technology with a view to providing systematic automobile related services to all strata in the industry as a whole.
Zhope Automobile is strategizing to build up a massive business – turnaround in the first three years of commencement it is forecasting an average monthly sale of 100 buses and an annual gross sale of I,200 buses.
During the second phase of the project, Zhope intends to initiate the KDK strategy with a view to reducing overall production cost per unit of the bus, therefore increasing local content.
The main strategy in this second phase is local job creation and improvement in local labour skills. There is a projection that not less than 4,000 jobs will be created on the line functions and over 10,000 in ancillary and related service centres. The training policy of Zhopes envisages the training of local engineers like road-side mechanics who would in turn train other middle level operators in Zhope Automobile technology. For this reason, Zhope’s technical partners from Europe and China will come to Nigeria for the training and for provision of technical support.
In the fullness of time which is projected at six years after commencement, Zhope would establish at least one production plant and as many servicer centre as practicable in each of the six geo – political regions in Nigeria within which period the ideological component would have been unleashed to completely Nigerianiz Zhope and every facet of its operations.
As we sermonize here and now, a Zhope bus is on display in Abuja at Zhope Automobile Administrative office at Second Floor, AP Plaza, off Adetokunbo Ademola Crescent, Wuse II, Abuja. The Nigerian special model of Zhope bus is called “MBUZE” Mbuze means “BULLDOZER” in Igbo language nomenclature. It has visited many people and places and many well-meaning Nigerians and organizations have also examined the “Elephant Bus” and their verdict is that it is the first “African Miracle”.
Abuja capital Motors Ltd was the first to ride the African Elephant, which the company gave a thorough laboratory examination. Abuja Capital Motors, a subsidiary of AG Leventis Motors, has confirmed that Mbuze Zhope is highly sturdid and technologically superb. The company is particularly impressed with the principal parts of Mbuze which combines a cumming engine from America, an Elton gear bus from Britain, a re-inforced chassis and axles from Japan and China, and engineering design by world – acclaimed Professor Ezeugwu from Nigeria.
This means that Mubze Zhopes combines the best from automobile ingenuity from across the continents of the world, especially its Nigerian master –mind.
Dr. Marcel Ezenwoye, the harbinger of the Zhope concepts, emphasized that the challenge of Zhope Automobile is to produce an automobile that would consider the peculiar characteristics of Africa i.e., its equatorial and geographical natures, to build a rugged bus with super-cooling air-conditioning system, an anti-breaking system re-inforced to hold balm at all weathers, a pooling power designed to ride any hills with amazing ease and, most importantly, the comfort of Africans to reflect and conform with the 21stcentury internationally accepted standards on luxury and architectural aesthetics. He concluded that those achievements will put an end to the practice of dumping in Africa products made with Western specifications. He said the Zhope dream is to inundate Europe, Asia and the Americas with a mega technology that promises to repatriate capital from the Diasporas of colonialism, of slavery and of globalization and to end the trend in capital flight from Africa and Nigeria to the highly industrialized countries. Dr. Ezenwoye expressed gratitude to the public and private officials who responded to Zhope’s clarion call and visited China to see the complex production capacity of Zhopes and its product in Nigeria.
Dr. Ezenwoye is particularly impressed by the interests so far shown in the Zhope project by the Director General of National Automotive Council (NAC), Mallam Aminu Jalal who promised to do everything within the Council’s powers to support Zhope since the project falls within the functional and jurisdictional competence of NAC. He promised to advance a loan of up to N1 billion towards the domestication of Zhope in Nigeria.
Other stake holders that have visited and inspected Zhope are the Chief Executive Officer of Lobic Motors Nigeria Ltd, Mr. I. E. Iwuoha, the Director of Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), Mr. Amos Y. Sakaba, the Secretary, FCT Administration Engineer Jonathan A. Ivoke, the Secretary General of ALGON, Chief Chikwe Udensi and Chief Peter Dada Osadebay, the President of Campeign Network for IBB. Others are Sir Enoch A. Iwueze, MD of Air Sea Freighters Ltd, Dr (Mrs.) Joy Ngozi – Kolawole Oyedeji, the Foundation President and Eminent Ambassador of Peace for Social Welfare for Widows, the Needy and the Unemployed, Engineer Sir Ola Oriowo, MD of Joy Engineering Ltd, Chief Remy okorie, Manager ICMG Securities Ltd, Prince Oliver Okpala (The Ochiliozua Adazi-Ani) who is the Coordinator of Eastern Caucus of the National Unity Foundation and finally, Engineer Stephen O. Aluu, the MD of Stevina Nigeria Ltd, a civil engineering colossus in Abuja and environ.
Many of these eminent personalities have made comments and assessments that Zhope is a part-breaking adventure and a revolution in the automotive real. They unanimously commended the effort of Dr. Marcel Ezenwoyi and tasked him to continue this noble, ultraistic and patriotic endeavour without fear or favour, affection or ill-will so that in the end and together, we can emancipate Nigeria and Africa as a whole from the clutches of underdevelopment.
Dr. Nnanna Ewa, the Legal Adviser to Zhope Automobile has called on the Federal Government to confer a national merit award on Dr. Marcel Ezenwoye to encourage him to do more and to encourage other Nigerians in Diaspora to emulate this pace setting adventure. Dr. Ewa said that such honours will teach other numerous innovators and unsung heroes of African descent across the globe that in Nigeria, all prophets are ever with honours.
He further called on the House Representative Committee on the Diaspora, to take Zhope and other Diaspora bused projects services because to receive signs of nonchalance from the second most – noblest institution like the National Assembly can cause hold back the come – home consciousness regurgitating in the minds of Africans in the Diaspora.
Now we may say that the automobile industry will soon be taking a new phase as more players are tapping into the vast opportunity to impact the lives of the masses through the provision of these improved transport services.
As against the norm of looking up to foreign auto manufacturers in the past; local players have now emerged, to building lasting brands that will stand the test of time whilst meeting the very increasing need of Africans.