By Balkis Tijani.
A Senior Lecturer in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Ilorin, Dr Habeeb Ajimotokan, has constructed a pencil-making machine capable of producing 400 units of pencils in one hour.
The machine which produces different shapes of pencils in commercial quantities was constructed from locally-sourced off-the-shelf materials, according to UNILORIN bulletin issued today.
“The engineer said that the raw materials for the pencil itself were gotten from waste papers and graphite that abound everywhere.
“He added that pencil-making is not only cheap but can provide job opportunities for many unemployed Nigerian youths”, the bulletin read in part.
Dr Ajimotokan, who was described in the publication as a specialist in Mechanical Process and Energy Engineering, is currently working on producing eraser-fitting and pencil-end-cutter, as the initial pencils produced through the machine could only be sharpened with razor blade.
According to the bulletin, Dr Ajimotokan is poised towards domesticating the pencil-making machine in order to reduce the hard currency being spent in importing essential material for the nation’s education sector, although insufficient funding limited the speed of the project.
Ajimotokan called on wealthy entrepreneurs to collaborate with the university in producing the machine in large quantities, as its economic value could not be overemphasised.
The publication also beseeched governments at different levels to encourage scientific and technological innovations through favourable public policies and adequate funding of research.
“Nigerian scholars have the expertise to go places if they are given the
enabling environment”, it stated.