By Soni Daniel, Editor of the North Region
He does not have the qualities of an engineer, nor does he have the paper qualifications to work as such. But with ardent zeal and unbridled focus and a determination to make a mark as an inventor, Azibaola Emmanuel Robert is on the cusp of making history as a pioneering Nigerian lawyer who makes electric cars, heavy trucks, and related machinery that the country is currently importing from other countries .
Inspired by his vision of inventing fundamental and avant-garde vehicle brands for Nigeria, Robert remains firm and determined in his decision to conquer a niche in the automotive sector and to revolutionize the system for the good of the country and its people. And it is for this reason that Robert, who was appointed to the Nigerian Bar Association in 1995, goes to perfect the car production line in Abuja as if his whole life depended on the project that could give him a global emblem as the first lawyer to produce cars in Nigeria and put his name in the sands of time.
Azibaola Emmanuel Robert was born on February 13, 1969 in Otakeme Township, Bayelsa State Tent in Defense and Promotion of Human Rights.
Even though Robert is small, his head is full of brilliant and great ideas that can move mountains and create monuments. His obsession with creating things to add value to society must have been fueled by his radical thinking already during his university days, when he was vice president of the National Association of Nigeria Student, NANS, in 1993 and later plunged into humanity Defend and promote rights using the Niger Delta Human and Environmental Recue Organization (ND-HERO) platform to advance development, peace and environmental justice in the oil-producing communities of the Niger Delta.
From the very beginning as head of ND-HERO, Robert founded many high tech engineering firms such as Mangrovetech, Kakatar Engineering, Oneplus Holdings Limited, companies that handle sophisticated designs and engineering projects worth billions across Nigeria, including the infrastructure project Maitama Extension District at a cost of N 23 billion, Kyami District Infrastructure at a cost of N 60.8 billion, the dredging and sand backfilling of Bayelsa International Airport at a cost of N 10.4 billion and Akepelai’s Shore Erosion Control Works, Ayakoro and Otuoke communities with N. 7.6 billion
To fulfill his desire to design and manufacture automobiles, heavy trucks and machines that can move people, goods and services and improve the quality of life, Robert has assembled a variety of fine mechanical machines and tools and placed them in the FCT Industrial District in Idu , Abuja and the place is now a kind of cynosure that attracts hordes of visitors every day.
Robert intends to produce the first set of automobiles, trucks, and heavy-duty machinery under the Zeetin Engineering brand name, which will change given the number and caliber of sophisticated equipment already assembled and the types of customers who besiege the site on a daily basis.
Although he’s only just venturing into the mechanical engineering arena, Robert is not a random inventor, but a die-hard planner, discoverer, and creator who thinks through every process he must overcome in order to achieve his set goal. That may explain why he prefers a law firm to make, cut, and join parts for making furniture, tools, and machines.
Robert is so good at welding and manufacturing with high-tech machinery that it is very easy for him to make any part that is needed for virtually every sector in Nigeria, including aerospace, oil and gas, shipping, and household. If Robert welded or manufactured in the huge factory, not many would suspect that he was a lawyer with only a crude interest in using machines to make sophisticated equipment. He is a master at handling precision mechanical tools and is a pleasure to use. Robert operates all the complex machines on a routine basis and can explain to everyone what each is doing and how it works to make any type of machine or tool that is needed.
To date, not many companies in Africa can boast of what Robert assembled in Nigeria under Zeetin Engineering to bring electric cars, heavy trucks and machines to market. Visiting the place, which looks like a huge tank farm, is always interesting because of the jaw-breaking and tongue-twisting names of machines.
Equipment already installed and used at Zeetin Engineering in Abuja that can help in the manufacture of any type of machine include: hydraulic angle rolling machine, hydraulic press brake, hydraulic steel working machine, hydraulic swing beam shears, tank shell flanging machine, sheet metal rolling / bending machine, 5-axis Water jet cutting machine, plasma cutting machine, UMC 1600 machine and Accuway lathe.
All of this together can make any component or part needed to make a car, truck, or other machine, simply because they are essentially for forging rings, flanges, bearings, gears, wheels, and sleeve rings for use in automobiles, Used in aerospace, oil and gas industries.
Just before graduation
All of the equipment has been carefully installed in a factory that is nearing completion in terms of finishing touches and aesthetics, although the force required to carry all of the machines can be challenging and can delay the start.
However, given the huge amount of support the company has received from both inside and outside Nigeria, hopes are growing for the engineering firm to bring its products to market soon. Apparently because of the concrete work of Robert and his company, the Bank of Industry visited things and convinced itself of supporting the production with considerable financial outlay. A few months after top BoI officials visited to see the wonderful engineering work being done there, representatives of the Nigerian export and import bank NEXIM also visited the Zeetin factory and were impressed with what they saw and promised to themselves see ways of working with the company to achieve its goal of producing cars for Nigeria. Likewise, the leadership of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, NSE, which regulates engineering practice in Nigeria, paid Zeeting a working visit where Robert and his engineering team guided the experts through the project and the functions of the complex machines in the factory to them.
“I just want to use my brain and my resources to invent something that can add value to Nigeria and Nigerians, even though I’m a trained lawyer,” said Robert when asked about the motivation for getting started in the design and manufacture of Engineers.
“In history there are people who create things and leave their mark on the sands of time, and I want to create a niche so that in the near future, when I am no longer there, the invention continues to speak for me. What I am building now is not just to make money, but to leave a worthy legacy that others can benefit from. That is all my wish and my ambition, ”said the man who was affectionately known as Jonathan’s cousin.
Despite what Robert has achieved and what he is working on, he decides to beautify himself in unadulterated humility and at the same time actively press the success button to achieve his goals. As close as he is to former President Goodluck Jonathan, whom he calls “My Brother”, Robert has never flown the presidential jet or driven in the same car with the man during his entire presidency. Instead, he has decided to work in the background for the Things to do.
A gifted and talented person, particularly in the areas of creative thinking, with extensive knowledge of computers and computers, Robert is a wizard of software applications for design, graphics and programming applications.
Robert also has hands-on experience in craft and carpentry, considerable knowledge of the workings of engines and other mechanical devices including fluids and fluid mechanics, as well as energy and propulsion systems, which have helped him immensely in dealing with the great ambition of producing cars and trucks in a time of national economic challenges.
But now it seems as if Robert’s dream of producing Nigeria’s first electric car, truck and machine, which he saw when he was born in 1969, is becoming concrete every day and brings him closer to the threshold of becoming a historian, a game changer and a revolutionary.
Avant-Garde News Nigeria