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As the combat against the new coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to scale up across the world, a Nigerian startup known as Bennie Agro Team has made it to the list of global tech-innovators that are coming up with locally made ventilators to fight the disease. The Agro tool and equipment-making company took to its social media page to display the machine and stated that it was made from available resources. 

In a news report, the CEO of Bennie Agro Team, Jerry Isaac Mallo said this latest invention is not only geared towards providing a solution during these times, but also aimed at alleviating the challenges of the masses. He also added that his company saw the need to venture into the production of ventilators because African countries have recently been faced with difficulties in purchasing the medical equipment which has become highly  expensive.

Mallo also stated that the Plateau state government supported his company with funds to create the prototype. He, however, said that just a prototype was not enough as his team needed a medical crew to scrutinize the functionality of the ventilator they had made. A clinical test which was eventually carried out clarified that the invention can be utilized with a few improvements.

The young engineer is, therefore, appealing for support so that his company can get all the needed materials for an improved version of the machine. According to Mallo, “Nigeria will be a proud manufacturer of its ventilators” if his company has all the necessary materials.

The 25-year old Nigerian inventor also manufactured Nigeria’s first “carbon fibre sports car” in November 2019. It would be recalled that at the unveiling of the car at Transcorp Hilton Hotels, Abuja, he stated that the sports car would be the first of many more innovative products.

According to a news report, Lai Mohammed, Nigeria’s Minister of Information had announced that President Muhammadu Buhari spoke with United States’ (US) President Donald Trump during which they had a conversation on the peculiarities of how the COVID-19 pandemic was being addressed in Nigeria.  This was disclosed on Tuesday, 28 April 2020, at the presidential task force on COVID-19 briefing.  

The report, however, stated that President Donald Trump believes Nigeria desperately needs ventilators to boost its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. In solidarity with Nigeria, Lai Mohammed stated that the US President has promised to send ventilators to support the country.

The Nigerian government has steadily exhibited poor confidence for its local manufacturing sector. This could also account for why many Nigerians would rather buy an imported product than Nigerian-made goods as it leaders have not been exemplary.  

Meanwhile, the Faculty of Engineering and Medical Sciences at the University of Benin (UNIBEN) has also announced its invention of a clinically tested ventilator. It would be in Nigeria’s best interest, in this time of a global emergency, to take radical steps to support indigenous inventors like Jerry Mallo. Also, funds and other resources need to be provided so that local inventors can adequately compete on the global stage.

As of 30 April 2020, Nigeria discovered 204 new cases of the new coronavirus cases increasing its number to 1932 cases.

Bennie Agro Team is a manufacturer of machines, tools and equipment for small scale & large scale industrial and agricultural purposes. Its partners with firms, individuals, cooperatives and investors in the agricultural market/industry to help create custom made machines that will address the challenges farmers & farm produce processing companies face.

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