IT was a black Wednesday for 57-year-old Taiwo Akinwaare, a mechanical engineer, who had toiled all his years to make a living. In one fell swoop, all he worked for 21 years of his life lay in ruins, no thanks to a mid-day fire, which cause still remains a mystery.
Akinwaare runs Morat Technical Company, fabricating machines and equipment for sale. It also served as a Technology Incubation centre, where students on Industrial Attachment had been trained on various technologies to reduce over-dependence on white-collar jobs that will make them self-reliant.
Akinwaare recalled that on the fateful day, he had attended the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) entrepreneurship programme at Samonda area of the city and was returning to his office when he got news that his factory was on fire and within two hours before help could come, his whole investment came crumbling like a pack of cards, no thanks to the late arrival of the Fire Service. He put his losses at over N130 million.
While narrating his ordeal to reporters, a distraught Akinwaare said: “I don’t know where to start now or what to do. All my life’s work has been service to humanity and fatherland, developing ‘Made-in-Nigeria’ tools and machinery for the country’s technological advancement.”
He has been involved in series of mechanical and agro-allied machine fabrication for firms, which include, Cadbury Nigeria Limited, Nigerian Breweries, Associated Match Industry, Consolidated Breweries, Cocoa Processing Industry and the biggest cocoa processing firm, Multitrex.
He is, however, grateful to God for preserving his life and his workers in the inferno. “My boys were working inside the factory, but I thank God the fire did not trap them there.”
He listed the materials and machines destroyed in the inferno to include plastic materials, generating sets of various sizes and capacities, stringing machine costing, vetting machines, metre lathe machines, welding machines, grinding machines, candle making machines, 56 universal umbrellas, new compressor, planting and harrowing machine, cassava chipping machines, temperate controller, glazing rubber machines, electric motors of various capacities, among others, all totaling about N130 million.
He appealed to the government and well-meaning Nigerians to come to his aid. “At this point, I need government’s assistance. I am still ready to work for my country because I am hale and hearty. I want the government to come to my aid in whatever form. I am also soliciting for assistance from non-governmental and international agencies.
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