Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi
My TETFAIR journey commenced when a team of researchers from Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, conceived the idea of utilising basalt-based composite material for the production of vehicle brake pads. In the operation of vehicles, few components carry as much significance and importance as the brake pad.
Brake pad production in Nigeria languishes as industrialists heavily rely on importing raw materials for production. Statistics revealed by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) disclosed that an average of 18.5 million brake pads were imported into Nigeria from 2000 to 2011. The consequences are profound, as manufacturers have succumbed to the burden of exorbitant import costs.
Despite the immense potential within this industry, my team faced an uneven playing field where our idea couldn’t progress because we lacked the necessary technical guidance and entrepreneurial mentorship. The dynamics changed when we heard about TETFAIR. We applied to TETFAIR with a mission to explore locally sourced alternative materials for brake pad production, focusing on Basalt, which is abundant in Jos, Plateau State. We were selected to participate and our exciting TETFAIR journey of translating our idea into innovation and solution began at Innov8 Hub.
During the Market Validation phase of TETFAIR, my team received positive feedback from 3 prominent transportation companies in Nigeria. The consensus was resounding, confirming that there is a huge demand for locally-produced brake pads that can favourably compete with imported brake pads which are mostly of low quality.
Working in synergy with mentors and experts of TETFAIR, we traversed the needed processes and procedures of product development, prototyping and venture creation that led our product into becoming a viable solution for the Nigerian automobile industry, that is simultaneously becoming a venture that creates employment and boosts the nation’s economy.
In conclusion, my TETFAIR journey has instigated a paradigm-shift in my career; from being just an academic to an innovator, a venture creator and a patent holder. This initiative couldn’t have come at a better time, for the nation, the academia and the industry. At TETFAIR, we experienced firsthand how the deployment of expertise, technology, and entrepreneurial mentorship was precisely what we needed to actualise the dream of manufacturing brake pads with locally sourced materials, poised to match global benchmarks.
My heartfelt gratitude to TETFund and Innov8 Hub for championing this cause. The prospects and potentials within TETFAIR are massive, and if sustained, the outcome will be national development to unimaginable heights.