Mr. Aghogho Ajiyin,
Dele Ogbodo in Abuja
Nigeria’s first miniature airplane inventor, Mr. Aghogho Ajiyin, from Oghara, Delta state, on Wednesday solicited the assistance of government in helping him become the first African to manufacture an aeroplane that can be deployed to monitoring oil pipelines, security surveillance and for recreational purposes.
Speaking with journalists at the sideline after about 10 minutes flight demonstration in the presence of the Minister of Science and Technology, Mr. Ogbonnaya Onu and ministry officials at the Eagle Square in Abuja, the inventor said, the first time he attempted to build an aeroplane was in 1992 in Warri Delta state.
Ajiyin said plane can fly above 4000 feet metres within a radius of 5kilometres, assured that the plane will be flown for 5 hours in the forthcoming miniature plane festival planned for December.
He said: “I had this passion that I think can suppress that downward pull of gravity in the air in 1992 and 1994, and with several attempts but little success.” The young inventor who said, he had little education added that he mustard courage in 1997 through research and reading of book, led him to the application of some flight principals.
“With this I was able to achieve some successes, and in 1999, my first plane was able to fly from the ground unaided for about a couple of feet from the ground.
“From 1999 till date I have been able to transform and refine the previous version of the primitive to the sophisticated masterpiece that was on display today.”
On his expected assistance from government, he added: “Having come this far, I have really packaged everything, one of the major support that I need now is finance to put everything in a workable system, and having the opportunity to talk to the minister today.
“I want the government to help me with the plane festival and perhaps sponsors will emerge as it is done abroad.”
Ajiyin, said he is not thinking of going to any aviation school because of the financial challenges he is confronting within and outside the country. It took me all these years to get to this stage because I have been the only one funding the work, he said.
He expressed appreciation to the minister who after watching a TV footage him in Oghara, Delta state, decided to invite him to Abuja to showcase his invention, adding in pidgin English: “For somebody like this minister we don’t need a Native Doctor, to tell us that he has something big for the youths in the country.”
The inventor dismissed the fears of plane crash, adding I know what I’m doing and today I can give myself pass mark of 60 percent. With that I can therefore boldly say that I’m not scared of any air accident.
Speaking at after the flight display, Onu, commended Ayijin for his efforts in pioneering Nigeria’s first miniature plane. He pledged government’s commitment to assist him bringing his dream to fruition through the Pride of Niger plane..
The minister said: “I assure u of government’s support, we assure all Nigerians that any Nigerian with good idea will get good support from the ministry to make it into products and services that will be of tremendous help to the nation.