The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has warned importers of fake and substandard tyres to desist from the act, to avoid being tagged as “public enemies”.
The Director-General, SON, Malam Farouk Salim, gave the warning at a one-day sensitisation programme in Lagos on Tuesday.
The theme of the event is; ”Vehicle tyres, quality and management for effectiveness”.
Salim, represented by the organisation’s Director of Compliance, Mr Suleiman Issa, said that Nigeria could not continue to import death via the dubious deals by unscrupulous individuals to make money at all costs without regards for safety of product end-users.
He said analysis by the standards body showed that the bulk of substandard tyres in Nigeria were imported and the development had continued to give a deadly blow to the nation’s economy.
He gave the assurance that such situation would not be allowed to continue and warned that it was no longer business as usual for such dealers.
“It is absolutely good that we have gathered here this morning to brainstorm and enlighten ourselves on how to save lives and secure our environment from the scourge of preventable accidents and auto crashes on our highways.
“Our main concern is the state of motor vehicle tyres on our roads; however, for the fact that you have good tyres on your vehicle does not mean you have to embark on over-speeding which equally kills.
“The SON remains absolutely committed to regulating the product, and while Nigeria has an estimated 40 million used tyres across the country, we have successfully removed about 10 million within six months.
“Our records show that seized expired or bad tyres constituted almost the biggest haul in the agency’s warehouses and we have confiscated and destroyed fake tyres worth billions in recent years,” he said.
Salim stated that the SON would intensify efforts aimed at enlightening Nigerians on the implications of misuse of these products even as it implemented measures that would assure the quality of ‘properly’ imported tyres.
He urged all operators to always do the right thing by buying and selling only quality and certified motor vehicle tyres to ensure safety on Nigerian roads.
“Please, avail yourselves of the opportunities offered by this forum to learn few more things from our experts on good vehicle conditioning using quality tyres as a prerequisite,” he said.
The President, Association of Nigeria Tyre Marketers, Alhaji Issa Akanbi, promised that members would continue to do all that was right and within reach to sustain collaboration with SON to fight against substandard tyres and related products.
Akanbi said it was common knowledge that tyres were a vehicle component that put the life of passengers at risk if and when taken for granted.
“This is the reason we see tyres as life here, giving it our possible best to maintain the right standard and quality when allowed into our market.
“Our association does not intend to compromise on this irrespective of threats and intimidation of some faceless individuals and organisations who do not bother about the negative consequences of their greed and wickedness in compromising on tyres,” he said.
Akanbi emphasised the need for government to carry the association along as stakeholders in the formulation of policies that concerned the business, for necessary guidelines to shore up local content.