The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has evacuated 200 containers of substandard tyres from a warehouse located in Obafemi Owode, a remote area in Ogun.
Malam Farouk Salim, Director-General, SON, said the evacuation of the stuffed tyres was to prevent the product from entering the nation’s markets.
Salim, represented by Mr Mike Dakhing, Director, Inspectorate and Compliance, Directorate said the tyres had been tested and were found to have failed all the critical parameters as a result of ”stuffing”.
He recalled that purveyors were devising new methods by taking advantage of the vast nature of the country to warehouse substandard goods in remote areas.
“You may recall that few weeks ago, the director-general blew open to the whole world the nefarious activities going on in this community.
“Today, we are here to evacuate these tyres which will be the first stage in their destruction.
“We obtained the laboratory results after testing these tyres and they all failed.
“We will await the necessary legal procedures that will enable us to destroy them.
“It is worrisome that the evacuation and destruction will cost a lot of money and the SON is perfecting an Act that will ensure standard products in the country,” he said.
Reacting to a question on why the tyres were classified as substandard, Salim explained that the act of ”stuffing”, render the tyres dead on arrival into the country.
“The act of stuffing tyres into one another and instead of bringing in the tyres in different containers have rendered the tyres bad.
“For example, if they are to bring 300 tyres in one container, they will now have the opportunity to bring in 1500 tyres and in doing that, this compromises the quality of the tyres.
“As you know, the tyres are made of wires and carbon and the test reviewed that the textile strength of the tyres have been compromised.
“So, they are no more fit for purpose and this is why we are going to destroy them.
“They may look nice in the eyes, but we rely on scientific investigation and analysis,” he said.
Salim assured that the SON would prosecute the unscrupulous importers of these tyres.
According to him, SON has laws that specify the right type of punishments to be melted on dealers of fake and substandard products in the country.
He called on Nigerians to always support the agency by giving relevant information should they suspect any form of dubious activity in their locality.
“This is important because SON cannot be everywhere to checkmate the preponderance of these products with no economic value.
“I will like to appreciate the source of information to this place, because we got this through intelligent reports.
“We crave on the indulgence of Nigerians and implore them to help us identify not only tyres, but all products that are dangerous to human lives and the environment.
“We are calling on Nigerians to let us have any information because in line with our mantra which is “see something say something” as we cannot be everywhere if Nigerians do not help us we will not be able to address this issue headlong,” he said.
He stressed the need to increase its sensitisation across the country as Nigerians who still purchase substandard products because they are cheap, need to be warned about the negative effects of these products.
“We are in a dilemma and just like any other regulatory agency, when a consumer in his own decision goes to buy something that is substandard because it is cheap.
“There is no much a regulator can do and this is why we organise sensitisation programmes and stakeholders engagement to educate Nigerians about the effects of substandard products.
“Because a lot of lives have been lost in the process of buying substandard products particularly tyres, electric cables and cylinders.
“We are not at the point of entry so we can only rely on information that people give us.
“And in doing that we also need to sensitise the public on the harmful effects of these substandard goods to their health and others.
“This is the only thing we can rely on for now,” the director-general said.