Joseph Odumodu, SON DG
By Crusoe Osagie
The Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), weekend, held a one-day sensitisation workshop with auto parts traders in Ladipo market in Lagos, vowing to rid the market of used and substandard tyres, which have been prohibited in the country.
Leading the SON delegation to the Market, the Director-General of SON, Joseph Odumodu, represented by the Head of enforcement, Louis Njoku, said that meeting with the traders under the aegis of Ladipo Auto Central Executive Committee (LACEC) and sensitising them was the first step towards ridding the market of all substandard auto parts.
He said that it was in the best interest of all stakeholders for substandard products to be removed from the markets as the lives of people cannot continue to be mortgaged for monetary gains.
“This exercise is been carried out across the country by SON through our team of engineers to educate members of various market associations about the dangers associated with the sale of used tyres.
Our mission is to ensure that all substandard products are removed from the market, for instance used tyres because of the high incidence of road mishaps caused by these prohibited tyres, and we will surely remove every single one of them,” he vowed.
Enlightening the traders on the dangers posed by used tyres, the SON Regional Director North Central, Engr. Adebuyi Nelson remarked that what is being done all over the world today is partnerships and collaboration which is exactly what SON is establishing with all of these market associations.
He emphasised that all items for sale in the market were under the regulation of SON pointing out that the essence of partnership was to intimate and educate the sellers on what could be sold in the market and what was not fit for sale in the market also.
He revealed that there were currently 2,015 motor vehicle parts standards, which every motor parts dealer ought to be familiar with depending on what parts they are offering for sale.
He pointed out that apart from financial wastages in buying used tyres, relevant statistics have shown that used tyres have killed more people than the dreaded HIV/AIDS virus from 2005 till date.
“The importance of this underlies the prohibition of used tyres in the country; it is not aimed at putting innocent people out of business, but to ensure safety of lives and property on the roads, so that people can better enjoy life,” he said.
He noted that not even all brand new tyres are good which is why the law also prohibits tyres that are above four years.
The traders in the market, represented by the LASEC President, Iyke Animalu, said that the information will be relayed to every trader in the market, and also sought to know why the relevant authorities do not stop the used tyres at the various points of entry into the country before it gets to the market, pointing out that if not properly handled, only small-scale traders would bear the brunt.
He called on SON to continue to sensitise marketers through such interactive and enlightenment sessions as it would greatly help to rid the country of substandard products and increase the value addition of traders to the economy.
Other suggestions raised by the traders through Animalu included a call on the federal government to quickly solve the power problem in the nation so that tyre manufacturers would be encouraged to come in and build their factories here in Nigeria; SON was also tasked to go to the countries of origin of these tyres and stop the influx from there.
Animalu asked for more time for total compliance to be achieved as more sensitisation is still being carried out by the association.
In his response, Njoku appointed out that every substandard and used tyre removed from the market means more encouragement for tyre manufacturers to come and invest in the country.
He tasked the traders on the need for self regulation to remove substandard products from the market assuring them that SON is always ready to educate them on how they can spot out fake and substandard products.
He also advised users to cultivate the culture of making efforts to seek redress through relevant agencies and regulating bodies such as SON whenever the products they purchase fail during use, stating that those who have made the effort to seek redress have had such failed goods replaced by the sellers.