- To prosecute culprits for murder
Worried about the loss of lives and property as a result of the usage of substandard tyres in the country, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has given the dealers of the product, manufacturers and importers 24 hours to clean up their stores, as a reconstituted task force is set to search for and impound fake and substandard tyres across markets in the country.
According to the Acting Director General SON, Mr. Paul Angya, the statistics from the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) indicated that a high of number people are killed in the country due to incidents from substandard tyres.
Angya, during a stakeholders’ meeting with tyre dealers, manufacturers and importers, stated: “The statistics is gruelling, in 2015, the total annual road traffic crashes was about 8,986 road accidents, killing about 4,910 people, out of which over 722 of those road crashes resulted from burst tyres.
“This is what we have been suffering in Nigeria. We have invited you here to tell you that enough is enough and those dealing in substandard tyres, when we catch you, we will treat you as a murderer. We are not going to charge for dealing with fake and substandard tyres but charge you for killing innocent people,” he said.
The Acting SON boss during the meeting said: “You have 24 hours to clean up your stores if you have substandard tyres in your store. Please make sure that they disappear within 24 hours and make sure that they disappear within 24 hours and make sure we do not find you with those tyres. Within 24 hours, our team is coming and now we have a law that authorises us to close you down for as long as we want without going to court and we will use it.”
He added, “We have a law to shut you down for three months without taking you to court and we also have a law that prescribes punishment of up to 10 years for dealing in fake and substandard products, so even if we cannot pin a murder charge on you, a letter charging you for dealing with fake and substandard products will land you in jail for 10 years.
“We are also constituting a taskforce on tyres comprising of your members to show you that we are dealing transparently and this taskforce is not going to sleep until we can confirm that road accidents cannot be traced to fake and substandard tyres.”
”He stated that the agency’s record show that seized, expired or bad tyres constitute almost the biggest seizure in the agency’s warehouses where confiscated products are subjected to laboratory tests and analysis before public destruction, saying that SON has confiscated and destroyed fake tyres worth over N20 billion within the last three years.
“Our analysis equally shows that the bulk of sub-standard tyres we have in Nigeria are imported ones. Apart from tyres, imports have continued to deal a deadly blow not only to our economy but to all of us.
“I am therefore using this occasion to warn motor tyres importers to henceforth desist from bringing any consignment of sub-standard tyres into the country. If they do and are caught, they will be treated and paraded as “public enemies” and therefore be dealt with accordingly,” he said.