The Director-General of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Mr. Osita Anthony Aboloma, has called on motorists and Nigerians in general to take additional precautions as they convey passengers to and from their different destinations in the yuletide.
Such precautions, he said, should begin with a thorough check of the status of their tyres to ensure that they fall within the recommended standards of SON.
He also urged Nigerian to ensure they comply with the recommended tyre pressure before they embark on their journeys.
Aboloma who was delivering a goodwill message for the season against the background of the Christmas and New Year celebration said the status of vehicle tyres was a strong determinant of safety behind the wheels, saying that motorists should take this into consideration.
Meanwhile, the agency said it had an inventory of over N400million worth of substandard tyres awaiting destruction in its warehouses.
The destruction is to both serve as a deterrent to others, and to also forestall a situation where such products if left undestroyed could reenter the society with its obvious and staggering implications.
Aboloma, who bemoaned the fact that some motorists still take the condition of tyres with levity, added that this had resulted in a lot of avoidable road crashes leading to loss of lives and property.
The SON boss said his agency would continue to sensitise Nigerians on the propriety of double-checking the quality of products they buy, while at the same time sanctioning those behind such substandard products.
In the case of tyres, he said common problems include, outright substandard brands, expired tyres, stuffing at the point of shipping and haulage within the country, as well as inappropriate gauging.
“We know that these are issues that could actually be contained if people were a bit more sincere and careful. But experience has shown that there are many people, from manufacturers, to importers, vulcaniers down to drivers who do not want to do their right thing; they would rather try to cut corners, and this is the results of some of these negative incidents on the road.”
Aboloma said as the apex regulatory agency on standards, that the SON would continue its efforts in checkmating manufacture, import or sale of substandard products, saying this was in the interest of the nation.
According to him, the impact of substandard products on the Nigerian economy is enormous, as it contributes to loss of national revenue, closure of factories, loss of jobs, and negative returns on investment.
He said the SON has put in place an aggressive sensitisation campaigns going forward, while at the same strengthening internal mechanisms aimed at arresting the problem of substandard products in the country.
Aboloma referred to recent shuttle visits to sister agencies like the Customs and other relevant agencies at the ports and border, in the effort to synergy operations against the influx of substandard products in the country, saying his agency would continue to explore other avenues aimed at achieving success with the campaign.
“We have already spoken about our resolve to support small and medium enterprises in the county. This would become a reality when they are saved of unhealthy completion from imported substandard products, and also once they imbibe standardisation procedures specially tailored for SMEs. It makes their products more reputable and reliable and increase demand of such products”.
He appealed to Nigerians to continue to support the SON in the discharge of its duties especially by volunteering information when and where necessary, adding that such information had been effective in detecting and arresting substandard products.