Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has stated that its officials seized two containers of imported used tyres, five stuffed into one while being off-loaded into a warehouse at the Ikoku Motor Spare Parts Market in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, last week.
The seizure, according to SON, was based an alert provided by a patriotic Nigerian to its officials who moved to the site with the support of the security forces.
SON revealed that the stuffed, used tyres were concealed in containers of imported used vehicles to beat regulatory procedures.
SON noted that the importer, Mr. Uchenna Ibewute in the company of the Chairman, Port Harcourt Motor Spare Parts Dealers Union, Chief Anthony Iwu in a written undertaking conceded the consignment to SON for destruction. He pleaded for leniency from prosecution and promised to desist from dealing in substandard products henceforth.
The SON Director-General, Mallam Farouk Salim, who was in Rivers State on working visit, led the exercise and accepted the plea of the importer for leniency on account of being a first offender and his willingness to cooperate with SON in ridding the society of the dangerous items.
Mallam Farouk Salim called on Nigerians to assist the SON in protecting the citizens by providing useful information on standards infractions.
According to him, “It is bad enough to import used tyres, but worse to have them stuffed five into one as even stuffed new tyres constitute dangers to road users because of the damage already done to them in the process of stuffing and un-stuffing”.
Used tyres are contraband and Nigerians should avoid using them as there are no standards to adjudge their quality status, he said.
The SON DG reiterated his plan to continue the engagement with market associations across the country to ensure their collaboration in order to substantially reduce the circulation of substandard and life-threatening products in Nigeria.
“We have to work with them because we cannot make headway except we have good intelligence which can only come from the people within and around the markets. The market leaders know the bad eggs among them and we are confident that they are ready to remove them” he said.
This, according to him, is essential in order to protect the hardworking majority who are doing genuine businesses and complying with government regulations, paying taxes and providing employment for Nigerians.
He promised to invite the importer and representatives of the Market Association to witness the destruction of the used tyres.