Henceforth, any motor or vehicle tyres dealer who goes to China or elsewhere to order for the importation of fake tyres into Nigeria would be apprehended to face murder charges. Again, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria [SON] has been on the trail of the dealer on the tyre that recently killed the Minister of State, Labour and Productivity, James Ocholi [SAN], his wife and son as well as an army general. These were some of the disclosures of SON’s Acting Director General, Dr. Paul Angya at an expanded stakeholders’ sensitization forum on tyres in Lagos recently.
At the end of the workshop, participants drawn from SON, Federal Roads Safety Corps [FRSC], Consumers Protection Council [CPC], Association of Nigerian Tyre Marketers [ANTM], Tyre Dealers Association of Nigeria [TDAN], the Police, Customs, the Media, among others, were unanimous that drastic measures needed to be taken in order to stop further loss of lives on the highways due to tyre burst.
Investigation reveals that in 2015 alone, the nation recorded a total number of 8,986 major road accidents out of which 7,022 were through tyre burst and according to FRSC Corps Marshal, Boboye Oyeyemi, 446 lives were lost through auto crashes last year  alone. Angya, who has been in the saddle as acting chief helmsman of SON since February 2016, sounded it loud and clear that enough was enough. “We are keying into the Federal Government’s change mantra in the area of anti-corruption crusade.
Dealing in fake and sub-standard products is the worst type of corruption all over the world. When you steal billions of Naira, the citizens and country suffer but remain alive but when you deal with sub-standard products, you are a killer. Our industries have been killed, our people are being killed; we are going after unfair dealers.” To the SON boss, the economy would grow, lives saved and local industries protected if Nigerians stop dealing with fake and sub-standard products like stuffed or worn out tyres.
SON has since swung into action, giving tyre dealers’ 24-hour ultimatum to evacuate fake and sub-standard tyres or face the wrath of the law.
The agency has commenced tyre registration exercise whereby all genuine dealers are expected to register with the organisation to ensure effective monitoring and enforcement. The SON team already in action has been empowered by law to shut down for 90 days without going to court any warehouse or shop stocked with counterfeit or sub-standard products. The dealer of such product can also be detained for 10 years.