The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has warned Nigerians to avoid purchasing fairly used, expired and stuffed-in tyres to safeguard their lives and property.
Mr Bola Fashina, Special Assistant to SON Director-General gave the warning on Monday in Abuja in an interview with the reporters.
Fashina said that in an attempt to circumvent procedures or short-change the nation, some unscrupulous importers stuff up to Five or Six new tyres into One while importing them into the country.
According to him, in the course of doing that they are endangering lives of Nigerians because the tyres are forced into one another, and the process of removing them destroys or makes the tyres substandard.
He noted that importers indulged in such to maximise gains but put people’s lives at risk “because once they were removed and put in the market, consumers could hardly detect until they were put on the road.
“The whole idea is to bring in five containers of tyres inside one container in order to pay duty for only one container instead of paying for six.
“Those are the kinds of new tyres that you see on vehicles that explode. They are new, but you see them peeling off on motion, those are the kind of challenges we face.
“The fact that they are new does not mean that they are good tyres because they have been stuffed and unstuffed,’’ he said.
Fashina further said that tyres particularly, are one of those life threatening products that SON had an arrangement with the Nigeria Customs Service to be notified once being imported into the country.
“Our attention is being called to it and once they are stuffed, there is no two ways about it, we seize them out-rightly and not only that we prosecute those responsible for that,’’ he added.
On fairly used tyres, Fashina said that they were termed contraband and not imported or allowed to enter into the country.
“We do not check used tyres at the point of entry because there is no standard to judge them and since they are contraband they are not supposed to come into the country.
“A lot of times when you see used tyres in the country, they have either been brought in through smuggling or as wrong declaration to get into the country.
“But beyond that, used tyres are also generated within Nigeria,’’ he added.
Fashina, however, advised owners of vehicles not to drop their tyres to any vulcanisers, whenever they were due for disposal.
“You should try and cut them otherwise they will recycle those tyres, clean them up and resell them as new tyres and they are dangerous to all, especially road users.
“Tyres are classified as life endangering products and we have arrangement with the customs to assist us to ensure that they are checked by us,’’ he said.
He added that because tyres were not being produced in Nigeria, it had a registration procedure to ensure traceability.
He said that the procedure is aimed at actually registering importers of tyres in Nigeria to trace every brand that was imported to put a check and ensure required standard.
According to Fashina, in Nigeria the life span of tyre is actually five years from the date of its manufacture, but the expiry date does not totally talk about its life span, rather the usage and storage are considered.
Fashina warned that a new tyre should not be stored with chemical items like patrol or diesel in the same place because there will be a reaction which could affect the tyre’s quality.
“It is not only the fact that the tyre is new, it has to be properly stored where it is being sold to retain its quality.
“Expired tyre kills, Nigerians should look well before purchasing them. A new tyre whether used or unused expires after four years,’’ he warned.
Furthermore, he warned consumers to check the tyre’s Date of Manufacture (DOT) before buying and add four years to the last two digits which represented the date of manufacturing to get the expiring date.