Abuja – Nigerians spent over N1 trillion on the importation of fake and sub-standard products last year, Mr Joseph Odumodu, the Director General of Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), has said.
Odumodu disclosed this on Thursday in an interview with journalists in Abuja.
He listed the imported items to include electrical accessories, switches, batteries, used refrigerators and air conditioners and other environment degrading materials and junks.
Odumodu said the agency seized and evacuated about 20 trucks of fake energy saving bulbs, substandard iron rods and fake tyres.
He expressed concern at the rate at which fake tyres are imported into the country, and said that most importers of second hand tyres “do not usually buy them but are paid to help dispose them of by foreign countries.
Odumodu said that all countries have challenges with disposing off expired tyres.
“The life span of a tyre in Europe and America ranges between four years and five years, and an average European or American will remove his tyres, even if they have not covered 10,000 km, for safety reasons.
“Our people go to those sites where they keep tyres to pick them; actually they don’t buy them.
“I am even told that they pay them to help them dispose of the tyres and where do they dispose the tyres but in Nigeria; so they bring them to us,’’ he said.
The director general said the agency was saddled with the challenge and task of how to dispose of the seized tyres and had resolved not to burn them because of the impact on the environment.
“We don’t want to burn them as we will be polluting the environment; nor can we throw them into the sea; we must protect the aquatic life,’’ he said.
Odumodu, however, said the agency was discussing with investors on the possibility of setting up tyre shredding plants in the country. (NAN)