By Providence Obuh
THE Federal Government has empowered Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to jail dealers in substandard products for ten years.
Based on this, the SON has given a 24 hours ultimatum to tyre dealers in the country to destroy every fake tyre in their stock or face prosecution.
Acting Director General of SON, Dr. Paul Angya, gave the ultimatum at a stakeholder’s forum for tyre dealers in Lagos, stating: “Our new Act 2015 empowered us to jail promoters of sub-standard product up to 10 years and we will not relent to jail any culprit.
Angya who said that the era of seizure and destruction of fake and substandard products was over, made reference to a recent report by the Road Safety Commission stating that out of 8,986 accidents recorded in 2015, 722 were due to tyre bursts, resulting in the death of 446 persons.
He threatened to charge with murder, any dealer of fake tyre caught, saying, ‘’We are going to stamp out corruption among the tyre dealers, “we are going to set up a taskforce and we will not sleep until we confirm that accidents in the country are not traced to substandard tyres again.”
He said that the agency has the legal backing to shut down any shop displaying fake tyres for at least three months without going to court and that offenders could also bag up to ten years imprisonment without any option of fine
He urged the tyre dealers to cooperate with the organization to put an end to importation of sub-standard tyres into the country.
“We are ready to eliminate importation of sub-standard products into Nigeria, because of this we have reached out to other government agencies to ensure that we work together and stop smugglers of fake products into the country.
“If you have fake tyre in your shop make sure you disposed them in the next 24 hours, thereafter our team will visit you and we will charge you for murderer.
“To eliminate corruption from SON, we are going to introduce e-payment, e-invoice and e-receipt to stamp out corruption from the system,” he said.
Improving local products
Speaking on improving locally produced goods, Angya said that the organization has a vision to get closer to the people so that their goods and farm products will be up to global standard.
“To ease our work and improve quality of goods and products in Nigeria, we are working to improve expansion of SON facilities across the country so that people in Sokoto will not travel to Maiduguri to text their products”
SON boss said the agency is doing is best to strengthen its laboratories system to ensure that Nigeria products will not be rejected in oversea.
“What many of our farmers does before they can take their products to abroad is to first take it to Ghana laboratory for text, once the goods pass through text in Ghana the products will send to abroad in the name of Ghana and Ghana government will take the glory.”
He affirmed that the practice of taking Nigeria products to another country and label them another country name is over.
Mrs. Mbah Adaora, a representative of the Consumers Protection Council (CPC), advised the tyre dealers to heed the advice and desist from the importation and sale of substandard tyres causing death and other related loss in the country
Meanwhile, Vice Chairman, Nigeria Tyre Marketers, Mr. Okechukwu Eze, urged the government to work on the roads that are in bad shape across the country which according to him is affecting the vehicle tyres and thereby causing accidents.