THE Standards Organisation of Nigeria has embarked on a nationwide mopping up of substandard tyres with the aim of destroying them in an operation code-named, ‘Operation Gbale’.
Director, Inspectorate and Enforcement, SON, Mr. Bede Obayi, disclosed this to journalists on Friday during the destruction of over N5 billion worth of seized tyres, which were kept in the agency’s warehouse in Lagos.
Obayi said SON had been carrying out sensitisation campaigns aimed at educating buyers about the dangers of patronising fake tyre distributors. He said that in a bid to ensure that the tyres would not find their way back into the market, the agency had acquired sophisticated and rugged equipment that could destroy the tyres without causing harm to the environment.
He stated: “This nationwide campaign is meant to discourage people from selling and buying these tyres because they are dangerous. These tyres are mopped up at various locations in the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory.
“They are being mopped up from those who are packing tyres in three-in-one, four-in-one to save cost. By the time you bring these tyres in such shapes, you have destroyed the tyres, even if you have the SONCAP, which Nigeria has approved as a clearing document for products that are coming into this country; the certificate has already been invalidated.”
According to him, millions of seized tyres are in the agency’s warehouse because it is not easy to destroy them. “If we throw them into the sea, these tyres cannot melt, they will just remain there and constitute aquatic problems, and that is why we have mopped them up and are keeping them to destroy them appropriately.
When they are burnt, they can equally cause environmental pollution and that is why we have acquired rugged machines that can destroy these tyres in such a way that nobody can put them back into use,” Obayi added,
He said the perpetrators were in the habit of scrapping off the expiry dates on the tyres and changing them with new and recent dates to deceive consumers. According to him, fairly used tyres are usually picked from the garbage dumps overseas and repackaged for sale to unsuspecting Nigerians.