• Saturday, May 18, 2024
businessday logo


SON makes seizure of largest substandard tyres worth N5bn

Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has made, in one swoop, a seizure of the largest substandard tyres in Nigeria worth N5 billion, brought into the country in about 60 containers.
This was disclosed Saturday, as SON took the press to the warehouse the tyres were housed at Navy Town, Satellite, Lagos. 
Before now, Tanlong Shen and Xu Jing Yao, two Chinese nationals, who work with Sino Tyres Limited, had been arrested in connection with the tyres.
The two were paraded Saturday before the press, as the SON sealed off the warehouse they had been cloning different sizes of tyres under brand names as Powertrac, Aptany, Harmonic, Duraturn Mozzo, City Tour, City Rover, Cachland Bearway, City Grand, Grandsonte, and Sunny Tyres (for tricycles).
From investigation, much of the tyres arrived Nigeria with five tyres stuffed into one, and as such had been bent and ruptured on several portions and looking weak and sagging. And from this warehouse the tyres are labelled and rebranded with shinny linings to create impression of being new and healthy.
“This one is heavy. Look at the way they brought them into the country, and relabelled them,” Osita Aboloma, director-general/chief executive, SON, said, when conducted the press around the warehouse, describing the tyres as “dead on arrival, as allowing such consignments will amount to surreptitiously taking away the lives of millions of Nigerians.”
According to Aboloma, stuffing tyres through the long sea journey from China to Lagos had already compromised the quality, not to talk of the crude way the tyres were separated on arrival in Nigeria and the poor storage facility, without sufficient aeration in the warehouse, saying the SON will not tolerate this.
“SON Directorate of Compliance intercepted one of their trucks on the highway, tracked it and then this. You can see the amount of danger that these people are posing to our people and our economy just because they want to make huge profit on the expense of the lives of Nigerians,” the SON boss said.
Getting to the premises of the company revealed a lot of illicit activities, including re-labelling, high level of stuffing of several tyres into one, tampering with expiry dates and staking the tyres in very adverse conditions, he said.
“It is a clear case of investing millions in illicit business in order to take away the lives of millions of Nigerians. If we should allow something like this, it will amount to killing Nigerians,” he said.
He showed tyres in the stock post-dated January as manufactured date, and were already in the country as of the time of the seizure, despite that it would take months for shipments from China to arrive Nigeria, saying “such anticipatory dating had malicious intention.
“I want to reiterate that there is no hiding place for those who deal in substandard products as they would be caught and their products confiscated. Today’s is an example,” he said, saying, “Nothing can be recouped from such stuffed in tyre, no need to test anything because the tyres have already been destroyed on arrival.” 
When asked what the agency intend doing to get these tyre types off the Nigerian market, Aboloma said the agency was going to carry out a serious mop-up of the products from the various markets.
He advised tyre users to henceforth demand that dealers indicate the dates of manufacture of the tyres on receipts when they buy them, which would make them liable for whatever they sell and further promote consumer protection.
Responding to the question of what the Federal Government was doing concerning Asian countries, where much of the substandard products come from, he said the matter was being handled at the highest diplomatic level, expressing the optimism that the desired result would be got at the end of the day.