Two Chinese are to be prosecuted for their involvement in the importation of fake and substandard tyres worth N5 billion into the country
MessrsTaolung Shen and Xu Jing Yao were arrested and their company Sino Nigeria Import and Export Limited’s warehouse in Lagos sealed by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON).
Director-General of SON Osita Aboloma, who showed reporters round the warehouse at Alakija area on Badagry Road in Lagos at the weekend, lamented that the importation of such tyres endangered the lives of millions of Nigerians.
He said many of the over three million tyres brought into the country in over 60 containers, had post-dated manufacturing dates –some of them with March 2017 date on them.
They also cloned different sizes of tyres under such brand names as Powertrac, Aptany, Harmony, Duraturn, Bearway, City Tour, Winda, Glory, Chachland, City Grand, Grandsonte (Tyre Type) and Sunny (for tricycle) among others.
Many of the tyres arrived in Nigeria stuffed into one another. In some instances as many as five stuffed into one. Many are bent and ruptured and looking weak and slack.
Aboloma described the tyres as “dead on arrival”, adding that allowing such consignments into the country could lead to motor accidents and loss of lives.
He said stuffing tyres through the long sea journey from China to Lagos had already compromised the quality let alone the crude way the tyres were separated on arrival in Nigeria and the poor storage facility, without sufficient aeration in the warehouse.
”The 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 at the expense of the lives of Nigerians”, Aboloma said.
He lamented that the raid on the company revealed a lot of illicit activities, including re-labelling, high level of stuffing of tyres into one, tampering with expiry dates and staking the tyres in very adverse conditions.
“it is a clear case of investing millions in illicit business in order to take away the lives of millions of Nigerians. to destroy the lives of millions of Nigerians. If we should allow something like this, it will amount to killing Nigerians”, Aboloma said.
”I want to reiterate that there is no hiding place for those who deal in substandard products as they will be caught and their products confiscated. Today’s is an example”, he said.
”Nothing can be recouped from such stuffed in tyres, no need to test anything because the tyres have already been destroyed on arrival,” he said.
Aboloma promised to bring the Chinese and others in illicit trade to book.
He said SON was exploring all avenues towards nipping acts like that in the bud.
“For us, it is a continuous fight. Currently, we are prosecuting about five cases in different high courts in line with the mandate of the SON. We burn substandard products when there is need to, following laid down procedures.” he said.
Aboloma cautioned users of automobile tyres on the need to be extra cautious when buying products.
He said: “The nation’s laws must be made to work by ensuring that it is implemented to the letter. l must reiterate here that the full force of the SON Act that empowers her to prosecute offenders will be invoked on the perpetrators of this economic crime in no short time. It is left to imagine the number of lives that would have been lost to this wicked act by a few people.