Malam Farouk Salim, Director-General of SON

Consumer Protection: SON seizes substandard tyres worth N600m, arrests warehouse manager

*Our message to importers is that we are coming for unscrupulous importers, and we are not ready for compromise; we will prosecute ─Farouk Salim, Director-General of Standards Organisation of Nigeria

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

As part of the regulatory agency’s efforts at fighting against fake and substandard products in the country, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has disclosed it confiscated substandard tyres worth N600 million in value during an enforcement exercise along the Lagos─Ibadan Expressway.

Malam Farouk Salim, Director-General of SON, Friday, April 23 stated that the seizure at the enforcement exercise was part of SON’s efforts at and commitment to safeguarding lives and property of unsuspecting consumers in the country, agency report said.

Seized substandard tyres   File Photo

Salim, who decried the absence of the standards body at the Nigerian port, noted that the fight against substandard goods was best tackled at the point of entry.

The SON Director-General said that the enforcement exercise was to ensure that the tyres did not find their way into the markets in the country.

At a discreet warehouse located in a remote area in Ogun, Salim showed the seized tyres stuffed in over 100 containers, and said that the integrity of the tyres had been lost.

The seized tyres, with no economic value, are like time bombs waiting to explode, he noted.

The SON Chief, therefore, stressed that the agency would stop at nothing in ensuring that substandard tyres do not find their way into the hands of unsuspecting consumers in the country.

He described SON’s relationship with Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) as excellent, while noting the need for closer synergy between both agencies to combat the menace of substandard goods in Nigeria.

Salim further said: “This is a very dangerous situation because people’s lives are at stake and our roads are not safe because of something like this.

“We have no idea how these tyres got into this country; we are not at the ports, and they did not come through us. They do not have papers with us that the goods have been cleared.

“We do not also have access to the port, because if we were at the ports, there is no way we would allow about 100 containers, and you can imagine if there existed another 15 warehouses around the country. We are looking at about 2,000 containers slipping through unnoticed.”

He stated: “Do not forget that the country is wide, and I will not be surprised if there are other warehouses in other locations.

“It is a very dangerous trend, and this is why we are still emphasising that the best way to enforce is to be at the point of entry.”

Salim added: “Our message to importers is that we are coming for unscrupulous importers and we are not ready for compromise and we will prosecute. There is no way we can salvage these tyres. So, we are going to destroy them.

‘‘We have arrested the manager of the warehouse, but the owner of the product is a foreigner and happens to be outside of the country, and we are sure he would come to explain himself; and if he does not, we will just prosecute the manager and anybody involved in this property.”

He enjoined members of the public to always insist on buying quality goods, adding, this is the only way to drive Nigeria’s industrialisation.

Mr. Emmanuel Ogbagu, Manager of the warehouse, told the SON Director General, that the warehouse employs manpower from outside to unstuff the tyres to be taken to various markets across the country.

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