The Coordinator of Standard Organisation of Nigeria in Kwara, Mr Sunday Yashim, has said that the influx of fairly used tyres forced the two major tyre manufacturers in Nigeria, Dunlop and Michelin, to relocate to Ghana.
Yashim said SON is determined to rid Nigeria of imported fairly used and expired tyres.
Yashim made the commitment on Friday in Ilorin while speaking with newsmen after a raid on tyre shops where over 1, 000 tyres were confiscated.
“You can imagine the number of people that have lost their jobs as a result of the influx of used and expired tyres in the country,” he said.
The SON coordinator said that Nigeria had lost billions of naira to Ghana in taxes which these two companies were paying.
The raid on tyre shops was led by the SON coordinator, who was accompanied by men and officers of the Nigeria Police, Civil Defence and Federal Road Safety.
The operation was carried out in Sabo Oke, Maraba, Ajase Ipo Road and Offa Garage areas of Ilorin where three shops were sealed.
Yashim said SON embarked on the raid to rid the state of imported fairly used tyres.
“We want to ensure that “tokunbo tyres’’ are no longer used by any commercial vehicle or any vehicle at all; by so doing our tyre industry will be revived,” he said.
According to him, the majority of accidents on Nigerian roads are caused by expired tyres brought into the country illegally.
Yashim said that the risks associated with using expired tyres were many of which the common one was the loss of lives as a result of burst tyres on speed.
He said the tyres were not made for Nigerian weather, adding that in Europe where the tyres came from, there were three to four seasons and each season had specified tyres for it.
“In Europe, tyres are produced based on the seasons, for example, winter tyres will be used only for winter season after which they will be removed from the vehicle.
“Nigeria is in a tropical region, tyres meant for winter in Europe cannot be used in a tropical region like Nigeria.
“It will not last long and it is dangerous as our temperature will increase its pressure and burst,” he said.