By Charles Nwaoguji
Stakeholders in the tyres sub-sector has cried out to the government to eradicate substandard tyres from Nigeria market.
They made this submission at on-going Lagos International Trade Fair in Lagos, they blamed the use of second hand tyres on weak policy enforcement, adding that the government could do more by equipping all the enforcement agencies to properly push the substandard tyres out of the markek.
A tyre dealer, Mr. Adebayo Oke, lamented that the used tyre has been a threat to them that import brand new tyres, adding that if action is not urgently intensified, they may be thrown out of market.
According to Oke, Nigeria has continue to be ranked among the world’s highest market for fake and substandard products. It is evidenced by the indiscriminate display of all sorts of poor quality goods and products littering the open markets, shops.
Like I said, we don’t have standard for used tyres, so there is no criteria for checking standard of used tyres, every used tyre is substandard. The reason is that tyres have specifications, tyres also have life span. From the day of manufacture, tyres cannot last beyond five years whether used or unused,” he disclosed.
Another tyre dealer, Mr. Tunde Ogunlade noted on the contrary that the first problem is the capacity for enforcement.
“I think that is the major issue because tyres are not small licenses. So, the country should have the will and the capacity to enforce, because enforcement is key to preventing the importation of used tyres.
“The second point is the cost of new tyres. Majority are struggling to put their vehicles on the road whether personal vehicle or commercial, and when people struggle they look for what they can afford, even when it is very risky. You know, they want to manage than go for a new tyre. But when people don’t have much choice they fall back on used tyres, so if the disparity between the new and the used is too wide it could also create that kind of incentive, but what is most important way to curb the menace is effective enforcement.”
Ogunlade stated that the government should find a way of bringing down the cost of new tyres, arguing that if the tariffs on the new tyres are too high, it should be brought low to encourage its patronage.
“In fact there was a time they even put it on list of 41 items prohibited, I don’t know if they have removed it. That also creates problem for those who are in the business of importation of tyres. And in the medium to long term, we used to have Dunlop and Michelin that were producing tyres in Nigeria.
“If they produce it here, I think perhaps it could be cheaper; it will benefit the economy even more than importing. So, those are the things I think are the causes and those are the things I think can be done to correct the situation,” he maintained.