The Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) will from Tuesday May 10, confiscate and prosecute vehicle owners with substandard and expired types plying the highways across the nation.
This was according to the Corp Marshall of the FRSC, Boboye Oyeyemi, who disclosed this at a Stakeholders’ Forum on Tyres tagged “Promoting Safe Tyre use in Nigeria’’ in Abuja.
According to Oyeyemi, this new initiative is to curb the high rate of road accident, adding that all the crashes the Corp had recorded in February 2016 were tyre related.
He noted that scores of accidents in 2016 alone could be attributed to the ignorance in the use and management of tyres, hence the need to crack down on offenders.
“We are going to start impounding any vehicle that has expired or substandard tyre and then we will arrange for the continuous journey of the passengers,” Oyeyemi said. “That’s the new method to preserve lives.
“This is going to be done without fine but the driver will use money to go and buy genuine tyres with receipt before he would be allowed to continue his journey.
“Enough is enough to this. We need to take stringent actions as soon as possible to save more lives.
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“Nigerians will have to choose between life and death.
“Its either you use a fake or substandard tyre and then with the temperature of 41 degrees have a tyre blow out and a life is lost or you buy a genuine tyre and play safe.
“New tyres are not so costly: with N11, 000 now you can get a new tyre, whereas these fairly used tyres cost between N5, 000 and N6, 000: the choice is yours.
“You can buy tyres, vehicles can be replaced but lives can’t be replaced. The choice is yours, but on our part, we have decided that no vehicle can move forward with substandard tyre,’’ he added.
The FRSC boss also decried the high rate of tire importation in the country, due to lack of tyre manufacturing companies in the country since after the shutdown of Dunlop and Michelin tyre plants.
He said there was need for local production of tyres in the country, while appealing to the Manufacturing Association of Nigeria (MAN) and the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), to do all they can to bring back tyre manufacturing plants into the country.
“It’s not a problem that started today, we’ve been raising this alarm since Dunlop and Michelin shut down in Nigeria and relocated,” the FRSC boss said.
“So it’s a result of this that led to over 250 different distorted substandard tyres in the country today and we appeal to Manufacturers Association of Nigeria and Nigerian Association of Chamber of Commerce Industry Mines and Agriculture to do their very best in looking into this and see how tyre manufacturing plants can be brought into life.
“Nigeria is too big not to have a tyre manufacturing plant. That is the bane of the problem we have on ground today.”
While condemning the high rate of importation across the country, the Director General, Standard Organisation of Nigeria, Paul Angya, and the Chairman, Senate Committee on Federal Character and Inter-governmental Affairs, , added that substandard tyres barely survive two years on the road.