[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) on Friday, urged the Federal Government to place full prohibition on the importation of substandard and used tyres into the country.
This is contained in a communiqué issued at the end of two-day stakeholders’ forum on Substandard and Used Tyres in Abuja.
In the communiqué signed by Corps Marshal of FRSC, Dr Boboye Oyeyemi, the forum attributed majority of road crashes to substandard and used tyres and said that it had become necessary to bring the issue to the front burner of national discourse.
This, it said, was with the view of stemming the development to ensure compliance with the pillar 3 and 4 of the UN Decade of Action on Road Safety.
It said the aim was to share vital information and ideas among stakeholders towards curtailing incessant tyre-induced crashes in the country.
According to it, there is need to properly educate all road users to imbibe safe tyre use culture as well as the need to report those dealing in substandard tyres to the appropriate authorities.
“The importance of tyres in road transportation particularly as it relates to safety is paramount to the FRSC,” the Communique stated further. “Substandard tyres get into the country quite easily and the marketers and dealers operate with impunity without adequate checks on their activities.
“Substandard tyre market enjoys a boom due to a seeming comparative cost advantage to the consumers, devoid of safety consideration.
“The absence of local tyre manufacturing companies in Nigeria, in spite of the fact that there are abundant raw materials within is of great concern.’’
The forum said that tyre importation constituted avenue for capital flight and opened the country to dumping of substandard tyres, especially the use of tyres not designed for the Nigerian roads.
They said that some importers connived with manufacturers to lower the standard of tyres imported into the country thereby causing serious crashes on the roads.
They, therefore, said that FRSC would collaborate with relevant stakeholders and the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to ensure that importers of fake tyres were punished so as to ensure safety on the roads.
The forum called on government to put in place friendly polices to promote local production of tyres so as to curb influx of substandard ones into the country.
According to it, one of the major reasons for tyre burst is the inappropriate pressure pounds per square inch for tyres as most tyre menders are not learned.
They called for training of tyre menders on how to maintain and repair tyres effectively, adding that the menders should form themselves into organized union to access loans to procure modern equipment for their trade.
The forum urged Nigerians to only patronize genuine tyres to avoid being apprehended by FRSC “because their vehicles will be impounded pending when the correct tyres are bought’’.