The Director General of Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON), Dr Joseph Odumodu, has said that importers of second hand tyres into the country don’t usually buy them but are paid to help dispose them by the foreign countries.
Odumodu said yesterday in Abuja while addressing newsmen that every country, including Nigeria, is faced with the challenge of disposing tyres after their expiry dates.
He said: “What we have found out is that in Europe and America, their tyres have four to five years life span and ours is four. After those years, an average European or American will remove them even if it has not cover 10,000 kilometres for their own safety.
“So our people go to those sites where they keep tyres and I am told that they pay them to help them dispose the tyres and where do they dispose the tyres? In Nigeria, so they bring them to us.”
He said that in the last two years, they have seized over five million tyres across the country, adding that their biggest challenge is how to dispose them as their warehouse is already filled up.
“Today, we have slowed down with taking these tyres out of the system because we are faced with challenge of how to dispose them. We don’t want to burn them as we will be polluting the environment or throw them in the sea in order not to affect aquatic life,” he said.
He explained that they are discussing with investors to come and set up tyre shredding plants in the country where rubber component of the tyre will be removed from the metal component for steel and cement companies or road construction.
“We are discussing with potential investors to assist us in setting up this plant in Nigeria and we have assured them that we will supply them with the raw materials because so far, the unscrupulous importers who bring in the tyres are unrelenting in bringing them and our message is that those tyres are killing Nigerians.
“FRSC said in their website that 20 percent of accidents are caused by using sub-standard and expired tyres and that means that we can prevent the rate of accidents and death in the country,” he said.