Abioye Olarewaju, Ilorin, Yetunde Oladejo, Osogbo
The Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), on Thursday raided shops in Ilorin where it confiscated sub standard and expired products from the market.
The products impounded include used and expired tyres, expired gas cylinders, sub standard cables, wires, substandard extension cables, energy saving bulbs and electrical cables.
Engr Sunday Yashim, Coordinator of SON in Kwara, who led the raid was accompanied by Policemen, Civil Defense Corps and officers of the Directorate of State Security.
Our Correspondent reports that the raid took SON officials to Agaka where hundreds of substandard and used imported tyres, electric cables, energy bulbs and extension cables were impounded.
Our Reporter also reports that the raid was carried out on Taiwo Street, Offa Garage, Tanke and Fate roads.
Speaking with newsmen later, Engr Yashim said SON was poised to rid the Nigerian market of unwholesome substandard products.
He lamented that Nigeria has turned into a used items country which he said should not be the case.
The SON head advised consumers to desist from patronizing used and substandard products especially tyres which he said accounted for most of the accidents on the roads.
He said Nigerians should always demand for genuine products that would last longer than the substandard or used ones that can endanger their lives.
Yashim said it is better for Nigerians to buy new tyres and safe their lives than to buy used and expired ones and risk accidents on the road.
“Most of the impounded tyres are expired and used, expired in the sense that a tyre is supposed to last for four years, there is an inscription on the tyres that everybody must know.
“There is what is called date of Threading, that is DOT, they are made up of four figures, the first two figures stand for the week the tyre was manufactured or threaded.
“The last two figures are for the year that the tyre was actually manufactured. If you look at the last two figures, to know the expiring date, you just add four to the last figure,” Yashim added.
He said SON will continue to educate the people particularly motorists to always buy genuine and new tyres.
Yashim therefore advised Nigerians that bring in the old and expired tyres from overseas should desist from doing so for the sake of health and lives of the innocent people that may buy the bad products.
“The people bringing used tyres to the country are bringing death to Nigeria; they should stop it to save lives.
“And for those Nigerians that are still patronizing the used tyres, I will advise them that they are buying their death.
“If you buy a used tyre, you should know that you are trying to send yourself to the grave very early enough,” he added.
Yashim added that the gas cylinders confiscated have expired as they too have a life span.
According to him cylinders are used for eight years in some countries while in Nigeria, the life span of a cylinder is 12 years.
The state head lamented that some cylinders that were over 20 years were still being used in the country.
He said cylinders were serviced just like cars were serviced, adding that after four checks, cylinders should be returned to steel companies for recycle.
Yashim said SON was working with gas plants to ensure that cylinders do not belong to individuals any more, but to the plant.
“All you need to do is that take your old cylinder to the gas plant and exchange it for new one,” he added.
He said that the monitoring and servicing of cylinders would be done by the gas plants who will withdraw old ones from circulation.
Our Correspondent also reports that the cylinders were impounded from Total Filling Station on Baboko, Fossil Oil on Asa Dam Road and from retailers in Taiwo Road.
The Standard Organisation of Nigeria also in Osun state confiscated sub-standard goods worth millions of naira.
Besides, during the raid which was carried out at the tyre and electricity wire markets in Ile-Ife and Ilesha, some shops whose owners ran away to evade inspections were also sealed off by SON officials.
Speaking shortly after the raid, the Osun state coordinator of SON, Mr. Sunday Badewole, explained that the exercise was carried out the following a directive from the acting Director-General of the organisation that sub-standard products in circulation be mopped out in the market.
Badewole who said the exercise would be a continuous one stressed that the organisation would not relent in its effort that standard compliance are strictly adhere to.
His words: “SON will no longer lay low. We shall not rest until we are able to do as much as possible to minimise sub-standard products in circulation.
” Those people we have been able to raid today are the scapegoats and the message is that those we were unable to reach should not sleep.
“It is a total action and there will be no room for people selling sub-standard products in the state.
“We will come after them and it is not going to be business as usual. We will not allow them to rest until they comply with the rules.”
Badewole who noted that now fewer than 200 shop were raided during the exercise, said the exercise would be carried out periodically.
He then urged traders to always buy standard and certified products at all time.
Some of the sub-standard products confiscated includes; cable wires, electric bulbs, gas cylinders, cooking gas, pressing iron, television set, used tyres, stand fan, among others.