The Standards Organisation of Nigeria’s surveillance, intelligence and monitoring operatives have swooped on a warehouse in Lagos where over 21 containers of stuffed imported tyres were being wrapped and labelled before being dispatched to markets all over the country.
The Director-General, SON, Osita Aboloma, said the agency had been reinvigorated to go after any suspected good or inspect premises and factories in its quest to rid the Nigerian market of substandard products.
Represented by the Deputy Director and Coordinator of the Surveillance Investigation and Monitoring Unit during an enforcement exercise, Isa Suleiman, the SON boss stated that the 21 containers of imported tyres, estimated at over N1bn, were discovered and seized at a warehouse in Abule Osun, off the Lagos-Badagry Expressway opposite the Lagos International Trade Fair Complex.
He said though 21 containers were declared on the import documents, it was discovered that the consignments were about 100 containers of imported tyres.
Suleiman stated that the discovery and seizure of the SON regulated product was a result of surveillance and information given to the agency and followed up by the SIM unit, which was inaugurated two months ago by the director-general.
“We have found out that these unscrupulous people bring in the containers from the seaports, lock themselves in warehouses to forcefully un-stuff the tyres, wrap and label them before loading to markets all over Nigeria,” he noted.
According to him, in the processes of forcefully stuffing and un-stuffing, the tyres become unusually expanded and compressed, bending the wires around the helms and creating sharp points that make them vulnerable to burst on slight contact, having been squeezed and weakened, thus leading to avoidable road accidents and loss of lives.
Suleiman added, “These are acts of clear economic sabotage to the nation through evasion of duties and taxes payable on the imports, an affront on the regulatory regime in Nigeria and danger to the lives of all road users in the country.
“This practice has become commonplace as another container of similarly stuffed tyres was apprehended about the same time at Iddo, in Ebute Metta, where they were also being forcefully unstuffed for loading into various trucks on standby.”
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