The Federal Road Safety Commission on Monday said it would henceforth impound vehicles with expired and substandard tyres in the country.
The FRSC Corps Marshal, Boboye Oyeyemi, made this known at the Stakeholders’ Forum on Tyres.
It was with the theme: “Promoting Safe Tyre Use in Nigeria.”
The forum was organised by the FRSC in Abuja.
Oyeyemi said all the crashes the commission had recorded from February 2016 till date had been tyre-related.
He said this could be attributed to the ignorance in the use and management of tyres by most drivers.
He said: “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.
“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.
“Nigerians will have to choose between life and death.
“It’s 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.”
Oyeyemi urged Nigerians not to put their lives at risk and consider the fact that life has no replacement and could not be bought with money.
He said: “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 said the support of the government and the private sector was needed in order for Nigeria to go back to having tyre plants.
He said the control of tyres coming into the country was made difficult as there were no longer tyre manufacturing companies in the country.
Oyeyemi said there was, therefore, the need to encourage local production of tyres.
He appealed to the Manufacturing Association of Nigeria and the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture to explore how tyre manufacturing plants could be brought back to life.
He said the FRSC had been raising alarm on fake tyres since the Dunlop and Michelin tyre plants were shut down in Nigeria.
This, he said, had led to people patronising bad tyres, which in turn increased the rate of road crashes.
He said this was because of ignorance of drivers and non compliance with instructions on tyre.
Oyeyemi said many of the local vulcanizers use improperly calibrated measuring tools while some lack knowledge on the accurate gauge of each tyre.
Also speaking at the forum, Babatunde Fashola, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, decried the incessant cases of tyre blowout resulting in fatal crashes in the country.
Fashola, who was represented by Abubakar Magaji, the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, said there were over 250 brands of tyres in use in Nigeria.
He said over 20 per cent of the entire vehicle population and 40 per cent of the commercial vehicles in the country use mixed tyre brands, which was a threat to road safety in the country.
The minister said public awareness on tyres was very low while the maintenance culture among the people was poor, thereby increasing the level of vulnerability of the vehicles to tyre-related crashes.
He said: “It is also our hope that with the efforts being made by government to create conducive business environment for foreign investments, tyre manufacturing companies would be encouraged to invest heavily in the country.”
Fashola urged road transporters to avoid patronising fake and expired tyres, but make issues of safety uppermost in their minds.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, said of recent the nation had been exposed to cases of frequent road carnages due to expiration, inappropriate inflation or wrong use of tyres.
Lawal said as a responsible government, this administration would no longer tolerate senseless destruction of lives and property on the roads through use of tyres that were fake, expired or non-conducive to our environment.
He called on all tyre manufacturing companies, which relocated from Nigeria over the years due to harsh economic environment in the country, to come back because things are now better.