The Federal Government on Tuesday said it would begin a new pre-shipment verification of conformity to standards on used vehicles coming into the country.
The Director-General, Standards Organisation, of Nigeria, Dr. Joseph Odumodu, disclosed this while speaking shortly after the signing of an agreement for the implementation of the conformity to standards of used vehicles.
He said the move was part of efforts aimed at ensuring the successful implementation of the new automotive policy of the government.
Odumodu said since the Federal Government had decided to make the automobile industry a key component of the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan, the sector had been identified as a strategic industry group.
This, he added, was due to its large domestic market, labour intensive characteristics, strong industrial linkages, and existing installed base and export potential into the Economic Community of West African States’ market.
The SON boss said that out of the over 2,000 parts that made up a typical car, the government mandated only about 120 safety and environmental standards.
This, he added, called for the need to institute a regime that would ensure the effective enforcement of the standards and monitor their compliance.
Odumodu stated, “While some measures of progress have been recorded in the fight against the scourge of low quality imports to Nigeria over the years, there is general consensus that the absence of a regime to determine the quality of used motor vehicles imported into Nigeria has not achieved the desired effect.
“It has resulted in the situation where many vehicles that have exceeded their permissible and useful life span continue to dominate the motor vehicle imports into the country.
“This has almost made Nigeria to become a dumping ground for substandard vehicles, because the focus since the inception of the SON conformity Assessment Programme has been skewed in favour of products other than motor vehicles and other heavy duty equipment.
“We have decided that as part of the SONCAP regime, a separate pre-shipment verification of conformity to standard on used vehicles be implemented by the organisation.”
To ensure effective implementation of the programme, Odumodu said three companies had been accredited by SON.
They are Quality Assurance Projects Limited, Medtech Scientific Limited and Cotecna Destination Inspection Limited.
The accreditation, according to him, will cover vehicle structural, mechanical and safety inspection; vehicle emission testing; valuation and appraisals of vehicles; odometer inspection and verification; and regulatory documentation, verification and authentication.—Ships and Ports