Blame SON, not Customs for importation of N5 billion fake tyres into Nigeria – Official

Tyres (Photo: Guardian Nigeria)

The Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, on Wednesday said products standards control is the responsibility of Standards Organisation of Nigeria, SON, not the NCS.

The Acting Public Relations Officer of the NCS, Joseph Attah, made the clarification while reacting to the recent seizure of substandard tyres by SON in Lagos.

He told the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja that the function of customs was to collect duty and ensure that contraband did not enter the country.

Two Chinese men were caught for allegedly importing the substandard tyres worth over N5 billion in Lagos.

Mr. Attah said customs’ duty was not to determine quality but only to collect duty.

According to him, once an importer gets a clearance document, certifying an item okay by SON, customs would only collect duty and release such item.

“People who sometime ask question, need to know the function of customs and the function of other regulatory agencies. Before customs clears an item, a personnel of SON will be present to certify it okay.

“If the personnel out of negligence or did not carry out his duty properly and signed that the item is okay and cleared it, customs will collect duty and release such item because of SON clearance document.

“The issue of standard is in the hands of SON, customs only to collects duty so far that is not contraband.

“We are not in a position to determine quality, the job of determining quality is in the hand of SON and if it is a food item, the job of determining whether it is fit for human consumption is NAFDAC.

“So in this kind of situation, it is only when you trace the clearing document, you will know whether a personnel of SON is involved or not.

“There is no way customs will release containers of such tyres without a clearance certificate by the SON,” Mr. Attah said.

He said that during every examination of an item, if any importer got a clearance document signed by SON certifying such item okay and attached it to that of customs document, such item would be released after duty payment.

Mr. Attah cited an instance that if Garri was not prohibited and NAFDAC official signed an examination paper certifying it okay, once customs officials got an evidence that NAFDAC had cleared it, duty would be collected and the wares released.



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  • Guest

    This article makes rage on the inside on every level…who emboldened China-Man to give the law of our land the middle finger. These Chinese hustlers are acting like ravaging locusts in Africa, time to call in pest control.

  • Gary

    Thanks for the clarification and educating the public on the delineation of functions concerning the importation of goods into Nigeria.

    But can you also tell us why the Customs officers are raiding markets to seize items after they have imported into the country and innocent traders purchase them for resale, sometimes with borrowed money or their last savings? Is that right that retailers should hear the brunt of having goods they validly purchased from importers/distributors seized and destroyed? Especially in these hard times?
    We are also aware that ECOWAS protocols allow the free movement of goods and people. How does that factor into the operations of the Customs and other border agencies? So is Garri or Rice processed and packaged in Ghana considered a contraband item in Nigeria and subject to seizure at the borders or markets?
    The agencies and the Nigerian public need to be educated on these issues so that we don’t make criminals or lawbreakers of innocent traders. Traders sent some of us to school and don’t deserve to have their livelihoods destroyed by overzealous policies and actions of officialdom.

    The Ogun State Governor should reach out to Mr.Osinbajo to get the Customs to release the seized goods of the Otta traders to them and stop harassing people who don’t enjoy the benefit of import/duty waivers of Nigeria’s privileged business barons.

    • jason jasi

      I await their rejoinder on your noble points

  • Akonkon

    Honestly President Goodluck Jonathan is to blame.

  • Concerned Nigeriana

    Question Arising:

    ■ Who was the staff of Standards Organization of Nigeria who signed at the port,

    to certify these five million tyres as perfect for importation before Customs issued

    its clearance? Premium, Times should please help the society by retrieving a copy

    of the tyres’ clearance papers at the port to trace the approving S.O.N officer for arrest

    and for criminal arraignment in court for economic sabotage offence punishable by jailing.

  • Funso Famuyiwa

    It boggles the mind !.
    It is beyond Scandalous that CHINESE nationals are IMPORTING sub-standard Tires into the country that will claim the lives of many Nigerian citizens. And this has been sone in cahoots with Greedy and morally bankrupt Nigerians at SON as well as backers of the Chinese. Those Chinese most certainly have some Nigerian “Godfathers” or even “Godmothers”. Corruption has No Gender in Naija !.

  • Omooba

    Lagbaja sang ” To ba je oju lo n dun won, ka ra jigi fun won ” Customs are willing accessories to this debacle. They know better and are only trying to prove innocence. Nigerians are no fools. What role did SON play in the 661 pump action magazines? Gave a go-ahead of good quality?

  • Alpha Dinni Thanni

    ,,,,,,,,, AGAIN , A SITUATION OF BULK PASSING ,,,,,,,, another mileage in our corruption HISTORY . Many live’s has been lost to these BAD TYRES and all we do is to blame our drivers for either DRINK DRIVING or HIGH SPEEDING ,,,,,,,,,,,,, heartless souls .

    • utolason

      No, not in this case. The explanation given by Custom service is true and very clear to any unbiased mind. It isn’t their duty to question the quality of any product unless it is apparently obvious to an untrained person, in which case they would alert the appropriate authority.


    The huge and overblown bureaucracy we keep at all the 3 tiers of govt including Special Assistants, Ambassadors, High Commissioners, Universities and scores of specialized Departments and Agencies of Govt are paid by tax payers to think and formulate policies for Nigerians. Since 1960, we have been unable as a people to provide homegrown solutions to any of our problems except destroying, collapsing and looting our national patrimony. We have collapsed all our industries and chased out of Nigeria the once famous Dunlops, Michelin etc . We hear political parties and aspirants on campaign platforms promising the creation of jobs. When they eventually get to power, they end up increasing the unemployment by double digits. What stops the FGN/ Senate/ House of Rep within 6 months come out with a policy and Law aimed at protecting the local manufacturers of vehicle tyres. Such a law, will simply impose the replacement of all four tyres plus ONE for all cars, vehicles , lorries and motor bikes imported into Nigeria at the point of entry. Simply put, any vehicle whether new or old imported into Nigeria shall have all its four tyres plus One replaced by a Made in Nigeria tyre. The receipts and proof of replacement of the tyres shall form part of the documents required for vehicle registration in Nigeria. Nigeria has all the resources both natural and human to manufacture tyres locally. Nigeria can not compete with Japan, USA etc in the manufacturing of latest automobiles but we can compete and hold our grounds in the manufacturing of tyres which we have the raw materials in abundance.

  • Wazobia reoprter

    Customs should stop the blame game. All Nigerian know that the customs are very dubious