The Nigerian Institution of Mechanical Engineers (NIMechE) on Tuesday called on the Standards Organisations of Nigeria (SON) to checkmate importation of substandard auto spare parts into the country.
The Lagos Chapter Chairman of NIMechE, Mr Abdulganiyu Tiamiyu, made the call at the ongoing 2022 Engineering Week of the institution in Lagos with the theme “Get it Right, Adopt Standard.”
“Government should ensure that the agency in charge of importing raw materials and spare parts, that is, Standards Organisation of Nigeria, should be up to its task.
“It should ensure that substandard items are not imported and are not used for maintenance of our vehicles,” he said.
Tiamiyu said the issue of substandard spare parts was critical and affected every citizen, hence the theme on reducing carnage on roads.
“Can we imagine the number of lives that are being lost daily due to auto crashes?” he queried.
Mrs Abike Awojobi, Business Development Manager, Lagos Computerised Vehicle Inspection Service (LACVIS), said adherence to standards was a necessity.
Awojobi said several avoidable crashes happened due to defects from vehicles using substandard parts, adding that, “the more we use substandard parts, the more we are putting ourselves and families in danger.”
Mr Idris Ciroma, LACVIS Test Centre Manager, expressed a similar view that 70 per cent of imported spare parts were fake and “you need an eagle eye to know which part is genuine.”
Ciroma, who is also an engineer, displayed pictures of some spare parts and features engineers, auto technicians and other transport stakeholders should look out for to escape counterfeits.
Ciroma who spoke on the topic, “The Consequences of Using Sub Standard Spare Parts for Vehicle Maintenance,” said 21 per cent of auto crashes were caused by use of fake auto spare parts.
He listed other factors responsible for road crashes as state of the mind of the driver and condition of the road.
He added that, “standard is a responsibility for owners of vehicles, transporters and everyone.”
He urged Lagos residents to take advantage of the services of LACVIS by undertaking voluntary checks on their vehicles in addition to carrying out the road worthiness assessments for safety.
Lagos Sector Commander, Federal Roads Safety Corps (FRSC), Mr Olusegun Ogungbemide, represented by Mr Godwin Jumweni, said 90 per cent of road crashes were caused by human factor, adding that fake spare parts and human errors played key roles in accidents.
Jumweni blamed auto technicians for sabotaging their clients by sometimes collecting money for original parts and fixing fake ones in their vehicles for more profit.
He lamented that because of the influx of substandard motor parts, some auto technicians recommended used imported spare parts perceived to be better than new ones to customers.
Mr Tunde Gafar, representative of the Lagos State Vehicle Inspection Service, joined in the call for the SON “to help with quality regulation to checkmate the influx of sub standard vehicle parts.”
Gafar urged manufacturers, importers, auto technicians, transporters and other stakeholders to join in the campaign against counterfeiting.
National Chairman of NIMechE, Mrs Funmilade Akingbagbohun, who joined the meeting virtually, commended the Lagos Chapter, saying, “engineers must take standards to the next level.”
Akingbagbohun urged the chapter to begin a public awareness campaign on the streets and motor parks in Lagos to ensure attitudinal change towards adoption of standards.