The Kwara State Secretary of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Mr Aliyu Rasheed, has called on the Federal Government to revive the tyre industry in the country.
Rasheed, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ilorin on Thursday, said that if more tyres were produced in the country, it would reduce the prevailing use of fairly-used tyres nationwide.
He said that an increase in the manufacture of tyres locally would reduce the cost of new tyres and boost the nation’s economy and provide employment.
“Government should make more locally-produced tyres available, even as the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has warned Nigerians to desist from using `second-hand’ tyres.
“Many motorists and commercial drivers, in particular, are unable to afford the exorbitant prices of new imported tyres and they resort to the use of `second-hand’ tyres, which expose their vehicles to mishaps, especially during the rainy season.
Rasheed noted that almost all the tyre-manufacturing companies in the country have either folded up or relocated to neighbouring countries.
“Government should ensure that our tyre industries like Dunlop Nigeria and Michelin Nigeria which were compelled to relocate from the country due to the harsh operating environment are revived through conducive infrastructure and favourable policy instruments.
He commended the Federal Government for giving adequate attention to the development of roads nationwide, noting that most of the roads are now in good condition.
Similarly, the Kwara Chapter Chairman of the Road Transport Employers Association, Mr Abdulrahman Onikijipa, also charged commercial drivers to obey traffic rules.
Onikijipa said although the union does not believe in” ember” period, it was important to advise road users to drive with care.
“There is nothing to panic about in the `ember’ months; what is important is to advise all road users to drive with care, as we don’t see anything different about them and the other eight months of the year.
“We should desist from overloading, speeding and drunk driving. If we can observe all these simple rules and not be in haste while driving, we will arrive at our destinations safely.
“I would like to appreciate the FRSC for their cooperation. They have always been a reliable partner in the training and retraining of our drivers,’’ he added.