NAC deploys measures to raise standard of vehicles, spare parts

The National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC) is collaborating with relevant stakeholders to ensure that motor vehicles and spare parts, both imported and locally produced, that are offered for sale to members of the public, meet the required international quality and safety standards.
Already, the stakeholders committee has commenced series of training workshops across the country where participants are educated on how to differentiate between genuine and substandard spare parts with the aim of halting the availability of the latter, and reducing road traffic accidents.
One of such training workshops was held in Kano recently where speakers from various organisations, addressed over 300 participants. The speakers came from the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Accident Prevention and Rescue Initiative (APRI), Consumer Protection Council (CPC), Toyota Nigeria Limited, KIA Nigeria Limited, and Amalgamated Motor Spare Parts Dealers Association (ASPAMDA).
Also represented were the Nigeria Customs Services (NCS), Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Directorate of Road Traffic Services (DRTS), Robert Bosch Nigeria Limited and NADDC.
In his keynote address, the Director –General of NADDC, Aminu Jalal, represented by his Technical Adviser, Engr. Abubakar Dalhat, said “Substandard Automotive spare parts in motor vehicles often function improperly, or fail prematurely causing damages or drastic loss of efficiency to the affected vehicle. The implication of the failure of such substandard safety parts in vehicles is often very severe, leading in some cases to road crashes that could cause loss of lives, and in most cases resulting in financial losses, not just to vehicle owner but also to other road users.”
He emphasised that motor parts, whether those classified as safety items or non-safety items, must conform to international standards at all times, because their sudden failure in vehicles might result in fatal crashes; adding that NADDC in collaboration with SON had so far adopted over 130 international automotive standards for safety and other parts.
The Director General listed other measures being taken by the NADDC to enhance standards in the Nigerian automotive industry, including the setting up of Auto Test Centres with world class test laboratories for emission, components and materials, which are nearing completion in Lagos, Enugu and Zaria. The laboratories would be commissioned by the end of the year, he said.
According to him, one of the measures is the Standards Organisation of Nigeria Conformity Assessment Programme {SONCAP} introduced by the SON at the request of NADDC, which will make it mandatory that all used vehicles imported into Nigeria to have roadworthiness certificates from their countries of origin.
Jalal also disclosed that vehicle assembly plants and local content manufacturers are being encouraged and assisted to produce good quality items and obtain ISO 9001: 2008 QMS certification. A training programme on ISO/TS 16949:2009 which is a requirement for the implementation of ISO 9001: 2008 QMS for 20 workers of assembly plants in Nigeria would commence this year.
In his paper, Executive Director, Accident Prevention And Rescue Initiative (APRI), Prince Fidelis Nnadi said: “Why are sub-standard auto spare part products still visible and enjoying some patronage? The answer is simple. They are thriving because the average user does not understand their effect; they are thriving because people do not know the risks involved in using such products. They are thriving also because of the economic situation. A lot of people are very poor in knowledge and purchasing power, but this cannot be a good excuse to buy what will cause loss of lives and property.”
In his presentation on behalf of the Directorate of Road Traffic Services, Mr. Ebenezer Bako, said 95 percent of the auto parts imported into the country are fake or sub-standard. Their concentration had a dual edge: First, Nigerians were shocked that they have been dicing with deaths by relying on fake spare parts used to replace faulty ones in their vehicles. Second, people were mortified to learn, by inference, that agencies of government upon which we all rely to keep inferior imports away from or shores, including the SON, have largely abdicated their duties, creating in the process a haven for sub-standard auto parts in Nigeria.
Another speaker, Mr. Oye Sholola, submitted, “We have well equipped factories where we produce parts like Exhaust system, Hangers, Bumpers, Aluminum die-casting parts of the engine, door handles, etc and are willing to partner with the original manufacturers to upgrade our facilities if need be to meet their requirements.”

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