Tyre Dealers Association of Ghana has accused government of Ghana of trying to collapse their business by enforcing the ban on the importation of second hand tyres.
According to them, the policy will further create a lucrative environment for foreigners to exploit the market since they will be financially sound to import brand new tyres.
Speaking to the 'Daily Heritage' at the final consultative forum on enforcement of standards on vehicle tyres by the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) in Accra, the secretary of the Association, Atta Nsafoah, said government must provide them with loans to support their business.
“Now, look at the country as a whole, how many Ghanaians can import 140 fitter containers? This is done by expatriates; if government wants to implement this policy, then they must make sure that they give us loans to run our businesses,” he stated.
He was of the view that since there are no tyre manufacturing companies in the country, they (tyre dealers) can afford the used ones; hence the need for government to reconsider its decision on used tyres.
He further argued that it will be difficult for dealers outside tyre manufacturing countries to acquire a brand new tyre, saying, “even the brand new tyres get to us after two years of manufacturing and that means the tyre can be used in Ghana for only two years which is not proper.”
Mr. Nsafoah appealed to government to reconsider their stance and called for a thorough discussion between stakeholders to ensure that all parties are satisfied.
He suggested that government should embark on mass education on the use and management of tyres in the country.
“My recommendation is that the government should embark on a mass education for both the dealers and the importers, because if you intensify the education even the driver will have an idea about the type of tyre he or she is coming to buy,” he explained.
On her part, the Executive Director for NRSC, Ing Mrs May Obiri-Yeboah stated that automobile and tyre dealers as well as tyre importers have played critical roles as far as tyre safety issues are concerned in Ghana.
According to her, government has taken this stance in order to save lives which happen as a result of bad conditions of tyres.
Ing Obiri-Yeboah, however, stated that the ban was not on the used tyres but rather the use of sub-standard tyres that find their way into the country.
She further called on Ghanaians to support the Ministry of Transport and NRSC to help minimize, if not eradicate completely, road accidents in the country.
Regulation 62(1) of the New Road Traffic Regulation, 2012 L.I 2180 states that drivers are required to fix tyres labelled A or B and not C. The tyres must be made of pneumatic tyres to suit hot and normal weather.
Regulation 62(2) also provides that vehicles should have a minimum thread depth of not less than 1.6 millimetres for all categories of roads.
Further, Regulation 62(3) provides that vehicle tyres of more than four years old counting from the date of manufacture should not be fitted on vehicles.
Research conducted by the NRSC shows that about 15.2 % of vehicles involved in fatal crashes had some form of defect prior to a crash, while about 4.4% of crashes are caused by tyre burst or blow.
A substandard tyre is one of whatever description either new or old that does not meet the requirements as provided by Regulation 62 of the Road Traffic Regulations 2012, L.I 2180.
The NRSC has been collaborating with the Ghana Standards Authority, Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority, the Driver Vehicle and Licensing Authority to ensure compliance with these standards by banning importation of substandard tyres.