The automobile industry in Nigeria generates about 10 million tyres annually which are used by vehicles across the country, the Federal Government said on Tuesday.
It, however, stated that the sector lacked environmentally friendly management traceability data on how these tyres were managed after being used and disposed.
The government disclosed this through the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency at a press briefing in Abuja, on the operationalisation of Used Tyre Producers Responsibility Organisation of Nigeria.
In his address at the briefing, the Director-General, NESREA, Prof Aliyu Jauro, said that tyres, with their intricate structure, played an indispensable role in the automotive industry.
He said, “Without them, the production of motor vehicles, both in assembly and manufacturing, would remain incomplete. However, it is important to acknowledge that, like everything else, tyres have a lifespan and must be properly managed when they reach their end.”
According to him, it was crucial to ensure that the tyres were not treated in a manner that posed harm to humans and the environment.
The NESREA boss stated, “For instance, when tyres are stockpiled, they become breeding grounds for malaria-causing mosquitoes as they collect water, and when disposed of through open burning, it releases toxic emissions.
“Alarming statistics reveal that a staggering one billion end-of-life tyres are generated globally, with approximately four billion currently occupying landfills and stockpiles worldwide.
“In Nigeria alone, the automobile sector generates around 10 million tyres each year without environmentally friendly management traceability data.”
Jauro said UTPRON was a registered producer responsibility organisation in Nigeria that aimed to enhance the management of end-of-life tyres for the sustainable development of the environment.
On his part, the Chairman, UTPRON, Billy Nwoye, said the improper disposal of used tyres was having devastating consequences across the country.
Nwoye said, “These discarded tyres pose a significant threat to our environment, public health, and safety. Improper disposal methods, such as burning or dumping tyres in open spaces, release toxic fumes and chemicals into the air, water, and soil, leading to severe environmental degradation.”