Hardship: Substandard Auto Spare Parts Flood Market As Prices Surge

Due to the floating of naira that has moved value of United States dollar very high against the naira has increased the volume of refurbished and substandard spare parts in the auto market in Nigeria.
This has, however, raised maintenance costs for vehicle owners across the country as motorist now spend an average of N100,000 monthly on vehicle maintenance.
The high maintenance cost was attributed to the impact of bad roads on vehicles as well as procurement of refurbished parts which some sellers sell as original parts to unsuspecting motorists.
Auto mechanics, on the other hand, in a bid to cut costs, would collect money for original spare parts from vehicle owners and purchase the substandard or refurbished parts that only work for a few weeks and then get damaged, thereby increasing maintenance costs for car owners across the country.
These parts, often imported from unknown sources, are then passed off as original or Tokunbo (foreign-used) parts, leaving car owners with faulty repairs that only last a short time.
Industry experts warn that the use of substandard spare parts can lead to serious safety risks, including accidents and fatalities. adding that the financial burden on car owners is significant, as they may end up spending more in the long run on repeated repairs.
A frustrated Lagos car owner, Sunday Balogun, while sharing his experience, said: “I have spent a fortune on repeated repairs because the spare parts used were substandard. In the past, when my car developed a fault, I would take it to a mechanic, who would diagnose the problem and then ask me for money to buy the necessary parts. However, after fixing the issue, the problem would resurface within six months.
“So, I changed my approach. Now, I ask the mechanic to identify the problem and tell me what needs to be replaced. Then, I purchase the required Tokunbo (foreign-used) parts myself and have the mechanic install them. This way, I avoid getting overcharged for substandard parts and ensure that the job is done right.”
Another vehicle owner, Mr. Victor Divine, who spoke in Pidgin English, said: “Substandard spare parts dey plenty for the market. E dey everywhere, but you no go know. Even some mechanics do not know, except for the person selling it. But if you beg the people selling the spare parts to say an original you want to buy, then they go give it to you, but the only thing to say is that the original one is expensive.”
A vehicle repairer’s mechanic at Mowe, Ogun State, Adelaja Kolade, talks about the challenges of dealing with customers who prioritise cheaper prices over quality.
“When we give customers the original price, they often try to negotiate for a lower price, seeking a cheaper alternative to get their car running. However, this approach can backfire when they later discover that the cheaper option is not as reliable,” he stressed.
He noted that this mindset has contributed to the thriving market for refurbished spare parts;
“We refurbished parts may seem like a cost-effective solution, they often fail to deliver in the long run. In contrast, original spare parts may cost more upfront but will maintain the car’s performance and longevity, potentially lasting up to two years
Meanwhile, the Public Relations Officer (PRO), Ladipo Central Executive Auto Dealers Association (LASEC), Tochukwu Ofurunna, has assured that there are no substandard spare parts in the Ladipo market, which is the largest auto parts market in West Africa. According to him, the market deals only in genuine parts, both new and Tokunbo (foreign-used).
Ofurunna, said: “Tokunbo parts come from vehicles abroad, which are then dismantled and brought to Nigeria. New parts, on the other hand, can be custom-made abroad, using samples from customers and the market is constantly monitored to ensure that no substandard parts are sold, and any instances of such would be promptly addressed.”
He advised customers to inspect their vehicles properly before repairing them, as some parts may have expired or been rejected by factories. However, he assured that such parts are not found in the Ladipo market, which supplies genuine parts to Nigeria and other countries like Mali, Togo, Burkina Faso, the Benin Republic, and Ghana.
Ofurunna stressed that the Ladipo market operates under strict rules and regulations, and that any attempts to sabotage the market with substandard parts would not be tolerated.
President of the Auto Spare Parts and Machinery Dealers Association (ASPAMDA), Ngozi Emechebe, said they were not aware of this issue.
“ASPAMDA is known for high-quality spare parts, so we are not aware of anything called refurbished spare parts. For any reason, this should not be allowed in the country,” she said,

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