After losing 3.5 million tyres in questionable circumstances, Dangote Group of Companies Plc, has declared 285 of its truck drivers wanted.
They are wanted for the “theft of about 3.5 million customised tyres of the company”, the Coordinator of Dangote’s National Patrol Unit, Abdullahi Magaji, said on Sunday.
Magaji, a retired Commissioner of Police, told journalists in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital, that each of the missing tyres had an identification number, which was registered against the driver’s name at the point of collection.
He said: “Already, 285 drivers identified to have collected 285 tyres have been declared wanted while a number of others are on the run. Already, we have stopped their salaries and we are looking for them. So far, about 3.5 million tyres are missing from the company and we believe they are in circulation within and outside the country. We are determined to recover them.
“We are appealing to those patronising the drivers and who encouraged them to steal our tyres to stop forthwith. Dangote tyres are customised and marked. Dealers and vulcanisers should please beware.
“People should ensure that the tyres they buy either as new or second hand are not customised Dangote tyres. We have arraigned some drivers and dealers caught with tyres and efforts are being made to arrest vulcanisers involved,” Magaji said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) further quoted Magaji as saying that security agents are on the trail of a known kingpin who comes to Obajana and Kano to buy the tyres from the drivers.
Magaji said that the President of Dangote Group of Companies, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, had expressed concern over the incident, adding that the company was trying to stop the ugly development.
He appealed to those in custody of the tyres to return them “quietly”, either to the company or to the nearest police station to avoid unpleasant consequences, if caught.
Magaji expressed his firm’s gratitude to the media for sensitising Nigerians on the zero-tolerance disposition of the management of the company for reckless driving and illegal haulage.
He said that while illegal haulage had dropped by about 85 percent, accidents involving Dangote vehicles had drastically reduced, adding that a silent revolution was going on in the company’s transport section to sanitise it.