Kuje – Twelve shops and goods worth about N50 million were destroyed by fire on Sunday afternoon at the Kuje market in the FCT.
Mr Shaban Ishaku, the Chairman of Kuje Area Council, while addressing newsmen at the scene of the incident, said he was shocked when he received news of the fire outbreak.
He said it was not common to have fire incidents in the council.
“We have never witnessed such an incident in the history of Kuje and we thank God that no life was lost in the inferno,’’ the council chairman said.
Ishaku appealed to the affected traders to remain calm as the area council would meet with the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) to plan how to compensate them.
“It is sad news, because goods worth many millions of Naira were lost to the fire and I appeal to the affected traders not to worry as the Area Council will compensate them,’’ he said.
The chairman however said plans were underway to decongest the market to ensure easy movement of goods within the market.
He said the council would soon meet with the market authorities and traders in the market to find possible solution to prevent future occurrences.
The Chairman, Traders Association of Kuje, Alhaji Yunusa Musa, sympathised with the affected traders, saying the incident happened at a time the economy was facing challenges.
He appealed to the area council to hasten the process of ensuring that the affected traders were compensated, as they had no other means of survival.
Musa said this was because the goods lost were worth more than N50 million.
“It is not easy to be a trader, because they have no pension or gratuity and their means of survival is from the profit made from sales.
“I sympathise with them because it is not easy to lose property worth millions of Naira.
“We also appeal to the area council to upgrade the standard of the market and create access roads within the market for easy movement of goods,” he said.
Inspector Ubong Attah of the Kuje Fire Service Division said the fire was as a result of an electric spark in one of the burnt shops.
He then warned the traders against not switching off electric sockets when locking up for the day after the day’s sales.
Attah also warned against indiscriminate bush burning during the dry season, while condemning the poor access road into the market.
“My team responded as soon as we were informed about the fire, but the challenge we had was gaining access to the shops because of the poor road network in the market.