The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) and various disaster management agencies are looking for a lasting solution to curb yearly fire disasters that claim lives and material resources across the local markets of the six area councils of the FCT.
The administration said that its leadership will muster recourses to ensure that standard infrastructure are put on ground to bring a lasting solutions to the menace.
The Minister of Federal Capital Territory, Mallam Muhammad Bello, made the suggestion as a solution to the yearly occurrence in Karimo, a suburb of Abuja recently, where early morning fire destroyed goods and property worth millions of Naira.
The minister said that part of the reasons for harmatan fire is the structural built of the market which does not have standard fire proof around it.
He stated that both the FCT and other relevant emergency management agencies will collaborate to finding a lasting solution to the seemingly tradition in the FCT.
“We have to sit down with the shop owners and agree of total structural building of the market and I also think that rural markets across the six area councils of the FCT will wear the same fire proof structures as a set standard.
It was gathered that the fire, which broke at a about 1 o’clock early Thursday morning, razed down a whole section of the informal market, wrecking shops and variety of goods stored therein,” he said.
Eyewitness accounts had it that it took the timely intervention of emergency response team from the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Nigeria Fire Service Commission, and other security agencies to stop the inferno from spreading to houses in the area.
On a visit to the scene, victims were seen discussing in clusters, as they lost everything to the fire. Also, security and rescue officials cordoned the area, to enable them clear the place of any mortal danger.
According to the Director General of FCT Emergency Management Department, Idriss Abbass, after receiving a distress call around 1 am, informing him of the fire outbreak in the market, fire service operatives were alerted and immediately mobilised to quench the raging inferno.
Abbass added that the Department called out law enforcement agencies to the scene, to avoid looting there.
He however, failed to disclose the cause of the fire, saying the priority was to contain the fire from spreading further into other areas.
Meanwhile, the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, led a high powered delegation on a sympathy visit to the market.
In the entourage of the minister were top FCTA officials, Chairman, Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), Abdullahi Adamu Candido, AMAC councilors and NEMA DG, Mustapha.
The minister while addressing the affected traders, said FCTA and NEMA are going to sit down together to see what immediate help they can tender to them, to cushion the effect of the incident.
“The entire FCT administration is here to express or sympathy for the fire incident. I want to use the opportunity to thank all the relevant agencies for their prompt response.
“This administration has been considering an upgrade of the market and it would in such a way that even if there is fire, it would only affect a small area where the fire started,” he stated.
Similarly, AMAC Chairman, who described the incident as unfortunate, assured them of the Council’s readiness to solicit palliative measures for them.
He declared AMAC’s commitment to partner with the FCTA on the upgrade of the informal market and others within the Council.
On his part, Sarkin Jiwa, Idris Musa, attributed high degree of loss incurred by the traders to the poor nature of the market.
He called on the government to offer assistance to the affected traders, to cope with the situation.
By Idu Jude, Abuja