January 12, 2015 – Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola on Tuesday pledged to provide succor for traders who lost their shops and wares in the fire incident that rocked Balogun Market on Monday.
At least about 150 shops and five buildings including other structures were consumed by the inferno. Fashola who spoke when he and other government officials visited the scene said he will work with the traders to verify losses , adding that relief would be provided as soon as enumeration of traders is completed.
He described the incident as pathetic and promised that government would replace all buildings and structures lost to the inferno.
“ I sympathise with you on this incident ,especially you women trying to earn a living and keep body and soul together. This is indeed a very pathetic incident. Be assured that our government will stand with you at this difficult period and we will help you get back on your business and that is the reason I have come with the Commissioner for Special Duties, Dr. Wale Ahmed.
“Am working with the Iya Oloja and other market women to authenticate and verify all legitimate losses to the incident and this will apply to all affected in all the plazas. Once everyone has been identified, we will do our best to put you back to business and that will include replacing as many destroyed properties and buildings as possible, he said.
The governor however said the incident was a compelling reminder of the need for traders to insure their businesses against losses adding that insurance helps to reduce risks associated with business.
He also urged traders and indeed all residents to always take precautions against fire adding that such step would help avert losses to fire disasters.
“I want to use this opportunity to appeal to all Lagosians that this is the dry season. We have two seasons in our state. The rainy season and the dry season. The rainy season, where the risk of flooding, we have successfully contained that. We are now in the dry season, where we have the risk of fire .
“We must be interested in our own safety and security. I appeal to you to stop storing inflammable materials in your homes and business places. Residents should cultivate the habit of turning off their electrical appliances not in use. It is the dry period and the wind makes fires easy to start and difficult to contain.
`”As at yesterday,we were dealing with 18 fires. That should tell anyone that a lot more precautions are needed this season”, ,he added.
Also speaking on the incident, Director of the state`s Fire service, Mr. Rasaq Fadipe, said the cause of the fire had not been ascertained but pointed out an electrical fault around the market was suspected.
“`We are happy that at last the fire has been brought under control at last. What we have now is smoke billowing from the destroyed market and that posses little threat”, he said.