The Friday fire incident at Old Panteka Market, Tudun Wada, Kaduna, consumed about 700 shops and affected the jobs of about 30,000 youths, the Chairman of the market, Suleiman Shehu, has said.
Mr. Shehu made the disclosure in Kaduna on Tuesday, when Ja’afaru Sa’ad, (Galadiman Ruwan Zazzau), visited the market officials to offer his sympathy.
He explained that the fire, which started around 1 a.m. on Friday, affected mostly timber and building materials sections, and consumed an estimated 100 trailer load of timbers and 200 machines.
According to him, about 30,000 youths, doing all kinds of jobs lost their jobs and source of livelihood as a result of the fire.
He said that the estimated total loss to the fire was yet to be ascertained, but added that a committee had been set up to determine the exact lost in monetary terms to the fire incident.
“The committee will also determine the actual cause of the fire and how to avoid future occurrence.
“We are appealing to government agencies and well-meaning Nigerians to come to our aid.
“Although Gov. Nasir el-Rufa’i, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the Kaduna State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) have visited us, we need assistance in cash and in kind to help our members recover from this unquantifiable loss,” the Chairman said.
Earlier, Mr. Sa’ad explained that he was at the market to sympathise with the market officials and the affected shop owners. He also called on the state government, NEMA, groups and individuals to come to the aid of the victims to alleviate heir sufferings.
“This is urgent, particularly as the market remains a source of livelihood for thousands of youths in the state and a huge source of revenue for the state.
“One would only imagine what could happen to the 30,000 youths who lost their means of livelihood to the inferno.
“We must do something fast, otherwise we will have a huge problem of youth restiveness in our hands’’, he said.
Mr. Sa’ad is a Technical Assistant in the office of the Executive Director of Finance and Administration for the Nigeria Sao Tome and Principe Joint Development Authority, NSPJDA.