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Africa’s biggest textile market in long wait for renovation

Addressing newsmen on matters arising in relation to the reconstruction of the burnt shop complexes, the Managing Director, KNUPDA, Alhaji Hassan Sani Na’Abba, said the…

Addressing newsmen on matters arising in relation to the reconstruction of the burnt shop complexes, the Managing Director, KNUPDA, Alhaji Hassan Sani Na’Abba, said the supervision is to ensure that the reconstruction is done in line with set standards by the authority.  

On the relocation of displaced traders by the authority which took place last January, Na’Abba said 3183 out of the 8,000 traders displaced have so far been resettled while an additional 3520 are to be resettled soon.

Full renovation work will commence after the report of the committee set to assess the damage is submitted to the state government. According to Alhaji Yahaya Umar of the project and monitoring ministry, the report will be submitted after the celebration of democracy day. He said the submission of the report will determine what assistance the state government will render.

Another thing that is delaying the rehabilitation of the victims is lack of assistance from the federal government. Speaking on the situation at the market, the newly elected chairman, caretaker committee, Alhaji Umar Garba Babatumuli, said “We don’t know why, up till now, the federal government has not given its donation and this is the normal trend. Whenever a disaster occurs, it is binding on the government to assist the victims.”

Babatumuli said because of the inferno, business activities at the market are declining daily. “The affected people are just sitting idle, waiting for what donation they can get to start again. They cannot buy goods again because the money is not there and the shops are also not forthcoming. The loss was enormous. There is a single man who has lost over N120m to the fire and there are lots more who lost several millions to the fire.”

The chairman said he was optimistic that if the federal government can give its own share of the assistance, and the money is disbursed to the affected victims, the market can bounce back to its former vibrancy.

On allegations by some traders that some unaffected people are trying to have their names included so that they can get the assistance, the chairman said the committee has the records of all those who were affected, saying they have full confidence in the members of the committee that they will disburse the fund religiously. He therefore urged them to exercise patience.


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