No fewer than 351 shops have been destroyed by a fire that razed a section of the plank market in the Amukoko area of Lagos.
The fire which started around 1am on Wednesday also displaced over 1,000 traders in the market.
Co-ordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in the South-West, Ibrahim Farinloye, confirmed the incident.
He said, “The shops in addition to 25 attachments are said to be accommodating not less than five traders squatting together. The Secretary of traders’ association, Mr. Sola Oyegoke who conducted the assessment team on behalf of the Baba Loja, Alhaji Ayelabawo Tajudeen stated that the market management always switched off electricity supply to the market at about 10pm and switched it on at 8am every market day.
“He could not confirm the actual cause of the incident despite all the precautionary measures put in place to avert such incident.
“He added that the management ensure that all the premises are thoroughly combed to ensured that no naked fire is left before the closure of the market for the day.
“Mr Oyegoke explained that though the market is referred to as plank market, it has other artisans who have separate sections such as tailors as well as printers that operates there.
“He added that the Association has a membership lists of 1,058 registered.
The assessment also noticed two residential buildings close to the market touched by the inferno” he added
Farinloye revealed that as at the time of assessment, the traders have cleared all the remains of burnt milling and sewing machines.
“NEMA is imploring Nigerians to be more safety conscious as we are moving into dry season when the atmosphere will be drier with the accompanied challenges,” he added.