By; BALA B. BITRUS, Minna
Governor Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger State has told the state Fire Service to work out modalities for the establishment of functional Fire Service Stations in all the markets in the eight urban areas of the state.
The governor noted that the spate of conflagrations and the quantum of economic losses resulting from such incidents informs the government’s decision to have fire engines in major markets to fight fire outbreaks.
The governor therefore charged the state’s Chief Fire Officer, Isah Ibrahim to forward the financial implications for the projects.
Over a hundred and twenty persons were engaged as fire fighters last year. The state government had also procured eight additional fire engines to bulster the fire fighting capacity of the state.
Fire incidences in parts of the state have continued to occur with devastating economic losses. Last February, the Bida Etsu Musa market was gutted by fire where goods in several shops, worth several millions of naira were perished in the inferno.
The major urban centres like Suleja, Kontagora and Lapai have densely populated central markets that are overstretched with makeshifts shops and stalls but with poor navigation routes within the markets.
Even the Minna Ultra modern market, (the Kure ultra modern market) which was well conceptualized, has had it’s original master plan inverted and grossly destroyed by incursions of shanty shops and stalls, erection of additional shops on access roads, parking lots and kerbs.
At the Kure Market, even the fire station at the market is being threatened by activities of shanty market stalls and hawkers who contest for available spaces to display their wares for sale.
While major routes within the market are being taken over by all manner of traders with their wares on display against the runways which affects free flow of traffic and this could be a big hindrance especially during emergency.