Kontagora (Niger), July 14, 2019 (NAN) The Niger Government in Minna on Sunday disbursed N27 million relief materials to 20 victims of the 2017 Kontagora market fire disaster.
Alhaji Ahmed Inga, Director-General, Niger State Emergency Management Agency (NSEMA), explained that the assistance came late due to the economic situation.
He said that the relief package was from the government to reduce the plight of traders whose goods were destroyed by fire.
“Government cannot compensate for what has been lost, but see this assistance as part of state government’s efforts to reduce your sufferings.
‘‘This relief package will help the victims to continue with their businesses.
‘‘We cannot give you back what you have lost but government is concerned that you should get back to track in business,’’ he said.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the inferno occurred in 2017 at Kontagora old and new markets, where goods worth millions of Naira were destroyed and some houses affected.
Inga disclosed that functional fire service equipment and personnel had been stationed at the market places to prevent future recurrence.
The Emir of Kontagora, Alhaji Sa’aidu Namaske, commended the state government for the gesture, stressing that the fire incident brought untold hardship to the victims.
Namaske, who was represented by Alhaji Aminu Ahmed, disclosed that the emirate had been meeting with leaders of the market association to discuss possible ways to avert a recurrence.
Mrs Charity Ernest, one of the victims, who lost her provision store to the incident, thanked the state government for the assistance.
She said that the relief package would help her start her business again.
‘‘My shop was totally razed by fire and after the incident, it has been difficult for me to set up another business, but with this assistance from government I can start all over again,’’ she said.
Another victim, Malam Nasiru Shehu, who sells provisions, said that life had been difficult for him since his shop was burnt.
He said government’s gesture would complement the little business he had started.
‘‘Everything in my shop got burnt down, but I was able to start up with little money I had.
‘‘Today, with this assistance, I can expand the business to the standard it used to be,’’ he said. (NAN)