A fire on Thursday morning razed the Tipper Garage Market on 3rd Avenue, Gwarimpa, Abuja, and killed one person while traders lost all their wares worth millions of naira.
Although there were reports of six deaths, the FCT Minister of State, Hajia Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, who was in the market later on Thursday to commiserate with the traders, confirmed only one death.
The minister sympathised with the victims of the fire and assured that the FCT Administration (FCTA), in collaboration with the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) would ensure that victims were assisted, just as she advised the traders to take precautionary measures as most of the goods sold in the market were highly inflammable.
Aliyu, who visited the scene alongside the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (MD/CEO) of FHA, Sen Gbenga Ashafa, and the FCT Director of Fire Service, Malam Sani Sa’idu, also called for upgrading of the market in line with global best practices.
She said, “The number one city in the nation should not even witness a place so overcrowded in such a manner that does not befit a modern city. We have to sit down and look at the real drawing of Abuja together and see how other markets will also be upgraded and existing markets would be looked into holistically to ensure that all these provisions are made.”
The acting Director of Fire Service, Malam Sani Sa’idu, told the minister that his men responded immediately but could not gain access to the market due to bad road network.
Some traders who spoke with Daily Trust said they lost everything and that some of their colleagues were severely injured.
A resident of the area, Malam Abdullahi Suleiman, said the fire was caused by electrical fault from some shops.