The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said that at least 2,000 traders suffered huge losses in the fuel tanker inferno that destroyed major parts of the Ochanja Market in Onitsha, Anambra State.
NEMA’s South-East Zonal Coordinator Fred Anusim, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu, said that from the “rapid assessment” conducted by the agency, over 50 storey buildings were affected.
He said that the assessment was not comprehensive but rapidly done due to the prevailing anger amongst residents of the commercial city.
Anusim said that the people were angry against the government because of the alleged failure by the the state Fire Service to intervene in good time to control the fire.
He said: “After receiving information on the inferno on the evening of October 16, we did a rapid assessment on October 17. On October 18, we still went to the scene with the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, Hajiya Saddiya Farouk, as direct by President Muhammadu Buhari.”
Anusim said that the delegation could not do much in terms of assessment, “because the traders and residents were still visibly angry.”
“From what we saw on the ground, which is not comprehensive, at least over 2,000 traders had been thrown out of business, while over 50 houses were completely or partially destroyed.
“The 50 buildings were mostly two, three and four storey buildings with some of them having all round sales shops and warehouses.”