From Okwe Obi, Abuja
In the aftermath of fire outbreaks that destroyed shops in markets in Katsina and Zamfara states, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, has directed the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to distribute relief items to victims.
Farouq, who issued the directive in a statement signed by her Special Adviser on Media, Nneka Ikem Anibeze, expressed sadness over the incidents.
‘I received this afternoon, the sad news of the unfortunate fire outbreak at Katsina Central Market in Katsina state and Tudun Wada Market, in Gusau, Zamfara State,’ she said.
‘On behalf of the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, I extend my sympathy and condolence to the Government and people of Katsina and Zamfara states, especially the traders in the central market.
‘I have instructed National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to render technical and relief support to the state while keeping me abreast of developments.
‘While casualty figures and the actual cause of this disaster is being investigated, the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development notes that scores of shops and goods have been destroyed.
‘Similarly, property worth millions of naira and over 60 shops were razed by fire following a midnight fire outbreak in TudunWada Market, in Gusau, the Zamfara State capital.’
The minister described the incident as unfortunate, coming at a time the country is combatting and trying to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic.
‘This underscores the Ministry’s determination as the coordinator of all humanitarian and disaster interventions, to work diligently with all relevant agencies and stakeholders in other to consolidate an all hazard approaches and guidelines for disaster risk management that will prioritise building resilience for all our markets and homes and ensure better prevention and response to fire disasters.’