The Minister of Labour and Employment Senator Chris Ngige has issued a cheque of N1 million to the victims of Onitsha fire disaster at Ochanja market in Anambra State.
Ngige who was at Ochanja market to commiserate with the traders on the fire incident in the market last Wednesday described the fire as a disastrous and huge loss both humanly and materially.
He said that the money was his personal donation to enable the families of those who lost their lives to commence burials and to care for medical bills of those who were injured in the inferno.
“This is an unusual disaster; a lot of lives lost, a lot of shops burnt, a lot of people injured and in hospitals. I have assured the traders that the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development has visited here on the instruction of Mr. President.
“We will rush relief materials here through the zonal office of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA). Immediately I get back to Abuja I will meet with the minister and discuss how to move immediately to assist the victims. We shall also do that in conjunction with the state government because this happened in a state. The state government should (let us know what their strength is and what they cannot meet up.
“This is my area of voting strength and my constituents and my political friends. I’m giving them N1 m to cater to the immediate succour of the victims. Anambra State through the state House of Assembly should make laws to guard against such occurrence in the future. The state should equip the fire service and make it functional.
“The information I got from the victims was that the fire service was not really available when the fire started. The state government has set up a commission of inquiry which is headed by the deputy governor. When they finish, they will advise on what to do and for immediate, the state should rush in their own relief materials,” Ngige stated.