An NGO, International Human Rights Movement, says the traders affected by the recent fire outbreak in Katsina central market, lose over N50 million daily.
The Ambassador Nigeria of the NGO, Mr Salisu Musa, who disclosed this while briefing newsmen on Saturday in Katsina, attributed the financial loss to what he called the refusal of the state government to allow the traders rebuild their shops.
He recalled that on March 2, the market was gutted by fire, with property worth more than N902.1 million destroyed and a total of 608 shops burnt.
“During the fire incident, another 59 attachment shops were affected, while 21 shops were looted.
“We arrived at the amount being lost daily by the traders through our interactions with them. Each of them told us how much they lose daily which we multiplied by the number of shops affected.
“To investigate the real cause of the fire outbreak, the Katsina State government set up a 21-man committee of experts, with their findings revealing that congestion was the major cause.
“For that reason, the state government did all it could to ensure that the victims got financial support. And also, government’s plan was to reconstruct the shops and reduce the congestion.
“The victims cried out and urged the government and the stakeholders to give them permission to rebuild their shops to enable them continue with their businesses,” he said.
Musa said that more than 2,668 persons lost their means of livelihood, as each shop had, at least, four to five assistants working under it.
“Therefore, we are calling on the state government and stakeholders to immediately give permission to those affected traders to re-construct their shops.
“While the committee is trying to find the root cause of the outbreak, we urge the government to look into the possibility of using another market called ‘Dubai market’.
“This will boost the state’s economic growth and help reduce the rate of unemployment in the state,” he said.