Market fire: Zulum approves another N1b for reconstruction to start
By Sani Gazas Chinade, Maiduguri
Governor Babagana Umara Zulum on Wednesday approved another N1b for reconstruction work to start at the Maiduguri Monday Market which was engulfed by a fire disaster in the early hours of Sunday.
In a press statement signed by M. Isa Gisau said that, Zulum’s approval was announced by the Secretary to Borno State Government, Usman Jidda Shuwa, during the inauguration of a committee that will coordinate all matters relating to the market fire incident.
The governor on Monday, presented a cheque of one billion Naira to be distributed to victims to serve as emergency relief pending other measures by government.
“As a responsible and responsive government, we cannot fold our hands and let the situation be as it is, but rise to our responsibilities and do the needful to salvage the situation for the betterment of our people.
I’d been making frantic efforts in providing palliative to boost their resilience. In this connection, I made some commitments which include the constitution of this high-powered committee, I have also approved the sum of N1b for immediate disbursement to the victims for the upkeep of their families. I have approved another N1b for commencement of reconstruction works at the market”, Zulum said as quoted by the SSG.
Engr. Zarami Dungus as the Chairman of the committee with members including, Prof. Mohammed A. Alhaji, Khalifa Ahmed Bankim, Alhaji Umaru Maina Charam, Special Adviser on Religious Affairs, Special Adviser on Legal and Admin Matters, Rep. of the North East Development Commission, Rep. of the National Emergency Management Agency, Rep. of the Borno State Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture, Rep. of the Nigerian Army.
Others are, Rep. of the Nigerian Police Force, Rep. of the Department of State Services, Rep. of the Nigerian Fire Service, Rep. of the Nigerian Security & Civil Defence Corps, Rep. of the Monday Market Community, Rep. of the Ministry of Youths, Sports & Empowerment, Rep. of the Ministry of Trade, Investment & Tourism, Rep. of the Ministry of Works, Rep. of the Ministry of Justice, Rep. of His Royal Highness, the Shehu of Borno.
The committee also include Chairman 8 Joint Forum Monday Market, the Chairman Traders Association, One Representative each from the 60 Pillars, Rep. Office of the SSG. While General Manager, Monday Market serves as secretary of the committee.
The governor also spelt out 9 specific terms of reference for the committee as follows:
- To appraise and determine the immediate and remote causes of the fire as well as the factors responsible for its wild untrollable nature, engulfing the entire market and establishing whether it was the result of arson or accident.
- To meticulously assess and ascertain whether or not there are specific individuals who may be directly or indirectly responsible for the incident and apportion blame appropriately.
- To thoroughly examine the magnitude of the fire and the extent of the damage caused to physical structures and assess/determine the type of and amount of relief assistance to the affected victims of the fire disaster.
- To accurately compile and determine the actual number of persons who suffered losses as a result of the fire and establish the quantity/amount of property each individual lost to the fire disaster.
- To carefully examine the original master plan of the market and determine whether or not alterations have been made over the years to accommodate more traders and the extent to which such alteration contributed to the uncontainable nature of the fire
- To determine the extent to which commercial activities have been disrupted by the fire disaster and suggest a suitable site for the construction of another market with a view to decongesting the present one.
- To make appropriate recommendations to the government on how best to avoid fire disasters of a similar nature in future.
- To evaluate and commence reconstruction/rehabilitation of the damaged structures immediately while investigation is being undertaken.
- Any other matter the panel deems relevant to the terms of reference as articulated in the foregoing paragraphs.
Chairman of the committee, Engr. Zarami Dungus expressed gratitude to Governor Zulum for finding them worthy to serve Borno State. He assured of transparent and accountable execution of the task given to them.