Festac Market Fire: Traders Rebuild, Call for Help

Some traders whose shops were burnt at Abibatu Mogaji Market at Agboju in Festac Town, have called on Lagos State Government to help in rebuilding the market.

The traders told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Lagos that they also needed support to procure goods to help them kickstart their businesses after their shops were razed down by fire on Jan. 25 2021

According to them, life has been very tough for them since the fire incident.

Ify Mbonu, a trader who sells used-clothes, told NAN that some of the victims had been reallocated to other spaces while others had started rebuilding their shops by themselves.

“My greatest concern is not even how to get the money to rebuild my shop. Even if I have the money to reconstruct the shop, how will I get money for the goods that I will sell?” She lamented.

Another trader popularly known as ‘Infinity’, who sells hair extensions, told NAN that she was grateful for the 18 months rent-free grace granted the affected traders by the market leadership.

According to her, the leaders have also donated money and palliatives to the traders to ensure that the traders and their families don’t starve while going through the difficult phase.

“Many people, government representatives, private and corporate organizations have paid us visits and made many promises. We’re still waiting for them to fulfill those promises,” she said.

Mrs. Nonye Ukaegbu, market leader of the affected section, said the fire outbreak and the subsequent loss of property was a big blow to her and the traders.

Ukaegbu said the palliative was given to the traders to encourage them while they wait on the promises made to them by well-wishers.

“We reallocated spaces to them and told them not to pay rent for one-and-a-half years. This is just to make them happy and to help reduce their stress. Everybody has started rebuilding their shops but they still need more support. “Some of them depend on the daily sales they make to sustain their families,” she said.

Ukaegbu urged local and state governments, as well as corporate organizations and private individuals to support the traders as they rebuild their businesses from scratch.

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