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Fashola pledges to assist Balogun market traders


• Agbaje promises Lagosians affordable markets

LAGOS State governor, Babatunde Fashola on Tuesday said the state government would rebuild the burnt sections of the popular Balogun market and assist affected traders to return to business. The governor, during a visit to the market, pledged the support to give succour to traders who lost their wares in the fire disaster that razed four plazas on Monday.

   In a related development, the governor has also warned residents to be on the alert against fire incidences during this harmattan period and check all risk factors, especially reckless wire connections. He described the Monday incident as sad and assured that government would stand by the traders and help them to get back on their businesses.

   Fashola urged the market leaders to help government identify those who owned wares in the market to enable government assist them.

   The governor said: “We want to know what the estimate of losses is. You have to liaise with the market leaders. We will help you. This will also apply to all the plazas affected. It is impossible for us to count the number of people while we are here.

    “The Commissioner for Special Duties is here, he will liaise with all the people and the plazas affected to have a clear view of the type of businesses they do and the estimate and we assure you that we will help you,” he said

   Fashola said he gathered that the fire might have resulted from an electrical surge. He urged the people to beware of illegal connections, especially at this period of dry season and harmattan.

   “I know there is problem with electricity, but we must be careful how we use the alternatives available to us like generators and illegal connections in order to avoid risk. I appeal to Lagosians because of the dry season we are in as there is the risk of fire. You have to stop storing inflammable materials in your homes and plazas and switch of any appliances not in use.”

   Fashola also appealed to traders and marketers to insure their businesses for safety purposes so that when they run into problems, the insurance company could come to their aid, saying that the premium charged by these insurance companies was not much and affordable.

   Earlier, Director of Lagos State Fire Services, Rasak Fadipe said the fire affected four buildings, adding that the inferno was fuelled due to large number of illegal structures surrounding the  high rising buildings.

   Also, the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Jimi Agbaje yesterday promised to build more affordable markets in the state, if elected as governor on February 28.

   Agbaje said this at the Balogun Market, when he went there to commiserate with victims of the fire outbreak. He decried the condition of some markets and the plight of traders in the state.

   “I will not only build more and affordable markets to meet up with expansions in the state like Jakande did, I will ensure that they have basic amenities. I feel the plight of the traders in Lagos, selling in markets that lacks basic amenities including water, toilets and motorable roads,” Agbaje said.

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