The Federal Government has pledged its support towards the rebuilding and reviving of businesses at the Next Cash & Carry, Abuja, after Sunday’s fire incident.
Naija News reports that the popular supermarket went up in flames on Sunday morning at about 8:00 am.
Goods worth millions of Naira were evidently affected at the Supermarket despite the residents’ effort in assisting to evacuate some of the goods in the stores from burning to ashes.
Sympathising with the management of the store over the incident, Nigeria’s Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq, who visited the site of the inferno, said the government will render its possible assistance towards its resuscitation.
The Minister said the incident was very unfortunate and a loss not just to the management of the company, but to the government and Nigeria at large.
Farouq’s statement reads: “Immediately the fire started, we deployed officials of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) together with other sister agencies to come and assist in the rescue operations.
“As you can see, the extent of damage cannot be quantified. The government offers its deepest sympathy to the management and team of Next Cash and Carry and we will also come in as a government to see how we can support you.
“I hereby call for caution to avoid more fire outbreaks. This is because incidences of fire outbreaks are usually high during the harmattan season,” the minister noted.
While appreciating concerned residents who stood up in trying to salvage some items, Farouq admonished owners of such kinds of establishments to hence put in place necessary arrangements that can possibly prevent the reoccurrence of such disaster, Naija News reports.
“It is also critically important that an establishment like this or any other commercial or public building should put in place necessary arrangements to prevent disasters like this and also update their fire prevention drills,” the Minister reiterated.
Responding, the General Manager of the business, Mr Neil Pape sought the government’s support as they begin rebuilding the business premise.
Pape said: “The losses are under investigation and it is huge. As soon as we have the total amount lost and we get the records of all the stock in our business, we will give you feedback in a press release.”
He added that all manner of high profile persons have visited to assist and see what happened.
”We will need the support of the government as we streamline plans to open a new store,” Pape noted in an interview with newsmen.
Naija News understands that the Next Cash and Carry supermarket is owned by a former governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi.
Recall that Obi is a member of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and was a former vice presidential candidate in the 2019 general elections.
Download NAIJA NEWS app: