The Niger State Government has donated N47 million to 44 victims of the Abdulkadir Kure Ultra Modern Market, Minna, fire disaster.
The fire incident occurred on January 3, 2016, where 38 shops and goods worth millions of naira were destroyed.
Governor Abubakar Sani Bello, while distributing the money to the victims, on Friday in Minna, urged them to make judicious use of the money given to them to set up new businesses.
He commended the victims for their patience, noting that the fire incident occurred at a time the state was experiencing a financial crisis.
The governor said that the government had put in place measures to curtail fire disasters such as the provision of three central generators to supply electricity in the market.
He said that other measures were the construction of a fire service station in the market place with fire trucks for quick response to fire outbreaks.
Mr Bello added that the recently employed fire operators would be deployed to the station as soon as they finished their training.
“We have installed central generators to discourage people from storing fuel in their shops for smaller generators which can increase the risks of fire outbreak. These are measures we have put in place to prevent fire disasters.
“Government will continue to give assistance to disaster victims even though it has taken long, but I believe the assistance came at the time you all need it most,’’ he said.
But the governor cautioned the traders against the indiscriminate increase of prices of goods during festive periods.
He said that such increment, especially on food items, had brought untold hardship on the people in the past.
The state Director-General of the Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, Ibrahim Inga, on his part, said the assistance would cushion the effect of the disaster on the victims.
“The time the incident happened was the same time the state was having a financial crisis and it is not how far it has come, but how well it is done.
“The economic situation of the state has improved that is why the government is giving the assistance now and I am assuring other flood and fire victims who have yet to receive any assistance that they will soon get assistance,’’ he said.
Chairman of the traders’ association, Bala Kura, described the government’s assistance as a “fulfilled promise”.
He solicited the same gesture to other fire victims whose shops were burnt down recently in a fire outbreak in the market.