BusinessDay

FCT fire outbreak threatens potential investments in Nigeria – NEXT Cash&Carry

The management of NEXT Cash &Carry supermarket has decried the recent fire outbreak in its Abuja facility, stating that it may affect future investments in the FCT and Nigeria at large.

The incident had occurred at about 10.45 am on Sunday 26th December 2021, with no casualty recorded.

Commenting on the inferno, the General Manager, Next Cash & Carry Limited, Neil Pape called for a thorough investigation to ascertain the cause of the fire outbreak.

According to him, Next Cash and Carry Facilities & Store were built and operated according to international standards.

“The company would like to appeal to the investigating authorities to conduct a thorough investigation to ascertain the immediate and remote cause of the fire outbreak which is strange and has the effect of adversely affecting future investments in the FCT and Nigeria at large.

He noted that the company with a staff strength of about 1000 direct and indirect staff and over 3000 vendors, with 200 farmers supplying items to the store, have a competent firefighting truck in Abuja which has assisted the fire service in responding to several fire incidents in Abuja.

Read also: Minister moves to prevent repeat of Next Cash and Carry supermarket fire

According to him, “the shop had closed for the Christmas holiday on 24th December 202 to allow our staff and customers to celebrate the Christmas holiday.

“The Shop was scheduled to open on the 26th December 2021 being boxing day at noon. It is important to state that the cleaners, cashiers, security & bakery staff came into the shop in the early hours of 26th December 2021 to clean and get all the facets of the store ready for operations at noon.

“The cleaners had barely finished cleaning the store when the fire started from one of the departments in the store. The staff immediately alerted the firefighters, as well as security operatives.

They all assisted in no small measure to reduce the extent of the damage caused by the fire.”

Meanwhile, Muhammad Musa Bello, Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, , had assured businesses of ongoing efforts to prevent future fire outbreaks in business establishments around the FCT.

The minister who commiserated with the management and staff members of the supermarket said that a thorough investigation would be conducted to ascertain the cause of the fire incident in an effort to prevent a recurrence in any other business establishment within the FCT