Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu says his government will be liaising with stakeholders towards building modern markets to accommodate traders and check incessant fire outbreaks in existing congested markets on the Lagos Island.
Sanwo-Olu led some members of his cabinet to Balogun Market, on Martins Street, Lagos Island, which was gutted by fire on Wednesday, January 29, with several buildings and goods destroyed.
The governor, who described the incident as avoidable, said it was sad for the state to experience another fire in the market in less three months due to the failure of the residents to embrace safety advice being propagated by the government.
“I want to first express my regret, coming here for the second time in three months. We have been going round telling the people that this is harmattan period. The weather is very harsh and it easily attracts fire.
“We have said to the people times without number that they must remove their generators from the top of buildings. Going round, we still have fire in these rubbles yet people keep generators in adjoining buildings,” he said.
He charged members of the Community Development Association (CDA) and Community Development Committee (CDC) to put the interest of the residents above pecuniary obligations, saying no amount of money can give back a lost life. He said a situation where residents would place multiple generator sets in a building should not be tolerated.
The governor added “there must be control in the market place. The CDA’s and CDC’s must take charge of safety and security. It shouldn’t be about the money that you collect from the traders, you must care about their safety and wellbeing too.”
He noted that the latest fire incident has thrown up the debate on the need to build a proper markets in Lagos Island, as the current arrangement where most of the office buildings are being converted to market stalls and shops is not accepted.
He said: “we will do a proper enumeration of the people in these markets, plan with them for us to build modern markets.
Members of the Community Development Association, Lagos Island, while explaining the remote cause of the fire, appealed to the governor for executive backing in enforcing environmental and safety controls in the market.