The National Emergency Management Agency NEMA has commiserated with traders in Lagos over the fire that consumed goods worth millions of naira at Mandilas building on Sunday.
The Director-General of NEMA, Mustapha Habib Ahmed, conveyed his message on Tuesday in Lagos during an on -the- spot assessment of the extent of the damage wrecked by the fire.
Represented by the Director, Search and Rescue, NEMA, Air Commodore Kennedy Metaluwo, Ahmed enjoined Nigerians to be safety conscious in their activities to protect their lives and property.
He also called on business owners to explore the need for insurance policy to recoup their losses in case of disaster.
The director-general observed that there was lack of proper fire fighting equipment that was supposed to be installed in the Mandilas building to respond to immediate fire challenge.
He said a critical observation of the building shows that there are too many attachments to the building;also observed that safety management of the building was quite a challenge.
“The adjoining buildings were too close and chocked up.
“Most of the attachments needs to be out so that there can be free movement of emergency responders,” Ahmed said.
Credible news reports that upon arrival at the scene of the fire, the D-G was briefed by security officials on the scene led by the Divisional Police Officer ( DPO), Ebute Ero Division CSP Agunloye Rotimi.
The D-G also commiserated with the affected victims on behalf of the Federal Government.
The Iya Loja General of Mandilas and Atunwase International Market, Alhaja Adeniji Rashidat, told the D-G that the building accommodated about 6,700 traders, 450 shops, 30 offices, two hotels, and five restaurants.
Rashidat said that the fire was believed to have started at about 11:00 hours on Sunday from the first floor where an alleged electric welding activity was going on.
She said that the people around the market did not notice the fire until it was too late before the Lagos State Fire and Rescue Service was contacted; 10 floors were affected by the fire which was promptly brought under control by the fire service.
She said that the fire also spread to surrounding market stalls at Atunwase International Market with equal extensive damages as the main complex.
Rashidat appealed to the Federal government to come to the aid of the traders who lost property worth millions of naira.
Credible news reports that officials of the Lagos State Safety Commission and Building Control Agency were on ground to assess the integrity of all buildings at the scene.
All structures affected have been locked down to prevent access to the shop for the safety of traders and the public.
Traders whose goods were destroyed were seen in clusters watching helplessly as the fire continued 48 hours after.