The Kano state government in northern Nigeria has inaugurated a 41 man committee to raise fund in support of traders whose goods estimated at over 2 trillion naira were destroyed by fire a week ago.
The committee which comprises of influential businessmen, politicians and seasoned bureaucrats is headed by Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, who is also an indigene of the state.
Kano state governor, Dr. Abdulahi Ganduje while inaugurating the committee said that 70, 000 shops have been acquired as palliative measures for the victims within a period of one year.
“The committee members are saddled with the responsibilities to raise fund to for the affected victims, determine whom the real victims are, approach individuals, states and federal government and international bodies for donation.
“Similarly, set frame work for an account to be opened where the sourced money will be lodged under the state government; ensure redemption of pledges, all in an effort to caution the effects of the fire out brake on the victim.” Ganduje explained
The report of the committee is expected to be submitted in six weeks time.
The fire incident
The Governor also described “the fire as mother of all fire which has paralyzed not only commercial activities in the northern part of Nigeria but other parts of Africa, hence the urgent need to rebuild the market.”
He said earlier, a committee on resettlement of the traders was formed with report already submitted and action is being taking, a commission of inquiry headed by a retired justice to determine the immediate and remote causes is also receiving memorandum from the public.
The debris has been cleared for easy access to the site in order to determine extent of the damage.
In response, the Chairman of the committee, Aliko Dangote reiterated that “the committee will take the assignment seriously in other to put the incidence behind the victims especially because it has touched the soul of everybody.”
Dangote emphasized that the committee will source of funds from banks, the National Assembly and other organizations, urging the governor to motivate other state governors to participate.
Other markets gutted down by fire that will receive attention from the committee include: the Rimi or Sabon Gari market, Singer, Katakwo, kurumi and the GSM markets.
The Sabon gari market is one of the oldest established by the colonial regime to facilitate trade in the northern part of Nigeria and across the Trans-Shara trade route.