Ibrahim Shuaibu in Kano
The Appeal Fund Raising Committee for the victims of fire incidents in Kano markets saturday realized over N2 billion as donations from various organisations.
The donations came also from individuals including businessmen and politicians across the country as a way of supporting victims of the fire disaster.
About a year ago, successive fire incidents occurred in five major markets in the city, including Farm Centre (GSM) market, Kurmi market, Yan Katako market, Singer Market, and Muhammad Abubakar Rimi Market otherwise known as Sabon Gari market.
In his determination to cushion the effects of the fire disaster on the victims, Kano state Governor, Mr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje set up a Fund Raising committee, headed by business magnate, Alhaji Aliko Dangote to raise fund to support the victims.
Speaking during the Fundraising event at Coronation House yesterday, Governor Ganduje said the donation were not in any way sufficient enough to replace their loss, but to support them to carry on with their business activities.
Ganduje adding that the state government has already embarked on total rebuilding of the market structures in conformity with international standard.
He disclosed that rebuilding of the markets would include the creation of access roads that will make movement in and out of the markets easier and creating better ways of averting future occurrence of fire disasters.
Ganduje added that restructuring of the markets will include building of fire outposts, police posts and other infrastructure that can make buying and selling less hectic.
The governor also expressed regret that investments of businessmen were completely wiped out by the fire incidents.
Speaking also, the chairman of the Organising Committee who is also the state Deputy Governor, Prof. Hafiz Abubakar, said the state has over 305 markets.
Hafiz added that between December 2015 and April 2016, five of the major markets were ravaged by fire in seven incidents in which over N27.7 billion was lost.
Also speaking, the chairman of the Fund Raising Committee, Aliko Dangote, said the quantum of loss by the fire victims cannot be replaced.
Dangote said â€œbut what is more important at this material time is for us to join forces together and come out to help these victims. As a businessman, if you donâ€™t have Kano as your market bases, then you have not started. So, Kano remains first in Nigeria, as far as business transaction is concernedâ€.
He added that lack of adequate planning may have caused the fire incidents. He further stated that the Fund Raising Committee will continue work round the clock within the next one month so as to attract more donations to the fire victims.
â€œWe are now in recession as times are hard. So, what we need now is to get them out of this predicamentâ€.
It was learnt that Kano state government and Dangote were the highest donors with N500 million donations each, followed by Access Bank (N100 million), oil magnate, Femi Otedola (25 million), Dahiru Mangal (N25 million), Fidelity Bank (N20 million), Senate President, Bukola Saraki (N10 million), Speaker, House of Representatives (N5 million).
Others were 24 House of Representatives from Kano (N12 million), Senator Barau Jibrin (N3 million), Senator Kabiru Gaya (N3 million), Tahir Fadallah (N5 million), Ishyaku Rabiu (N5 million), Kano state House of Assembly members (N5 million), among others.