By Frank Odinukaeze
A morning fire on 23
of march 2022badly damaged a main bridge in Nigeria’s commercial capital Lagos,razing dozens of shops and risking more traffic chaos in the city.The blaze broke out during an extended electricity shortage,which along with a spike in global fuel prices is already hurting households and businesses in Africa’s largest economy. While we commend the efforts of Lagos Island council who in collaboration with the state government are making frantic efforts to relocate the embattled. traders affrctted by the Apongbon fire ,it must be pointed out the negligence. Of both the local council and the state government in not taking precautionary measures in allowing the overcrowding of the area with hordes of traders displaying. all manner of wares in total disregard. to safety and security.Lagos Island is notorious. for uncoordinated and out rightly lawless market arrangement.The concern mostly is on the revenue collected from the traders .The issue of safety is barely taken care of and that explains the frequent catastrophe s that have almost become a recurring decimal in the area.
In the first place,citing or allowing market under a major bridge is a negation of the value and credibility of the bridge.In the midst of the clusters there are no safety and emergency measures put in place in case of emergencies.All these give credence to the fact that we care less about human life,but care more about money. The avoidable Apongbon fire incident has once again brought to the fore our lack of value for safety and security
The council boss
prince Tijani Adetoyese who gave update on efforts to return normalcy to the area and ensure that affected residents and traders have their means of livelihood back. Adetoyese Olusi stressed that the move was in partnership with the Federal and State governments. He said’we are working round the clock to see that the people affected by the unfortunate fire incident have their lives back.’ Continuing he said’ Relocating them is a priority for us ,just as ensuring that safety and security are never compromised again’ The Island boss further hinted that ‘ As local council ,we are in touch with the federal and State governments in doing the heedful,to fix the current problem and ensure there is no repeat’ “As a mark of our commitment to getting.the affected traders back on their feet, in weeks from now,in collaboration. with the state government,they would be moved to new and conducive trading points in downtown commercial hub of Lagos Island,to continue with their trading.” he concluded
The frequent fire incidents on the island calls for worry.Every year traders lose millions of naira worth of goods to fire.Both the State Government and the Local Council should find lasting solution to this menace .Necssary gadgets and equipments should be installed in all the markets and appropriate measures taken to ensure that traders are regulated.Again, trading under major bridges should be outlawed.Finally those assigned with the responsibility of controlling the markets should up their game.Enough of these incessant fire outbreaks.