Traders at the popular Lagos Street Market in Benin City, Edo State, were dealt a devastating blow on Saturday morning as a fire broke out and destroyed goods worth millions of naira. The building housing the shops is said to be owned by a well-known businesswoman known as Madam Lagos.
Many of the shop owners in the market were devastated by the loss of their goods and livelihoods. One of the affected shop owners, Chioma Kelvin, was at church when she received the devastating news that her shop was on fire.
She rushed to the market as quickly as she could, but by the time she arrived, her jewelry shop had been completely destroyed by the flames. “I don’t know the time the fire started because I was in the church when they called to inform me that my shop was on fire. I don’t usually open my shop for business on Saturdays,” she said.
Chioma estimates her losses to be over one hundred million naira. “I lost almost over a hundred million naira to the fire because I deal in jewelries,” she said. The loss of her goods and livelihood has left her feeling hopeless and she is now calling on the state government and well-meaning Nigerians to come to her aid. “I want the government and all Nigerians to come to my aid,” she said.
Many of the traders and sympathizers at the market also criticized the Edo State Fire Service for not responding quickly enough to the fire. One sympathizer, Obina Obi, said “We called the fire service, they didn’t pick their calls.
The fire started very little. If fire fighters came early, they would have been able to save the situation.” The traders are now left to pick up the pieces and try to rebuild their lives and businesses after this tragic event.
The Lagos Street Market is a popular destination for shoppers and traders alike, known for its bustling atmosphere and wide variety of goods on offer. The fire has not only caused a significant financial loss for the traders, but it also dealing a blow to the community that relies on the market for their livelihoods.
The traders are now calling on the government and other organizations to provide aid and support in the wake of this disaster, in order to help them get back on their feet.