Traders at Jos main market on Saturday counted their losses after a midnight fire gutted the market.
Alhaji Abdulrahman Yusuf, the chairman of Traders Association in Plateau, told newsmen in Jos that over 270 shops with properties worth millions of Naira were destroyed.
“We have one trader in this market that lost goods worth over N20 million. “So, it’s a huge loss and it’s quite devastating, ” he lamented.
Yusuf called on government to come to the aid of the traders, to enable them bounce back to business. The market which was in 2001 razed by fire, now has petty traders with make-shift shops as occupants.
Mr Adie Undie, the Plateau Police Commissioner, told newsmen that the fire started around 1:30a.m, and the cause was yet to be ascertained.
“This incident happened around 1:30.a.m and our men and that of the Department of Fire Service responded promptly. “The nature of the market really hindered the men of the fire service from accessing it with ease, but they did their best. “My officers were able to cordon the arena and ensure hoodlums didn’t take undue advantage of the situation to loot, ” he said.
The commissioner said he would liaise with relevant authorities to unravel the cause of the fire. He said his men would remain at the scene to ensure miscreants do not take undue advantage to loot.
Mr Philip Nyam, the Transition Implementation Committee (TIC) Chairman of Jos North Local Government Area, described the incident as unfortunate. He commiserated with the affected traders and promised government support.