By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
Traders of Kugbo furniture market in the Federal Capital territory, Abuja, have said they lost about N3billion to the recent fire disaster which engulfed the market, and razed down goods, machines and shops at the weekend.
The chairman of Kugbo International Market Traders Association (KIMTA), Prince Emeka Egwuekwe, who disclosed this to journalists in Abuja, also called on the Federal Government to assist the traders and the members of the association to rebuild their shops and damaged machines.
It would be recalled that an early morning fire last Sunday razed the popular Kugbo furniture market located along Abuja – Nyanya express way, an incident which consumed goods worth billions.
Egwuekwe, who is also the President of United Furniture Dealers’ Association of Nigeria, called for the establishment of a Fire Station in the market to avoid reoccurrence, even as he noted that over N3billion was lost during the incident in machines and goods gotted by the inferno.
He thanked members of the Armed Forces, the Army, the Navy, the Fire Service, for their timely intervention, which reduced the level of destruction, noting that without their support, the entire furniture market, with the timber shed, would have been razed to the ground.
While calling on the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the FCT administration to urgently come to their aid, Egwuekwe who is also the Managing Director Of Prince Interior Furniture and Furnishing Company Limited, also used the opportunity to renew his call for the members of the association to be included in the Central Bank Of Nigeria (CBN) N50billion COVID-19 stimulus package for households and small businesses in the country.
He said the furniture manufacturing industry lost over N600million during the COVID-19 lockdown, warning that if care is not taken, a lot of companies will shutdown after the pandemic.