Popular supermarket the Next Cash and Carry Supermarket has been razed by fire in the Jahi area of Abuja.
According to eyewitnesses who spoke to newsmen, the goods destroyed from the inferno were worth billions of naira. Another eyewitness alleged that firefighters did not arrive on scene on time.
However, Director-General of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Abbas Garuba Idriss refuted the claims stating that: “We got the distress call around 9:00 in the morning and immediately we activated all the respondents who had been here on time, especially the security agencies to cordon off the place.”
He also refuted rumours of looting at the scene of the incident, noting that, “The story of looting that you saw online is false. The people that you saw were the members of staff of NEXT cash and carry trying to move their goods from the inferno. This is normal, people are always eager to push fake news. Nothing has gone out of these premises. It is a big store, a lot of losses have been incurred but we cannot really ascertain what has been lost for now, but I am sure the owners will give details of that later. We will further investigate this incident. No casualties. We cannot say the cause of the fire.”
Meanwhile, the Coordinator, Abuja Municipal Management Council (AMMC), Umar Shuaibu, said the fire incident was reported to the appropriate authority late, hence the escalation of the damage.
Shuaibu said: “The fire was reported to us late. We had to leave whatever we were doing to save the situation.”