by Ranti Joseph
The Lagos State Government on Friday began the demolition of the three buildings gutted by fire on January 12 at the popular Balogun Market in Central Lagos.
It was reported that the demolition was being carried out by a firm, Blackrock Construction Company. Fire gutted the buildings housing about 100 shops and destroyed goods worth millions of naira.
Officials of the company said it was the government that gave directive for the buildings to be demolished. The head of the demolition team who did not state how many days the demolition would take, said the work would take some time to finish.
Uju Agunna, a trader who sold clothes in one of the gutted shops said that she would rent the same place anytime the shops were rebuilt.
“I will like to go back to my shop. I have been in this Balogun for over 15 years so it is difficult for me to go and rent somewhere else. We hope that when the demolition exercise is completed the owners can start building. But now I am sharing a shop with my friend as you can see,” Agunna said.
She, however, said she had to begin retail trading to find her feet again because she lost up to N5 million worth of goods to the fire.
Another victim, Aliu Gbadamosi, said since his two shops got burnt, he was yet to rent a place to display his wares. “I have goods worth over N25 million but they are still in a warehouse. I have not been able to sell them since the incident happened in January. I borrowed money to import the goods and now it will be difficult for me to pay as at when due,” he said.