Ikom Main Market Inferno Destroyed 620 Shops, Killed One — NEMA

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said it has carried out an assessment of the April 9, Ikom main market inferno, in Ikom Local Government Area of Cross Rivers State where a life was lost.

The Agency in a series of posts on its X handle, on Tuesday, described the severity of the fire as one that was beyond the coping capacity of the market traders.


The News Agency of Nigeria reported on April 9 that the intensity of the inferno was such that nothing could be salvaged from the affected shops.

Traders told the agency that the fire incident had been a recurring issue in the market almost yearly, alleging that with previous cases, the state fire service could not provide much support.

NEMA, following a joint assessment with sister and security agencies of the incident, ascertained that the fire destroyed goods worth millions of naira.

The Agency said, “The incident destroyed/affected shops, goods worth millions of naira and cash was also burnt.


“The fire disaster affected over five lines (Togo, Gombe, Lagos, Italian, and Onitsha lines), containing 120 shops in each line, which amounts to a total of about 620 shops in all.

“Generally, the livelihoods of the affected market traders were seriously impacted.

“The team also assessed the burnt petroleum tanker along Calabar road in Ikom which occurred on the 9th of April, 2024 at about 10 pm at night, the incident took a life, damaged 32 motorcycles, and burnt over 29 shops along the roadside.

“The market leader Pastor Moris Ewonkom and his executives appealed for assistance from the federal government.”

The Inferno is sequel to that of Yola Main Market in Adamawa where over 250 shops were reportedly destroyed and the popular Dosumu market in Lagos where traders counted huge losses.


Following the Dosumu market fire incident, the Director General of NEMA, Zubaida Umar during a courtesy visit to the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu said that some of the incidents were avoidable.

She urged traders to take risk awareness and advocacy for safety, often carried out to sensitise them to avoid the risk that exposes the markets to the dangers of fire and other disasters.

Umar also emphasised the need for business owners and traders to take advantage of insurance coverage to provide for recovery from losses from disasters such as market fires.

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