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New-look Maiduguri Monday Market up and running again

24 October 2023
Reading time: 3 minutes

Governor waivers rent for two years for 8,000 traders and gives ₦800 million to 2,825 who did not get a shop, promising them a place in a new market expected to open next year.

Maiduguri’s Monday Market has been reopened after a massive fire destroyed it in the early hours of Sunday, February 26, the night after the Nigerian presidential elections.
Horrified traders, businessmen and residents stood by and watched as property worth billions of naira went up in smoke.

The market was reopened on Monday, October 23, having been reconstructed and remodelled – with a built-in emergency fire service control area to prevent it from ever being razed again.
At the reopening, Borno State governor Babagana Umaru Zulum was quoted as saying: “In the course of the reconstruction exercise, the committee recommended the remodelling of the market because it was found that the congestion in the market had contributed to the escalation of the fire incident.”
The market now has wider walkways and designated zones for different product categories.

Zulum said the remodelled and revamped market could accommodate 9,000.
He said about 8,000 traders who rented shops at the market from the government would be given a two-year waiver because of the huge losses they incurred.
Zulum said 2,825 traders who were not allocated a shop in the revamped market would be given ₦800 million between them. And he gave his assurance that they would be given shops in a new market in Maiduguri, expected to be completed next year.

Bana Massa, a trader, said: “We are grateful to Almighty Allah and to the Borno state government, which was responsible for the reconstruction and modernisation of the market. I have only one shop now – I lost three in the fire. Those who had five shops before now have two. All temporary shops – such as those who operated under shade cloths and those who operated shops illegally on waterways – have been banned.”

Abubakar Muhammed said the market walkways were so wide now that a car could fit inside.

“But,” he said, “not all the traders are happy because they have not been allotted shops. They are appealing to the government to allow temporary shops. If not allowed, they want the state to provide another place where they can ply their trade.”

The news of the market reopening was welcomed by traders and residents in Borno State’s capital city. But some were a little concerned that the government had not revealed the outcome of an investigation into the cause of the inferno.

At the time, devastated traders tried desperately to retrieve valuable wares worth hundreds of millions but ended up getting severely burnt and not being able to retrieve anything because of the furious flames.

Traders and businessmen wailed and screamed as they watched their wares, shops and properties burning in an inferno that engulfed the market.
People watched in horror as the market was largely razed to the ground, leaving nothing but huge piles of ashes.

Zainab Alhaji Ali

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zainab alhadji ali