More than 600 shops at the old market in Bida in Niger state have been destroyed by fire on Thursday night.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the fire, which started at 8.30pm destroyed goods and other property in the old market.
Witnesses said firemen from the Bida Fire Service and Federal Polytechnic Fire Service could not access the burnt section of the market as some shops were still in flames.
The cause of the fire could not be ascertained as of the time of this report.
Alhaji Mohammad Badugu, the Chairman, Bida Local Government, told NAN that the entire market was affected by the fire.
“We are expecting more fire-fighting vehicles from Minna as our neighbouring local government’s fire-fighting engines are not in good condition,” Bagudu said.
He confirmed that the Bida fire service and Federal Polytechnic fire service, the Police, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and good Samaritans rallied to extinguish the fire.
According to the chairman, all the 600 shops in the old market were completely burnt.
He listed goods destroyed to include clothes, motorcycles, building materials, bags of maize, beans, rice, palm oil and poultry products.
He expressed shock at the development, promising that the council would try to rebuild the market without delay.
The Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Dibal Yakadi, confirmed the incident.
“My Area Commander is leading police personnel deployed to maintain security of lives and property in the market,’’ Yakadi said.
He explained that the police were there to prevent miscreants from stealing and to ensure the law and order in the market.