Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, on Thursday, visited Dugbe market in Ibadan where a fire incident razed several shops.
Due to the lockdown occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic, shop owners were unable to retrieve their wares as the fire raged on Wednesday.
According to a statement by the governor’s spokesman, Taiwo Adisa, Mr Makinde told the victims that the government would launch an emergency fund to address disasters and emergencies.
The governor described the incident as ‘unfortunate’ and ‘heartbreaking’, stating that the state ought to have a Disaster Management Endowment Fund that would address such unforeseen contingencies.
“I commiserate with the people that are affected. At such a time like this, this is the least of the things that we expect because we still are battling with COVID-19 and its social and economic impacts,” he said.
“So, we believe there is a need for the state to have an endowment fund for disasters. If such an endowment exists, right now, we would have given an immediate palliative to the people concerned.
“Meanwhile, we will try our best to see what we can do within the challenges we are facing.”
The governor urged shop owners and residents of the state to always apply precautions and safety measures within their environments so as to avert unforeseen circumstances.
Chairman of Dugbe market, Dapo Davies, said the fire affected 19 shops and a water factory.