The disastrous fire incident at the elite Abuja supermarket, Next Cash & Carry, has been attributed to electricity fault resulting in power surge that ignited into flames.
Video clips of the burning large supermarket at the Jahi area of Abuja metropolis in the afternoon of December 26 spoilt the happy mood of the season as watchers screamed, lamented and cried to see people’s businesses go up in flames that seemed to have defied efforts of the firefighters.
A short interview circulating on the social media whose source would not be readily confirmed claimed that since 2018, Abuja electricity authorities detected faults in the power system of the supermarket.
The brief discussion noted that “the fire outbreak was caused by electricity voltage surge. Interestingly, we detected this tendency at the facility when we conducted an energy audit in 2018. There was very high level of harmonic distortion especially of the 3rd & 7th order, which readily catalyzes sparks that initiate such fire outbreaks. We made this known to the management and practically begging them to allow us install a solution for them but all entreaties fell on deaf ears. This is a warning for others as poor quality of electricity and power voltage surges is the order of the day with supply from our Discos.”
The person that made this comment was not indicated but sounds rather defensive of the possible liability in the inferno. It however did not mention if there are sanctions such as shutting down a facility that doesn’t comply with a directive as the one claimed here.
A shopper in Abuja who said that he had used the market for many years rather lamented that small businesspeople who own shops in the supermarket would be the major victims.
He said: “Next Cash & Carry I know and patronized for years is like 20% owned by a known name people attribute the ownership of the sprawling shopping complex to, I guess.
Most of the shops/stands in the supermarket are owned by individuals who pitch there. From Cadbury to Unilever, so many other FMCG companies to private businesses that don’t command big names, they make up a bulk of the businesses there.
For instance, six years ago I bought a set of drums for my son that loves drumming for his birthday in that supermarket. After paying at Next, the dealer called their Alaba office in Lagos to deliver the drums to my 7-year old boy in Lagos.
Also, all the people I bought electronic gadgets and office equipment from when I fitted up our organisation’s new office in Abuja in 2013 were private dealers who run shops there. They once in a while sent their company sales persons to deliver or install our purchases. It’s a huge loss to little people. Our major concern should be tens of such small time players whose major means of sustenance have been ravaged by flames.”