Next Cash and Carry Fire: Management reacts, demands thorough investigation
The management of Next Cash and Carry has broken its silence over the Boxing Day fire incident at its upscale shopping mall in the Jahi District of Abuja, calling for an extensive investigation into the matter.
In a statement released on Wednesday, the General Manager of the mall, Mr Neil Pape also hailed staff of the organization, security operatives and the Federal Capital Territory FCT for helping to rescue goods as the fire rages on.
Read full release below:
We regret to inform our customers and the general public of the fire outbreak at our ABUJA store.
The fire started at about 10.45 am on Sunday 26th December 2021 (boxing day). The shop closed for Christmas holiday on 24th December 2021 in order to allow our staff and customers to celebrate the Christmas holiday.
The Shop was scheduled to open on the 26th December 2021 being boxing day at 12 PM. It is important to state that the cleaners, cashiers, security & bakery staff came into the shop in the early hours of 26th December 2021 to clean and get all the facets of the store ready for operations at 12 pm. The cleaners had barely finished cleaning the store when the fire started from one of the departments in the store. The staff immediately alerted the firefighters, as well as security operatives.
They all assisted in no small measure to reduce the extent of the damage caused by the fire.
Further to the foregoing, Next Cash and Carry Facilities & Store were built & operated according to international standards. As the General manager of Next Cash and Carry Nigeria, I had worked in the best retail outlets in the world before joining Next Cash and Carry Nigeria and with my wealth of experience, I can confirm that the operations of Next Cash and Carry Nigeria and its facilities are of first-class standard.
The Roof covering of Next Cash & Carry building is fireproof and was built by -TOWER ALUMINIUM Kaduna.
Next Cash and Carry limited have a competent Firefighting truck in Abuja which has assisted the FIRE SERVICE in several fire incidents in Abuja. The company has fire extinguishers and fire hose reels connected to the hydrant placed in strategic positions all within the store under the FCT Fire service supervision.
The FCT Fire service conducts quarterly fire outbreak training for all staff & certifies all our operations. Next Cash and Carry has outsourced & employed a professional security company (OLODE SECURITY & TECHNOLOGY NIGERIA LTD).
The company also has a staff strength of about 1000 direct and indirect staff and over 3000 vendors, with 200 farmers supplying items to the store.
The company would like to appeal to the investigating authorities to conduct a thorough investigation to ascertain the immediate and remote cause of the fire outbreak which is strange and has the effect of adversely affecting future investments in the FCT and Nigeria at large.
We sincerely thank all our customers & well-meaning Nigerians who have shown empathy and compassion towards the staff and management of the company.
In a special way, the company would like to thank God Almighty for no loss of life. Also, we would like to thank the; Honorable Minister of FCT, Honorable Minister of State FCT, The Nigerian Police force, The Nigerian Army, The Nigerian Navy, The DSS, The Nigerian Civil Defence, The Federal Fire Service, The FCT fire service, The Federal Road Safety Commission, NEMA, NNPC Fire Department, FEMA, Julius Berger Nigeria Limited, The Red Cross, NJI, The local Vigilantes and our immediate neighbouring community, (Kado kuchi).
We appreciate your commitment and sacrifice. We remain committed to rebuilding your community store.