BREAKING: Next Cash And Carry Breaks Silence After Fire Disaster

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.

General Manager of the mall, Mr Neil Pape, in a statement noted that the fire started at about 10.45 am on Sunday 26th December 2021 (Boxing Day).

He said the shop closed for Christmas holiday on 24th December 2021 in order to allow its staff and customers to celebrate the Christmas holiday.

Part of the statement reads; “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 12pm. 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 fire fighters, 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 facilities are of first class standard.

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“The Roof covering of Next Cash & Carry building is fire proof and was built by Tower Aluminum Kaduna.

Next Cash and Carry limited has 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 and Technology Nigeria Limited).

“The company also has a staff strength of about 1,000 direct and indirect staff and over 3,000 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”.

Vanguard

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