A fire yesterday razed a police barracks in Nigeria’s largest city and commercial hub, injuring one person and once again exposing the abysmal living conditions in the metrolopolis of 20 million inhabitants.

“It took the fire service more than one hour before they responded to our distress call,” Inspector Mike, a resident of the Ajah police barrack told AFP.

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“By the time they came, the fire has reduced everything into a rubble. That’s why we drove the fire fighters away,” he said.

“You can see that all the 24 flats have been completely burnt. We could not salvage anything,” Martina Undie, another resident said.

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Undie said a man who was sleeping at the time of the incident “got some serious burns on his body” and was in hospital.

Charred household items including stoves, fridges, and television sets littered the area.

Accommodation is just one of the many problems dogging police in Nigeria. Many public service workers have not been paid on time due to a crash in oil prices.

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The oil-producing country slipped into recession last month with inflation hitting a double-digit high of 17.1 percent at the end of July.


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