The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed has explained what happened in the Ministry’s Headquarters’ building this morning, pointing out that it was not on fire as widely reported.
However, the Controller General of the Federal Fire Service, (FFS), Dr Karebo Pere Samson urged residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), “not to panic, following a fire outbreak at the Federal Ministry of Finance Headquarters”, and assured that “the fire has been brought under control”. He maintained that “there was no cause for alarm”.
Mrs Ahmed, who spoke through her Special Adviser, Media & Communications, Yunusa Tanko Abdullahi said, “The Federal Ministry of Finance Headquarters is not on fire as reported on the social media. Rather there was an incident on the corridor in the basement involving an isolated battery Pack and it was quickly put out by the security personnel on duty”.
Similarly, the spokesperson of the Ministry, Mr. Olajide Oshundun said at about 6:50 am some staff of the Ministry noticed smoke emanating from the room that housed the battery for the inverter.
“Necessary alarm was raised and the internally provided fire fighting equipment were deployed and within about 15-20 minutes the fire was put under control.
“Information was also sent to the Federal Fire Service system before they came everything has been brought under control.
“The fire emanated from an exploded battery which then affected other batteries about 10 to 16 batteries were affected. It only affected the battery compartment at the base of the Ministry, it did not affect other parts of the building.
Also, in a press statement issued by the Federal Fire Service, titled:
“Federal Ministry of Finance Fire Incident: No Cause for Alarm”, the Controller General of the Federal Fire Service, Dr. Karebo Pere Samson urged “residents of the FCT not to panic, following a fire outbreak at the Federal Ministry of Finance Headquarters”.
The press release signed by ACF Paul Abraham, Public Relations Officer of the Federal Fire Service, said “Dr. Karebo assured that the fire has been brought under control and maintained there was no cause for alarm”.
According to the FFS statement, “the Control room of Federal Fire Service on Wednesday received a fire call at about 7:00 hours concerning a fire outbreak at the Headquarters of the Federal Ministry of Finance, three fire stations of the Service within the Federal Capital Territory namely Garki, Wuse and Secretariat Stations were immediately deployed to the scene.
“Owing to the importance of the Ministry of Finance to national security the Controller General directed the Assistant Controller General in charge of Federal Operations to coordinate the operations.
“Men on of the Federal Fire Service who arrived the scene at about 2 minutes after they received the call discovered that some staff of the Ministry had used fire extinguishers to bring the situation under control.
“Firefighters carried out on the spot assessment to ensure a no case of reignition before leaving the scene.
“The CGF who commended the Ministry of Finance for ensuring that the office has fire protection equipment in place such as fire extinguishers called on Nigerians to take a queue from the Ministry of Finance by equipping their homes and offices with fire equipment”.
He stressed that “investigation has commenced ascertaining the actual cause of the fire”.