Few hours after fire gutted a flank of the Treasury House, office of the Accountant-General of the Federation on Wednesday, the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Clem Agba have blamed the disaster as a result of electric surge.
The minister informed newsmen that the fire, which started in an office on the third floor of the building was as a result of electric spark.
According to him, the fire occurred “after an officer came to the office. He said he put on the air conditioner and there was a spark and immediately he put it off.”
The minister further stated that the fire service initially had difficulty getting into the building, but after about 35 minutes the fire was contained. “it was difficult at the initial stage putting off the fire, then the fire service men finally got inside and fought the fire. Five fire trucks were equally used in putting off the fire”.
Earlier, the Federal Fire Service announced in a tweet that its team had put out the fire, with combined efforts from sister-agencies.
THE DAILY VENDOR noted that already there are subtle innuendos on social media that the fire was staged to excuse the government of accounting for funds meant to fight COVID-19 in the country. Though Mr Agba waved this aside, saying that not only is its data intact, its operations are largely digital.
“We have gone round the offices that were affected, our data centre where all our records are fully intact. There is no disruption. For a while now we have gone digital,” the minister added, a mask strapped around his mouth, himself and his audience violating the physical distancing directive.
“Even if the data centre were to be affected, we have a backup centre that is outside Abuja, in the event we experience loss of any data. The only thing that happened to the data centre is the cooling unit which is in the exterior at the back. The cooling unit will be put in order,” he assured, saying that the unit has been closed temporarily.
Our correspondent said the FCT police commissioner, Bala Ciroma, who was present at the scene of the incident, said an investigation into the cause of the fire had commenced. While the minister while noted that “a few documents were burnt,” the extent of the damages is yet to be ascertained.”