The Federal Fire Service (FFS) on Wednesday put out the fire that gutted the top floors of the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (AG-F), (Treasury House), Central District Area of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
The AGF building is located beside the FCT Police Command and the Nigeria Security Printing and Minting Company (NSPMC). The Fire Federal Service office is about 300 metres to the building.
According to an eyewitness account, the firefighters mobilised their equipment and personnel to the area and brought the situation under control.
The cause of the fire could not be ascertained at press time, as workers of the Treasury House were observing the restriction order imposed by the Federal Government to curtail the spread of Coronavirus in the FCT.
A source said the fire started from the third floor, razing the building upwards before firefighters quenched it.
FFS spokesperson Sandra Ugo told reporters that firefighters arrived in time and extinguished the fire before much damage was done to the building. “We have put out the fire at the AGF office,” she said.
Ugo declined to comment on what could have caused the fire, “but the good thing is that the incident was put under control in less than one hour.”
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance, Senator Solomon Adeola, on Wednesday visited the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation after a fire that gutted the building was put out.
Adeola, according to a statement by his media aide, Kayode Odunaro, in Abuja, was briefed and conducted round the affected parts of the building by the Accountant-General of the Federation, Idris Ahmed.
He said that there was no cause for alarm as the fire did not affect important and sensitive sections of the edifice.
“After the meeting between the leadership of the National Assembly and members of the Executive on the effects of the COVID-19 on the economy where we got news of the fire, I came to see things for myself and I am happy to report that irreparable damage was not done to the building.
“More importantly, documents burnt are easily retrievable as the main server of the office was not affected, as only the hardcopies of some capital projects’ documents which are online real time were affected,” Adeola said.
He said that the fire was put out in the only office it affected in time before spreading to other offices on the fourth floor of the edifice housing over 1,800 workers.
He said there is need for provision of fire trucks for the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation to complement a Fire Station under construction in the complex.
He said he expects that the agency will include provision for a fire truck in its 2021 budget proposal for National Assembly appropriation.
Ahmed had told the senator that the fire started as a result of electrical malfunction of the complex cooling system in the office housing some Capital Account documents.
He said that the server of the office where documents were electronically stored was intact and that burnt documents could easily be retrieved.
Ahmed commended the FCT Fire Service and over 25 fire trucks from NNPC, CBN, Julius Berger and the Army that assisted to put out the fire.
He called for the setting up of an independent panel of inquiry by the Ministry of Finance to probe the fire.
He added that the report of the panel will be made available to the National Assembly beyond the on-the-spot-assessment of the damage by the senator.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has demanded a full-scale investigation into the circumstances surrounding yesterday’s fire outbreak at the Abuja headquarters of the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation.
In a statement yesterday by the spokesman for the party, Kola Ologbondiyan, PDP said investigation was imperative given apprehensions in the public space regarding the time and the offices involved in the fire.