By Henry Umoru
CHAIRMAN, Senate Committee on Finance, Senator Solomon Adeola, All Progressives Congress, APC, Lagos West yesterday said that there was no cause for alarm over the fire incident that ravaged the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, known as “Treasury House”
The fire outbreak affected the last three floors of the sprawling building.
Speaking shortly after an inspection of the burnt office and briefing by the Accountant General of the Federation, Idris Ahmed, Senator Adeola whose Committee oversights the Office, said that he rushed to the scene following many reports on the social media to see things for himself.
According to him, the fire was put out of the only office it affected in time to stop it from spreading to other offices on the fourth floor of the massive edifice housing over 1800 staff.
Senator Adeola said, “After the meeting between the leadership of the National Assembly and members of the Executive on the effects of COVID19 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 and more importantly documents burnt are easily retrievable as the main server of the office was not affected and the only hardcopy of some capital projects which are online real-time are affected.”
In a statement by his Media Adviser, Kayode Odunaro, the Senator said that there was the need for the provision of fire trucks for the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation to complement a Fire Station under construction in the vital complex, adding that he expects that the agency will include it in its 2021 Budget proposal for Appropriation.
Earlier, the Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed informed the chairman that the fire started as a result of an electrical malfunction of the complex cooling system in the office housing some Capital Account documents and that the Server of the office where documents are electronically stored are intact and burnt documents can easily be retrieved.
He commended the FCT Fires Service and over 25 Fire Trucks from NNPC, CBN, Julius Berger and the Army that came to the rescue when FCT Fire Service ran out of water adding that their efforts limited the structural damages to the building which is insured.
He recommended the setting up of an independent panel of inquiry by the Ministry of Finance, adding that their report will be made available to the National Assembly beyond the on the spot assessment of the Senator.
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