ARISE Correspondent, Mary Chinda reports that in the early hours of Wednesday 23rd February, smoke and fire was seen outside the Federal Ministry of Finance in Abuja. News correspondents barred from entering the building can not verify the extent or position of the fire and if damage was extensive. However, the official spokesperson for the Ministry of Finance, Yunusa Abdullahi, says that there was “no fire in the building like social media says and the security teams were quick to put it out”. A tweet from their official page also verifies this statement.

Smoke which emanated from a room that housed the batteries for the inverters in the ministry necessary alarm was raised and the internal lay 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 i mean federal fire service before they

Came everything had been brought under control the problem the the the fire outbreak emanated from an exploded battery which then affected the other batteries about about 10 16 batteries who are affected and that is what actually happened that’s why i took all of you around other than that room the battery compartment on the at the basement of the ministry

The fire did not affect any other part of the ministry thank you very much good morning well i mean we just listened to that official of the federal ministry of finance what exactly have you been able to put together since you are right there on the ground beyond the official briefing by that federal ministry official mr largely okay so i mean this um this

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Uh spokesperson speaking to the media is a lot of um attempt to douse the tension that’s been mounting here since about 7 00 am when we got a wind of the fact that this explosion had taken place uh we spent over an hour you know just at the gate of the ministry without being given access and then with our pockets of security men first denying that this ever

Happened um aside other security men who had told us that yes there indeed was um a fire without explaining that it was an explosion but with the the ministry spokesperson taking us around we can just realize that what had happened is that at the veteran early this morning um there was some sort of mild explosion and we’ve had men of the fct fire service come

Here and men of the federal fire service rather are coming here and they’re trying to ensure that they’re taking out the inverter and all of the other things that have been uh the explosion knowing the cause of the mild explosion so calm has been restored here um it most likely might be a little bit of inconvenience for people in this part of the building of

The federal ministry of finance today right uh uh tundra you’ve got some insight okay uh thank you so much for that uh mary real quickly but i we just want to know why was that push back and there are stories making the rounds on the press that some officials even deny that there’s a fire incident in the first place before this address well i mean i would say

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That it’s probably the nigerian syndrome where people try to ensure that they do not get negative press um i i remember my my crew members and i insisting that we you know um are being told the truth or at least we are being taken to an official who could you know um tell us what the true situation is we even spoke with the spokesperson of the federal fire

Service who kind of told us that it was not really a problem um however earlier like 40 minutes ago men of the fire service got to the gates and they were being turned back you know and then the security persons were telling us you see we just sent them back nothing had happened no everything is okay there was no fire here and all of that i just think it’s

Just one of those uh nigerian factors however um this was i i i’m not setting to say it was out of negligence or what the immediate cause of this ex mild explosion here is okay uh mary do we have concrete assurance that no important fires got burnt and no computers were affected by the explosion well i do not have concrete assurance that no official files

Have been burned here or being um um put in a mess because of this i mean getting the officials to even speak to us was a huge miracle and so there is no assurance as to what losses um the federal government would be incurring for this from this mouth explosion however the truth and the reality that we find on ground is that just this in veteran has been

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Affected this is just about what we can find here with all of this thing being the mess just this room just this room we we’re not taking around to the other places so we cannot say but just this room this is what has gone on here okay thank you very much mary jender for that live report from the prime minister of finance you

Transcribed from video