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Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed
Business Economy

Rights Group Says Fire Outbreak In Finance Ministry Is ‘Government Magic’, Deliberate Sabotage

Prominent civil rights Advocacy group, the Human Rights Writers Association Of Nigeria (HURIWA) has described the fire that gutted parts of the federal ministry of Finance as “Government Magic” which may be a sinister attempt to conceal some secrets regarding massive hosts of public fund.

HURIWA said the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budgets and National Planning is a cesspool of opaqueness and total lack of transparency and accountability in the handling of public finances just as the rights group reminded Nigerians that there are lots of questions bordering on lack of transparency that are yet to be satisfactorily answered by officials of the Finance ministry including the alleged expenditure of over N3 billion without budgetary approval and appropriation.

The Rights group said it is unimaginable that such a strategic Ministry housing sensitive financial transactional documents can be so criminally set ablaze and Nigerians are being fed with nebulous and laughable explanation on the cause if the fire incident. 

The Ministry of Finance Building

The Rights group said the inferno is disturbingly one amongst the litany of choreographed fire outbreaks in selected key government institutions in the last one year including office of the accountants General of the Federation; Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC); Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and parts of the imposing federal secretariat complex all in Abuja just as HURIWA said a nexus existing in all of these fires is that the Federal government has perfectly swept the remote and immediate causes of the incidents under the carpet of impunity.

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In a media statement  by National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA predicted that with just few months to expected handing over to another elected federal  administration and with a plethora of allegations of thefts of public fund by top federal government officials and politicians including officers of security services, it is expected that more deliberate infernos may occur so as to hide evidence to trace any financial malfeasance being committed now.

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HURIWA has called for vigilance by Nigerians since the heads of security agencies may have been compromised.  
HURIWA regretted that Nigerians have now got to a stage whereby nobody cares any longer whether public and civil servants burn all federal institutions down because for all of those fire incidents, Nigerians did not manifest any collective sense of indignation.

HURIWA recalled that fire outbreak has gutted part of a building at the Federal Ministry of Finance located in the Central Business District, Abuja. 

Black smoke was seen billowing from a part of the building, following the fire outbreak on Wednesday morning.

HURIWA said the spokesperson of the Ministry of Finance, Olajide Oshundun said that the fire started early morning around 6:50am.

He added that some staff of the Ministry noticed smoke emanating from the room that houses the battery for an inverter.

Oshundun said the fire was put out with fire fighting equipment at the Ministry within twenty minutes and that the effect of the fire incident is minor as it only affected the basement of the Ministry.

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Also, the Federal Ministry of Finance in a tweet explained the cause of the fire outbreak. 

According to them, the incident occurred on the corridor in the basement involving an isolated battery pack and it has been put out by the security personnel on duty.

Whilst advocating Independent forensic investigations of all the recent fires in public institutions, HURIWA said the fire outbreak at the Finance ministry is just the latest of many that have affected government offices in Abuja.

In May 2020, a part of the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) building in Abuja was gutted by fire.

A month before that incident, a building housing the office of the accountant-general of the federation (AGF) was gutted by fire.

HURIWA said the fires are ominous and should not be dismissed as coincidence. 

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