The fire which caused panic at the Federal Secretariat in Abuja on Saturday was limited to a small section of the third floor of a wing of the complex, the Federal Ministry of Health has said.
Witnesses had suggested that the fire affected more than one floor of the complex, which houses major government offices and ministries, and that it mainly affected the section occupied by the health ministry.
But the Ministry said in a statement by its Director, Media and Public Relations, Federal Boade Akinola, that it was limited to a corridor.
“There was no damage to any government property neither did it affect any of the offices in the building,” the ministry said.
According to the statement, the fire was caused by an electric spark from cables and wires fire on the corridor of the third floor, Wing B of the ministry’s headquarters.
It added that after the fire started, “The private security outfit in charge of the premises swung into action and also contacted the fire service which responded immediately and put off the fire.”
A spokesperson for the Federal Fire Service said the agency received an alert 30 minutes after the fire started and its men were able to stop the fire from spreading.
Following Tuesday’s low turnout of civil servants for work after the Christmas holidays, the Head of Service, Ms Winifred Ekanem, has paid an unscheduled visit to some ministries and government agencies in Abuja.
The Head of Service, along with some of her permanent secretaries, said that their unscheduled visit to the ministries was aimed at checking and correcting the abnormality.
She said that the visit would also allow the federal government reward hard working civil servants and also sanction those who play truancy with their work.
In response to this, the HoS promised to work out a proper leave schedule for civil servants through the permanent secretaries in order to reduce the number of staff who go on annual leave in December.
Although there was an improvement in the number of workers who have resumed work during her visit, quite a number of offices were still under locks and keys as the complex retained an unusual silence.
Tuesday, December 29 sees the end of the public holiday declared by the federal government for workers to enjoy the 2015 Christmas and Maulud festivals.
However, the federal secretariat in Abuja recorded very low turn-out of workers from the public holiday.
Some of the resuming workers attributed the low turn-out to a possible annual leave that some of the civil servants might still be enjoying.
Others, however, believe that since the public holiday was over, it was time to get back to work and ensure that no backlog of work is allowed to spill into the new year.
Meanwhile in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, southwest Nigeria, work has fully resumed after the long Christmas and Maulud holiday.
A visit to the Governor’s Office in the state capital revealed that workers were back attending to government businesses at their duty posts across various government ministries, departments and parastatals.
The state Head of Service, Mr Sola Adeyemi, who was one of the early callers in the office charged the state workforce to be more alive to their responsibilities in order to ensure quick service delivery.