The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Federal Operations Unit, Zone `À’ Ikeja, is waiting for an audit of goods destroyed by the fire which gulped its warehouse at the training college on Sunday. The Public Relations Officer of the unit, Mr Uche Ejesieme, stated this in a statement made available on Monday in Lagos.
He said that the internal auditors also had to move in to check the books.
“We cannot give the exact figure of goods destroyed in monetary terms, except when the internal auditors move in to check the books,’’ the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) quotes Ejesieme as saying.
He said, “On Friday April 22, 2016 at about 22.00 hours, a major fire outbreak which led to massive destruction of seized goods at the Government warehouse and a wing of the Customs Training College classrooms, Ikeja, occurred.’’
“The fire which raged uncontrollably, spread to the Annex and the inner chamber of the Government Warehouse, housing most of the seized items.
“The items included but not limited to jumbo bales of second-hand clothes, used female shoes/bags, used tyres, vegetable oils and other general merchandise.
“It is instructive to note that the attention of the Lagos State Fire Service and Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) were drawn few minutes into the incidence.
“The duo responded swiftly and made spirited efforts to control the inferno by bringing in excavators, fire vehicles and other equipment,’’ Ejesieme said in the statement.
According to him, the cause of the inferno cannot be ascertained for now in view of that fact that the interim reports from LASEMA and the Lagos State Fire Service are still being awaited.
Ejesieme recalled that the internal auditors visited the Government Warehouse for inspection and auditing of records recently.
“We therefore, wish to clarify that neither the report nor any other classified document was affected by the inferno.
“We wish to further state that the items that were being delivered to Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps in Borno State which were kept in a different wing of the warehouse in line with the Presidential directive were not affected.
“In fact, the unit had delivered almost 90 per cent of the items and delivery is still ongoing.
“We wish to commend the effort of the Lagos State Fire Service and LASEMA for their proactive effort in containing the fire incidence.
“In fact, as at the time of this report, the officials are still at the scene trying to completely put off the fire’’ he said.