Was N700B COVID-19 relief funds lost in the Abuja Treasury House fire?

News of the fire outbreak at Treasury House Abuja (a building that houses the office of the Accountant-General of the Federation) sent chills down the spines of many Nigerians who feel the fire was an orchestrated scheme to siphon COVID-19 relief funds.

In Nigeria, it is not uncommon for corrupt government officials to use stories like this as a route to divert government funds.

To calm the tension, the FG has said no official records were lost in the fire. The Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba, told reporters in Abuja after inspecting the scene of the incident that preliminary reports showed that all records were intact after the fire outbreak.

In another development, news has recently started making the rounds that N700B COVID-19 relief funds and other important financial documents were lost to the fire.

The Federal Government has again denied the story, tagging it as “fake news”.

In a Twitter post from the official handle of the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, reiterated that she did not attend any press conference or interview where she said N700 billion was lost in the fire.

Describing the entire story as fake news, the Finance Ministry stated again that no money was lost as a result of the treasury house fire incident.

The ministry also clarified that the total donations that have so far been received towards the fight against COVID-19 are less than N30 billion.

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