Customers of First Bank of Nigeria Plc, Kumasi branch, Abuja, panicked on Thursday following a fire drill by the bank.
It was gathered that the drill was an annual exercise carried out by the bank to ensure safety of life and property.
Our correspondent learnt the exercise involved emergency evacuation of staff and customers to ensure that the safety measures put in place by the banks were functioning properly.
A senior officer of the bank, who preferred anonymity told our correspondent that “it is an internal affair; it is a fire drill that we usually have all the time.
“It is carried out by the bank to ensure all the safety measures we have put in place are working so that no life or property will be lost in case of any fire incident.
“We also try to ensure that people respond to the alarm by evacuating the premises immediately so that if there is any problem, nobody will be a casualty”.
The officer said the bank had provided several exit points for free passage of people in case of crises.
The officer also assured customers not to panic in case of any crises as their monies were kept in a strong fire-proof safe.
Earlier, there were speculations by some customers that the bank was on fire, which made some of them to panic about the safety of their money in the bank.
A customer, Mr Hassan Ibrahim, told our correspondent that he was just about entering the bank when he saw people running out, and the first thing that came to his mind was the safety of his money.
Ibrahim said“ I am a civil servant, who will be retiring from service any moment from now, and I almost collapsed when I heard fire.
“Thank God it was a false alarm and there is no problem; I am also very impressed with the bank in the way it is ensuring safety in the premises”.
Another customer, Mrs Ada Okeh, said the bank should ensure more exit points to allow free passage of people in case of crises in the bank.
Okeh said the place was really choked when people were trying to leave the bank after the fire alarm went off.
She said, “I am happy for the measure the bank is putting in place and thank God there were no casualty in the process of running out of the bank to safety”.
Our correspondent observed that more than 60 people, comprising staff and customers of the bank watched the exercise.
Also, some security officers from the Federal Fire Service were present to observe the exercise.
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