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‘National Theatre’s renovation to create 16,000 jobs’ - NAN

MAY 14, 2021

“Administration after administrations have ensured the edifice stands. And I must salute our predecessors; I give them kudos. If not for their dedication and efforts, National Theatre would have collapsed long ago.

“It is capital intensive to maintain. So you can now imagine if a huge sum of 21.8 billion naira is being invested to restore the complex.

“If, for instance, we had a maintenance support of a billion naira or even half a billion annually, we will not get to this point where so much is required to fix the edifice.

“That is why we are glad to inform Nigerians that with the new arrangement, there’s a component that says that once the work is finished, a company will be engaged to maintain the facility every day for the next five years.

“If its work is good, it will be re-engaged; if otherwise, another company will be brought on board.

“So, maintenance is part of the new arrangement so that we don’t go back to Egypt,” he explained.

He regretted that hospitality outfits had taken over the business of the centre.

According to him, these outfits make huge profits that could have been taken by the National Theatre.

“When the National Theatre is up and running, some of these event centres will have to be more creative to be in business.

“We don’t want to send anybody out of business, though, but our own prime target is international businesses because we have facilities that can host international events which many of these event centres don’t have.

“We will be making available a media centre that can take care of multi-language interpretation and all that.

“We have a 5,000-capacity main bowl. That one can take any UN event, any World Bank event, and any international event. National theatre will be the centre to beat,” he declared. (NAN)

Prof. Sunday Ododo, General Manager of the National Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos has disclosed that a new board would be set up to run the 44-year-old complex when the ongoing renovation is completed.

Ododo made the disclosure during a courtesy visit to his office by Mr Ephraims Sheyin, Head of Lagos Operations of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

“There is an arrangement in place called ‘Theatre Partners,’ which brings the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Information and Culture, and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Bankers Committee together, as partners.

“With the new arrangement, the board, which will be made up of five members, will oversee the affairs of the new National Theatre.

“Two of the members will come from the Federal Government, with another two from CBN Bankers Committee.

“One of the two from the Fedeal Government will be the General Manager/Chief Executive Officer of the complex, while the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture will appoint the second person who will be the Chairman of the board.

“The CBN Bankers Committee will also supply two members. Four of us will sit and headhunt a facility manager who will manage the new facility.

“Whoever is appointed will join four of us at the board as the fifth person,” he told NAN.

Ododo, however, said that the new arrangement would not affect the mandate of the National Theatre to project and preserve the national cultural heritage and present same to both Nigerians and people worldwide.

He said that the National Theatre also had a mandate to hunt for talents and make them fruitful for professional engagement.

Ododo assured Lagos residents that the ongoing renovation, which he said was showing “visible progress”, would not affect activities at the food court area of the National Theatre, popularly referred to as “Abeigi.”

Earlier, Sheyin had called for a closer relationship between the two organisations which, he noted, were members of one family.

He commended the Federal Government for the Private-Public-Partnership that would ensure the injection of N21.8 billion by the CBN into the complex, and expressed optimism that the renovation would give the nation’s economy a huge lift.

NAN recalls that the Federal Government recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Central Bank for the total renovation of the National Theatre.

NAN also quotes Ododo as telling newsmen recently that the renovation would create more than 16,000 jobs directly and indirectly, when completed.

He explained that the jobs would come in the fields of music, fashion, film and information technology.

Information minister Lai Mohammed signed the MoU on behalf of the government while CBN governor Godwin Emefiele signed on behalf of the bankers’ committee. 



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