The National Theatre located at Iganmu, Lagos State, has been handed over to the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Bankers’ Committee for rehabilitation.
In his speech, the Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele said that the bankers committee was aiming at creating no fewer than a million jobs from the project over the course of 5 years.
Amongst those in attendance were, Minister for Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, and Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
Emefiele added that aside the renovation of the main complex, other supporting facilities that will include a hotel and an expansive conference centre, will also be added around it.
While thanking the Federal Government for its support, he said, “Our goal for the National Theatre is to create an environment where startups and existing businesses are rewarded for their creativity.”
“The National Theatre, when fully renovated, will be able to support skills acquisition and job creation for over one million Nigerians over the next five years.”
“These Nigerians will be empowered with funds at single-digit interest rate, high-level training, using state-of-the-art tools and networks that will enable them to turn their ideas into reality.”
“When they are able to achieve their objective of creating a new music product, a high-quality movie, an IT software application, or a fashionable outfit, the Bankers’ Committee will work to ensure that they are able to distribute their work on a larger scale.”
Towards the realisation of this objective, Emefiele said the Bankers’ Committee intended to support the creative venture with about N25bn of initial funding.
The Governor of the State, Mr. Sanwo-Olu, assured the committee of the State’s support.
“I am quite excited that this edifice will see a makeover that will transform the tourism and entertainment sector of our economy. It is significant to note that this turnaround will create jobs and boost the creative enterprise of our youths in Lagos and across Nigeria,” the Governor said.
On his part, Mr. Lai Mohammed noted that this was the first time in 40 years that the National Theatre wi be renovated.
The National Arts Theatre is the primary centre for the performing arts in Nigeria. The monument is located in Iganmu, Surulere, Lagos. Its construction was completed in 1976 in preparation for the Festival of Arts and Culture in 1977.