The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Bankers’ Committee has earmarked the sum of N25 billion for the restoration and upgrade of the National Arts Theatre.
This was revealed by Lai Mohammed, minister of Information and Culture, during the handing over of the building to Godwin Emefiele, CBN governor and Herbert Wigwe, chairman of the Bankers’ Committee in Lagos over the weekend.
The minister stated that the completion of the restoration and upgrade of the National Arts Theatre would generate 10,000 Jobs in the country’s creative industry.
He further stated that the project “Is a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) that will be executed in two phases, with Phase 1 being the restoration and upgrade of the National Theatre to its glory days at a cost of 7 billion Naira, and Phase II the development of the adjoining fallow land at a cost of 18 billion Naira.”
The crux of this project is premised upon the important role the creative industry is playing in the country’s economy as being the second-largest employer of labour and also a major contributor of the country’s Gross Domestic Production (GDP).
The Theatre, according to the minister would be having its make over for the first time after it was built 40 years ago in which it has hosted the likes of late Fela Anikulapo Kuti and Roy Ayers, Skyy, Shalamar, Whispers, Third world and Dynasty; stage events like Wole Soyinka’s adaptation of D.O Fagunwa’s Langbodo and even Stevie Wonder, who received one of his numerous Grammy Awards at the National Theatre.
The theatre when it is fully upgraded will be an all encompassing entertainment, fashion, Information and Technology (IT) hubs in the state and the country as a whole which will be utilised by practitioners in the industry.