In a bid to restore the moribund National Theatre along with its surrounding lands to a Worldclass standard, the Federal Government has handed it over to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The move according to the government move was geared towards creating millions of jobs for youths in the country and diversifying the country’s economy.
The CBN, also disclosed that the moribund theatre has the potential of earning $20 billion annually from the creative industry.
iBrandTV gathered that the edifice will be renovated into four pillars namely Information Technology, music, film and fashion.
This was disclosed on Sunday, during the handing over ceremony in Lagos, with the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, Governor of CBN and Chairman Bankers Committee, Godwin Emefiele, Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat among others were in attendance.
Mohammed noted that the handing over of the edifice which was put into world-class use the late 1970s.
“This does not signify the total inheritance of the edifice by the CBN. The federal government is in possession of its key.
“What we are here to do today is to handover the National Theatre for transformation and development. The federal government will continue to hold the key for the sakes of all citizens. This project will not lead to a single job loss. Instead, it will create more.
“Many attempts to restore the National Theatre failed. The theatre was established to encourage the advancement of the performing arts throughout the country.”
In his remarks, the Governor Central Bank of Nigeria and Chairman Banker’s Committee, Godwin Emefiele expressed gratitude to the President, Muhammadu Buhari, for the handing over of the edifice constituting over 132,000 hectares of land.
He said: “The National Theatre Iganmu, Lagos which is being handed over today to the Bankers Committee is expected to serve as the initial pilot for the Nigeria Creative Industries Centre.
“Upon completion in another 18 months, this area would have transformed into Nigeria’s Creative industrial Center which will be comparable to other world-class entertainment and convention Centers in any part of the world.
“Following the completion of the renovation works at the National Theatre, along with the supporting facilities that will be built around it, which includes a hotel and an expansive conference centre, we intend to set up similar Creative Industries centres in Kano, Port Harcourt
According to Emefiele the handover of the edifice to the CBN /Bankers Committee is indeed timely when one considers the external headwinds facing our economy today.
However, he noted, “With our human capital resources and an enabling environment that will help harness the creative talents of our youths, Nigeria has the potential to earn over $20 billion annually from the creative industry.”
Emefiele further stressed that for a growing population of close to 200 million people, out of which 60 per cent are under the age of 35, it was imperative to create opportunities that will keep youths engaged saying that it would portend great dangers for the progress of the nation these talents are allowed to go to waste.