By Seun Agboola, Lagos
The Lagos State Government has offered to repair some parts of the National Theatre in Iganmu as part of its preparations for the forthcoming 50th anniversary of the creation of the state.
This gesture is coming just as the Federal Government has restated its commitment to revamping the National Theatre to bring it back to its glorious status and give necessary impetus to the creative industry.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, stated the Federal Government’s resolve on Saturday in Lagos when he inspected the national asset in company with the representative of the state government, Prof. Adegbola Abbas.
The contractor handling the renovation project, Alhaji Teju Kareem of Z-Mirage as well as the General-Manager of National Theatre, Mr Ufot Nkanta and some stakeholders in the entertainment industry were at the inspection.
The minister disclosed that the Lagos government had offered to renovate the main bowl of the theatre, two cinema halls, the exhibition lobby and the banquet hall as part of its collaboration with the Federal Government
“We are here today to take physical stock of what the Lagos government has offered to help us with – that is the rehabilitation of the national theatre. As you can see, we have spent the last two hours going through the inspection.
“One thing that will strike anybody is that we are sitting on a huge valuable asset and that most of the things that are wrong with the national theatre can be fixed. I think it is the neglect and a kind of non-challant attitude that has brought us to this stage.
“We are very hopeful that we are going to get the main bowl, two cinema halls, the exhibition lobby and the banquet hall renovated and ready for this year Lagos at 50 celebrations.
“I want to use the opportunity to express my gratitude and that of the Federal Government to the governor, the government and the people of Lagos State,’’ he said.
The minister noted that the renovation of the national asset would promote the creative industry and attract young entrepreneurship and young artists.
He said the government looked forward to partnering with other stakeholder for complete renovation of the edifice.
“We will look at the success of this experiment which will make it easier for us to invite other corporate organisations to give us helping hands.
“For instance, we need to give the theatre a brand new look from the outside and we are considering engaging the paint industries to assist us as part of their own social responsibility,’’ he said.
The contractor said rehabilitation project would involve few structural works while serious attention would be on interior settings, furniture, water and toilet facilities.
He said the air conditioning system would be decentralised for effectiveness while the electricity supply to the edifice would be connected to the Lagos grid.
Kareem said the project would be completed in April to host the grand finale of the Lagos at 50 celebrations.
Others on the inspection tour were, Actress Joke Sylva, Mrs Peace Anyiam-Osigwe and Bolanle Auten-Peters.
Lagos repairs National Theatre as FG assures on support for creative industry
By Seun Agboola, Lagos