Through the strategic foresight of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Ministry of Information and Culture and the Nigerian Bankers Committee made up of all Nigerian Bank CEO’s, the Federal Government unveiled a 25-billion-Naira project, tagged the Lagos Creative and Entertainment Centre Project, is a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) that resurrect the GLORY and beyond of our comatose National Theatre, I believe this a BUILD, OPERATE AND TRANSFER/RENEW kind of deal that can ensure the private sector investment been made can be recouped over the years.
The National Arts Theatre is the primary Centre for the performing arts in Nigeria. It is a Nigerian National Monument. It was completed as part of infrastructure built to host the Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC) in 1975. It is worthy to note that General Yakubu Gowon was the one who started off the project whilst it was completed by Major General Olusegun Obasanjo – Have you ever noticed the Military-shaped Cap of the exterior design of the National Theatre, well now you know why it was built to appear that way. It is painful that Nigerian successive Governments allowed that space to rot away without significant input to the developmental strides of our young people, with the private sector coming in, this should change.
The project will be executed in two phases:
Highlights of the first phase include the upgrade of the theatres (the main halls and cinema halls, conference and banquet halls, press hall and the bar); installation of new seats, upgrade of the sanitary facilities, installation of lifts, acoustics and specialist lightings, as well as replacement of the air conditioning, lighting and plumbing.
Phase II will involve the development of purpose-built clusters to provide world class facilities for Nigeria’s Creative Industry, with the clusters having four hubs: Fashion, Music, Film and Information and Technology (IT) hubs.
The creative clusters will be supported by other facilities, including multi-storey parking to accommodate 1,000 cars, a Visitors’ Welcome Centre which will house commercial and retail facilities, as well as administration and management offices.
For those in the aforementioned sectors or sub-sectors, that’s al place to keep an eye out for in time to come as opportunities are surely coming. This is a time to prepare and shine your eyes very well.
This PROJECT should be COMPLETED by December 2021 all things been EQUAL, it will be wonderful to see what that 134 Fallow land around the National Theatre will be converted to.
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EldaDavid .K. Samuel is a Public Policy Practitioner who works and resides in Lagos, Nigeria. EldaDavid is a Policy Fellow in the Nigerian Global Affairs Council (NIGAC) – A Technology-based and Digital Media-driven Public Policy and Evidence-based Research Think-Tank that simplifies Government Policy Positions at all times.