The governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Godwin Emefiele has said that the National Art Theatre in Lagos would create over one million jobs in the next 18 months after the renovation is completed.
Emefiele said this at the official handing over of the edifice to the CBN and the Bankers Committee by the Federal Government of Nigeria on Sunday, July 12, 2020.
While speaking at the event, the CBN Governor, assured that upon completion in another 18 months, the Theater would have transformed the entrance area into an internationally recognized entertainment centre that would create over 1 million jobs for Nigerians.
Emefiele had on December 14, 2019, disclosed that the bankers’ committee would spend not less than N20 billion on the project, which he added would help to create economic activities around the National Theatre and create job opportunities for people, especially the youth.
While delivering his address at the event, the minister of information and culture, Alhaji Layi Muhammed, said the project is in 2 phases. Phase 1 will cost N7 billion while phase 2 will cost N18 billion.
He said “The Lagos Creative and Entertainment Centre Project, a
Public-Private Partnership (PPP), has two phases. Phase 1 is to
restore and upgrade the National Theatre to its glory days at a cost
of 7 billion Naira, while Phase II will be the development of the fallow land within the premises of the edifice, at a cost of 18 billion Naira. Altogether, the project is estimated to cost 25 billion Naira”.
The minister who further said that the iconic edifice has not been renovated in 40 years, mentioned the fact that government cannot fund the renovation work hence it was ceded to the private sector with a win win agreement “Before I go into the details of the two phases, let me say here that the project, which has been approved by Mr. President, is a win-win for everyone involved. For over 40 years, no major renovation work has been done on the National Theatre, while the adjoining land has been lying fallow. Many attempts to restore the National Theatre have failed. And the Government has no money to restore the complex”.
According to the minister, the highlight of the first phase
- 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 .
- The air conditioning, lighting, other power and plumbing will also be replaced/upgraded to international standards
While the Phase 2 of the project will involve:
- Development of purpose-built clusters to provide world class
facilities for Nigeria’s Creative Industry. The new centre will
comprise hubs for: Fashion, Music, Film and Information and Technology (IT) hub.
- These creative clusters will be supported by other facilities,
including multi-storey parking to accommodate an additional 1,000 cars, a Visitors’ Welcome Centre which will house commercial and retail facilities, as well as administration and management offices, among others.
The minister further said that “Both phases will be connected by carefully curated soft and hard landscape areas as well as waterways, providing an excellent semi and outdoors spaces for community use and entertainment, including an amphi-theatre. Installation of new infrastructure (roads and services mains) and upgrade of the existing ones.