The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has revealed that the planned renovation and upgrade of the National Arts Theatre will bring about the generation of about 10,000 jobs both during and after the renovation.
He made this known in Lagos during the formal handover of the structure and its adjoining 134 hectare fallow land to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Bankers’ Committee.
Lai Mohammed was quoted as saying in a statement by his media aide, Segun Adeyemi, ” the good news is that this project will not lead to a single job loss. Instead, it will create more”.
” Some 6,000 jobs will be created during the construction phase while the completed project could generate up to an additional 600 permanent and 2000 to 3000 call-on/call-off jobs. This is as good as it gets”, he added.
The minister disregarded the claims of it being a plot by the government to sell off the facility, stating that there was no plan of such.
He made it clear that the government has rather decided to resuscitate the edifice at a cost of N25 billion under a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) labelled the ‘Lagos Creative and Entertainment Centre Project’.
According to Mohammed, the project will be carried out in two phases, the first being the restoration and upgrade of the National Theatre to its glory days which is set to cost a sum of N7 billion and the second which requires the development of the adjoining fallow land at a N18 billion cost.
Mohammed said,”This iconic National Theatre remains a national heritage and will not be cede to any person or group, as some have chosen to frame what we are doing here today.
What we are here to do is to hand over the National Theatre for restoration and upgrade and the fallow land within the premises to the Central Bank and the Bankers’ Committee for development”.
The Federal Ministry of Information and Culture holds the keys to the National Theatre on behalf of all Nigerians”, he added.