By David Olalekan.
The federal government has handed over the National Theatre in Iganmu, Lagos State to the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Bankers Committee for rehabilitation.
The hand over was announced during a brief ceremony witnessed by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed; Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu; His deputy, Femi Hamza; Mr. Sunday Dare; the CEO, Access Bank Plc, Herbert Wigwe; and other top officials of the Lagos state government.
The Information minister assured Nigerians that the theatre is not being carted away, but remains the ‘national heritage’ of Nigeria.
The minister of sports and youth Development, Mr. Sunday Dare expressed his optimism that the rehabilitation of the cultural edifice would create jobs for the youths.
In his remarks at the event, the Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, expressed his gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari for approving the handing over of the edifice and its adjoining land to the Bankers Committee.
He said, “The handover of the National Theatre to the CBN /Bankers Committee is indeed timely when one considers the external headwinds facing our economy today.
“The impact of COVID-19 on the global economy and the containment measures that have been put in place to contain the spread of the virus, has led to a slowdown in global growth which has also affected the Nigerian economy.
“In addition to the public health challenge, our country is faced with a revenue shock primarily driven by the 40 percent drop in crude oil prices between January 2020 and now.
“Given our dependence on crude oil as a major source of government revenue, as well as for our foreign exchange earnings, these challenges have served to reinforce the need for stakeholders to promote policies and programs that will enable.”