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How National Theatre’s facelift will change entertainment industry – Ododo



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Prof. Sunday Ododo, General Manager, National Theatre, says the ongoing facelift of the theatre will provide job opportunities and creative hubs in the entertainment industry.

Ododo said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday during a visit to NAN Corporate Headquarters in Abuja.

The Federal Government and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as well as Bankers’ Committee on Feb. 15 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to renovate the National Arts Theatre, Lagos.

According to Ododo, the ongoing facelift of the National Theatre is a total renovation of the entire structure and part of fallow land of the National Theatre.

“You know very well that National Theatre is over 44 years old and no urgent intervention has been made on the iconic edifice that defines the cultural space of Africa.

“The Bankers Committee with the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture came to the understanding to invest N21.8 billion to revamp and restore the iconic building.

“What are the facilities in this building that will make meaning to economic gains for Nigeria and her people?

“We have a main bowl that can seat 5,000 people at a go. We have two cinema houses that can seat 200 people and more.

We have a banquet hall that can be used to host occasions. We have two exhibition halls that can be used to host cultural exhibition, art gallery and so on.

“We have a VIP Lounge and rooftop garden that can also host some meaningful entertainment and events and of course we have parks around the edifice,’’ the theatre boss said.

According to him, by the time it’s fully fixed, it means expansion in terms of jobs creation for the youths because all of these spaces, facilities have to be managed.

“Take for instance, to clean these facilities to make it conducive for users, you will need nothing less than 200 cleaners that will be working on a daily basis. So, that is job for Nigerians.

“On the MoU that has just been signed, a company is going to be assigned to maintain the facilities on a constant basis.

“Beyond these, when activities begin to happen, there are vendors as service providers that will gain from the activities of the National Theatre.

“Because when we begin to host that kind of events, audiences are expected.

“If you want to host an event that last two weeks, imagine that the people will come to that event will have access to such businesses that people around provide,’’ Ododo said.

He said that the ongoing renovation of the theatre would provide four creative hubs in Information Communication Technology (ICT), Nollywood Movies, music and fashion.

“We also have as part of these packages, provision of four creative hubs by the Bankers Committee through the Lagos State government.

“Creative hubs in ICT, one in Nollywood Movies, one in music and another in fashion; so creative hub is to develop creative abilities of our children.

“In fashion, they will come there and learn and go and set up their own. Those that have already established can come there to get some designed stuff and others.

“Most of the things we take abroad today in movie production will be realisable in the National Theatre Creative hub.

“And the biggest of all is the Information Technology (IT) because it is going to provide room for children that are to create packages, programmes,’’ he said.

According to him, this can turn things around for the National economy.

We have confidence that Nigerians have people with creative abilities to create even something better.

“So, the hub on ICT is going to provide that opportunity for our children. Today, Nigerian Music rules the world. There are many Davidos, Wizkids that have not met.

“This is going to provide a platform for little or unknown creative artists in Nigeria to showcase their talents and become great.

“So, the government of President Muhammadu Buhari is very concerned about social inclusion to reduce poverty,’’ Ododo said. (NAN)

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