No plans to sell the National Threatre- Lai Mohammed

Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has said there is no plans by the Federal Government to sell the National Art Theatre to the Lagos State Government.This was made public by Mohammed Tuesday night at the ongoing MIPTV’s dinner in Cannes France where Nigerian TV and online content developers are in attendance.MIPTV is a yearly event which has carved a niche for itself as a leading TV and online content development as well as the largest global spread digital content market.The minister admonished that no one could possibly sell the National Theatre, a monumental asset of government, without abiding by due process and clear cut rules.He clarified the effort of the Lagos government to refurbish certain areas such as the main bowl of the theatre, two cinema halls, the exhibition lobby and the banquet hall, in its collaboration with the federal government.“I want to say it loud and clear that there is no iota of truth in the rumour that we are selling the national theatre to the Lagos state government.“We do not have the capacity to do so and will never do so.“What is happening is that we are fortunate to have a governor like Akinwumi Ambode of Lagos who is very passionate about the creative industry.“The governor decided that he is going to mark the 50th anniversary of Lagos with cultural activities, films, music and he was looking for a befitting venue.“He now decided to take the opportunity of this 50th anniversary to collaborate with the federal government to revamp the national theatre to use it as a venue for most of the programmes and at the same time laid the foundation for a viral and dynamic creative industry,’’ he stated.The minister accepted that the main essence of the collaboration for the refurbishment of the theatre is to make sure the national asset do not go into ruins.“The governor is asking for nothing, rather he is foresighted in knowing that a renovated and functional national theatre will be a catalyst for the film industry, theatre art, music.“He also realised that by revamping the theatre, more young men and women will be able to exhibit their talents and more jobs will be created and more taxes will accrue to Lagos state purse.“Therefore, for everybody it is a win-win situation and there is no attempt whatsoever to sell any national asset to anybody,’’ he maintained.

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