Prof. Sunday Ododo, General Manager of the National Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos has disclosed that a new board would be set up to run the 44-year-old complex when the ongoing renovation is completed.
Ododo made the disclosure during a courtesy visit to his office by Mr Ephraims Sheyin, Head of Lagos Operations of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
“There is an arrangement in place called ‘Theatre Partners,’ which brings the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Information and Culture, and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Bankers Committee together, as partners.
“With the new arrangement, the board, which will be made up of five members, will oversee the affairs of the new National Theatre.
“Two of the members will come from the Federal Government, with another two from CBN Bankers Committee.
“One of the two from the Fedeal Government will be the General Manager/Chief Executive Officer of the complex, while the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture will appoint the second person who will be the Chairman of the board.
“The CBN Bankers Committee will also supply two members. Four of us will sit and headhunt a facility manager who will manage the new facility.
“Whoever is appointed will join four of us at the board as the fifth person,” he told NAN.
Ododo, however, said that the new arrangement would not affect the mandate of the National Theatre to project and preserve the national cultural heritage and present same to both Nigerians and people worldwide.
He said that the National Theatre also had a mandate to hunt for talents and make them fruitful for professional engagement.
Ododo assured Lagos residents that the ongoing renovation, which he said was showing “visible progress”, would not affect activities at the food court area of the National Theatre, popularly referred to as “Abeigi.”
Earlier, Sheyin had called for a closer relationship between the two organisations which, he noted, were members of one family.
He commended the Federal Government for the Private-Public-Partnership that would ensure the injection of N21.8 billion by the CBN into the complex, and expressed optimism that the renovation would give the nation’s economy a huge lift.
The Federal Government had recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Central Bank for the total renovation of the National Theatre.
Prof Ododo said that the renovation would create more than 16,000 jobs directly and indirectly, when completed.
He explained that the jobs would come in the fields of music, fashion, film and information technology.
Information minister Lai Mohammed signed the MoU on behalf of the government while CBN governor Godwin Emefiele signed on behalf of the bankers’ committee.