The General Manager of the National Arts Theatre, Professor Sunday Ododo, has said that over 16,000 jobs would be created during and after the ongoing renovation of the complex.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Ododo, on Thursday in Lagos, said that most of the jobs in the 44-year-old complex would come from the fields of music, movies, fashion and information technology.
He said, “Some of the jobs will be direct. Others will be indirect. The National Theatre will definitely be a hub for lots of activities.’’
Ododo, while assessing the progress of the project, said that work had begun with the contractors fully mobilised to site adding that he was particularly excited at the prospects of many youths securing jobs at all stages of the renovation.
What the GM of the National Arts Theatre is saying
Ododo in his statement said, “The jobs will come directly and indirectly through the ongoing radical restoration, revamping and renovation of the edifice. When completed, the complex, which is 44 years old, will be a huge business centre.
It will be the place to be. Food sellers and other petty businesses will not be left out. Those coming for events will be served. Administration after administration have ensured the edifice stands. And I must salute our predecessors; I give them kudos. If not for their dedication and efforts, National Theatre would have collapsed long ago.
It is capital intensive to maintain. So you can now imagine if a huge sum of 21.8 billion naira is being invested to restore the complex. If, for instance, we had maintenance support of a billion naira or even half a billion annually, we will not get to this point where so much is required to fix the edifice.
That is why we are glad to inform Nigerians that with the new arrangement, there’s a component that says that once the work is finished, a company will be engaged to maintain the facility every day for the next five years.
If its work is good, it will be re-engaged; if otherwise, another company will be brought on board. So, maintenance is part of the new arrangement so that we don’t go back to Egypt,” he explained.
He regretted that hospitality outfits had taken over the business of the centre and as such make the huge profits that could have been made by the National Theatre.
When the National Theatre is up and running, some of these event centres will have to be more creative to be in business.
He said, “We don’t want to send anybody out of business, though, but our own prime target is international businesses because we have facilities that can host international events which many of these event centres don’t have.
We will be making available a media centre that can take care of multi-language interpretation and all that. We have a 5,000-capacity main bowl. That one can take any UN event, any World Bank event, and any international event. National Theatre will be the centre to beat.’’
What you should know
It can be recalled that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Federal Government recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the renovation of the complex.
Under the MOU, the CBN and the banks under the aegis of the Bankers Committee will invest N21.894 billion to renovate the National Theatre, refurbish it and run it profitably.
Some of the new facilities expected in the complex include a five-star hotel, 4 high rise buildings for IT, Fashion, Music, Film among others.
This national monument which will have Cappa & D’Alberto Limited as the main contractors, Nairda Limited as the electrical sub-contractor and VACC Limited as the mechanical sub-contractor, is expected to be managed by Bankers Committee for a few years before handover to the Federal Government.