According to Mr Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Nigeria’s Bankers’ Committee has so far committed to the ongoing renovation work at the National Arts Theatre Complex (CBN).
“For the avoidance of doubt, this project is costing the bankers’ committee, by last estimates, about $100 million,” Emefiele said on Saturday, shortly after embarking on an inspection tour of work done so far on the facility with Minister of Information Lai Mohammed and other officials. More money will be invested in this project, but it will be a business where the money will be repaid.
“I’m delighted that foreign investors have already expressed an interest.”
“I want to state unequivocally that we have received inquiries from investors in the United States who are interested in not only the National Arts Theatre, but also the creative opportunities that we are developing around here.”
“As a result, I must say that this is very exciting for us at the Bankers’ Committee as well as for the Central Bank of Nigeria.”
He went on to say that President Muhammadu Buhari would lay the groundwork for the four verticals – music, film, information technology, and fashion – on the day of his inauguration.
He thanked the Lagos State Government for its active support of the project and expressed his delight at the progress made thus far.
“I’m getting excited because we’re hoping that by the end of this year, this complex will be hosting some programs and global activities.”
“We’d be talking to arts galleries, and hopefully by this year, we’ll be able to bring the arts exhibition into this complex because we know it’ll be ready by November.”
“So, in November, we can begin to bring this place back to us, and then breathe new life into Nigeria’s tourism sector, particularly in Lagos State,” he said.
Lai Mohammed also praised the Bankers’ Committee for providing funding for the project, as well as the Lagos State Government for creating an enabling environment, particularly in the areas of rail transportation and waterway usage.
“From what we’ve seen, a lot of work has been done here since our last visit in December 2021,” he said.
“We are pleased with the progress we have made.” We are optimistic. We’ve crossed the Rubicon.
“When we return in two months, we will all see that a lot of work has been buried under.”
The minister reassured Nigerians that the renovation project would not be “abandoned.”
Mr. Sunday Dare, Minister of Youth and Sports Development, praised the Lagos State Government and the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria for their unwavering commitment to the National Theatre renovation project.
He praised the CBN Governor for ensuring a steady flow of funds for the project’s execution.
The minister was especially pleased that many jobs would be created for young people in the field of creative entertainment.
“On behalf of the Nigerian Youths, who will be the primary beneficiaries of the renovation project,” he said, “I want to thank the Federal Government and the Bankers’ Committee for initiating the project.”