The National Theatre in Iganmu, Lagos State, is undergoing renovations and will be renamed Lagos Creative and Entertainment Center once completed, according to the Federal Government.
Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, announced this on Tuesday in Madrid, Spain, while signing an agreement to host the inaugural Global Conference on Cultural Tourism and Creative Industry in Nigeria.
According to the Nigerian News Agency, a bilateral agreement between Nigeria and the United Nations World Tourism Organization was signed at the organization’s headquarters.
The global conference, which will take place from November 14 to 17, will be the first to be held at the freshly renovated structure, according to Mohammed.
“Nigeria will be hosting the event at the National Theatre in Lagos, which is currently being renovated at a cost of 100 million dollars under a partnership between the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Bankers’ Committee/Central Bank of Nigeria.
“It is the first of such renovation of the iconic edifice in over four decades.
“In addition to the renovation, new hubs are being constructed, within the premises of the National theatre, for fashion, Information, technology, film and music.
“With that, the National Theatre is now known as the Lagos Creative and Entertainment Centre.
“In addition, the Lagos surface rail system ,to serve the National Theatre ,will be commissioned ahead of the Global Conference,” he said
Mohammed said the signing of the bilateral agreement signified Nigeria’s commitment to host the event.
He, therefore, directed that the contractors handling the reconstruction project must ensure its prompt delivery for the global event.
The minister added that in an effort to ensure that the complex is ready for the hosting in November, he recently undertook an inspection tour of ongoing work there with stakeholders.
The stakeholders on the inspection tour, according to the minister, were Lagos Governor, Babajide Sanwoolu; the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele and the Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Sunday Dare.
According to the minister, there was every indication that the venue will be ready early enough to host the global conference.
The Nigeria Ambassador to Spain, Mr Ademola Seriki, who said he is a member of Board of Directors of the company handling the reconstruction project, said the edifice would be completed before the global event.
Seriki, who accompanied the minister to the bilateral agreement signing ceremony, thanked the UNWTO for giving Nigeria the right to host the maiden global conference.
He said the conference would bring a huge reputation to the country and assert Nigeria’s lead in music, theatre and other areas of entertainment in Africa.
The National Theatre, an iconic centre for performing arts, was established to preserve, present and promote arts and culture in Nigeria.
The construction of the monument was completed in 1976 in preparation for the Festival of Arts and Culture hosted in 1977.