FG contracts National Theatre to Special team for 21yrs

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The Federal Government has disclosed that the National Theatre in Lagos would be run by a competent management team to be known as Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for a period of 21 years after renovation.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, disclosed the plan on Monday in Lagos at a meeting with the management and union leaders of the national theatre.

Mohammed, however, assured the management and workers of the Federal Government’s establishment that there would be no job loss within the 15-month renovation deadline, the 21 years under SPV and beyond.

On Feb. 14, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Federal Government and Central Bank of Nigeria/Bankers Committee for the revamp and restoration of the National Theatre.

Also signed was a N22 billion contract awards for the revamping of the National Theatre as well as the creation of creative and fashion hubs within the premises which will be linked with Lagos Blue Rail line.

The minister said the bankers’ committee is funding the project, to be delivered in 15 months, under its statutory corporate social responsibility programme which is not for profit-making.

“The highlight of the MoU is that the CBN and the Bankers Committee will invest the initial sum of N22 billion to renovate and upgrade the national theatre and they will deliver it in 15 months.

“Although, they are funding the project under corporate social responsibility, but they are also going to be responsible and accountable for the money.

“Therefore, after renovation, the National Theatre will be run by a competent management team for a period of 21 years,” he said.

The minister said the MoU is structured in such a way that the ministry and the bankers’ committee would provide two representatives each in the management team.

Mohammed said he had nominated the General Manager/CEO of the national theatre, Prof. Sunday Ododo, as a member of the team to protect the interest of the workers.

“The development will not lead to any loss of job rather it will enhance the performance of the workers. Salaries will be paid as and when due, your promotion, career progression, job security, and entitlements are all guaranteed under the arrangement.

“I see this as a win-win situation because the Federal Government does not have the fund to maintain or renovate the edifice,’’ he said.

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