We won’t sell National Theatre – FG

The Federal Government says there are no plans to sell off the National Theatre.

Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed said on Monday, that the theatre will continue to be a national monument.

Speaking during an inspection visit to the National Theatre, Mohammed said: “But we are not averse to a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement that will add value to the iconic (National Theatre) complex.”

Mohammed added that the process of selecting a preferred bidder under the PPP arrangement is currently underway.

“The National Theatre is a national monument and a tourist attraction. We will not allow it to go derelict or become a magnet for hoodlums.

This monument is the pride of the nation, and it has always served as the point of convergence for Nigerians seeking fun and relaxation, especially during festive periods, and a centre for the promotion of arts and culture.”

Addressing the incident of Christmas Day, where hoodlums harassed and molested fun seekers, the Minister said security would be increased within the premises.

“It is totally unacceptable that fun-seeking individuals who throng the National Theatre for relaxation during festive periods or at any time will become the victims of attacks by hoodlums.”

“We will work with the security agencies, especially the Police and the State Security Service, to upgrade security at the National Theatre. It is also important for the management of the complex to ensure that its perimeter is better secured to ward off hoodlums.”

“We will restore the National Theatre to its pride of place and make it more user friendly. We will also ensure that the management engages with stakeholders in order to increase the patronage of the various facilities at the complex.”

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