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National Theatre to be renamed Lagos Creative & Entertainment Centre—FG

All is set for the Federal Government to rename the National Arts Theatre in Iganmu, Lagos, to Lagos Creative and Entertainment Centre, as soon as work on the complex is completed. Recall that the massive complex seating on about 41 acres is currently under renovation by Bankers Committee in partnership with the federal Government.

Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture, disclosed this on Tuesday in Madrid, Spain, while signing an agreement on Nigeria’s hosting of first Global Conference on Cultural Tourism and Creative Industry.

The bilateral agreement was signed between Nigeria and United Nation World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) at the organisation’s headquarters.

Mohammed disclosed that the global conference ,which would hold from November 14 to 17, would be the first event to be staged at the newly refursbished edifice.

Said 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.

Informed he: “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”.

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 was ready for the hosting in November, he recently undertook an inspection tour of ongoing work there with stakeholders.

The stakeholders on the inspection tour, the minister said, were Lagos Governor, Babajide Sanwoolu, Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele and the Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Sunday Dare.

The minister said there was every indication that the venue would be ready early enough to host the global conference.

Mr Ademola Seriki, Ambassador to Spain, who said he was 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.

Mr Folorunsho Coker, Director-General, Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation, was on the entourage of the minister.

The National Arts 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 (FESTAC), hosted in 1977.

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