We Are Not Going To Sell The National Theatre, Says Yusuf

National Theatre

National Theatre

General Manager, National Theatre of Nigeria, Lagos, Mr. Kabir Yusuf has insisted that the cultural edifice had not been sold, according to the rumours currently circulating on social media and some radio stations.

It is pertinent to reiterate that the concession arrangement relates to only the fallow land and not the main edifice nor any of its halls,” Yusuf said at a press briefing last week. “There is a need to restore the National Theatre’s past glory; we are not going to sell it. I do not understand why people call for change and when it is being done, they cry foul again”.

The concession project tagged Nigerian Entertainment City, he said, was to complement the National Theatre to be like other theatres in the world with infrastructural facilities.

Yusuf said that such facilities include a five star hotel, a shopping mall, offices, land and water parks, leisure and an entertainment centre and a multi-level car park, etc.

“These facilities are to be built and developed on the fallow land of the National Theatre in accordance with the master plan in order to make theatre more attractive and viable. We should realise that government does not have the resources we are looking for but we can leverage on the growing interest of the private sector to find the resources.

“The Federal Government of Nigeria through the Federal Ministry of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation decided to transform the theatre and considered the feasibility of Public Private Partnership (PPP) for the turnaround. So, stakeholders committee made up of the Federal Ministry of Land, Housing and Urban Development, Federal Ministry of Works, Office of the Surveyor-General of the Federation. Others are Federal Ministry of Tourism, Culture and National
Orientation, Lagos State Ministry of Physical Planning, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Committee (ICRC) was convened”.

He noted that the committee was inaugurated by the immediate past, Minister of Tourism Culture and National Orientation, Mr. Edem Duke, on September 28, 2012.

yusuf said Duke charged the committee to actualize the National Theatre master plan because the Federal Government lacked the resources to rehabilitate the edifice, because of other competing demands on the purse of government.

Yusuf continued, “After all the brainstorming, the BGL Capital Plc was agreed on to be Transaction Adviser to assess strategic fit, achievability and value for money and affordability inherent in the procurement of the concessionaires to build, operate, maintain and transfer basis in line with the National policy on PPP published by the ICRC. The consultant and the National Theatre prepared an Outline Business Case (OBC); their work is to establish the technical, economic and financial viability of the National Theatre. The ICRC issued a certificate of No Objection”.

“By that the commission which is the regulator of such projects, and OBC was approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) and the then President Goodluck Jonathan on August 14, 2013 and July, 2, 2014 respectively. We went on a road show in Lagos, London, Dubai and Johannesburg in 2014 and 11 consortium indicated interest, with seven companies pre-qualified out of the seven, three submitted their technical and financial bids”.

He noted that all the evaluations and analyses were done by a team of officers made up of representatives of the National Theatre, Transaction Advisers and ICRC.

“After evaluations, Topwide Apeas/Chris Michael Ltd emerged the preferred Bidder and Calzada Nigeria Ltd, as the Reserved Bidder; they have been certified by ICRC and the two companies have been communicated to”.

Yusuf also said the next stage of the transaction was negotiation and preparation of the final OBC for the approval of the FEC, after which the project would commence.

The National Arts Theatre is the primary centre for the performing arts in Nigeria. The monument is located in Iganmu, Lagos State. Its construction was completed in 1976 in preparation for the Festival of Arts and

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