The incumbent General Manager (GM) of the National Theatre Complex, Dr Stella Oyedepo, has allayed the fears of Nigerians that the edifice will neither be privatized nor concessioned.
Oyedepo said there was no move or plan by the Federal Government to privatise the complex or hand its affairs over to the Lagos State Government to manage.
“The National Theatre complex belongs to the Federal Government of Nigeria and it still remains the pride of the nation,” Oyedepo said.
The GM told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that if the Federal Government should privatise the complex, it would cease to retain its historic honour of being the pride of the nation.
According to her, the National Theatre complex is very valuable to the history and culture of Nigerians and it can be turned into something else if left in private hands.
She said that taking pride in what was called a national monument could be very important to the people.
“The fact that the complex is a historic monument must not be lost or distorted in any way.’’
She said that the current management under her leadership would ensure prudence and regular repairs of the complex’s facilities.
Oyedepo said that would help Nigerians to preserve the symbolic icon.
“Our arts should be given life and the opportunity to serve its purpose to the people. If this beautiful structure is privatised, it will no longer be affordable,” she said.
Also, the Director of Event Management and Business Development at the NT, Mr Biodun Abe, corroborated what the GM had said.
Abe said that the current management of the complex was committed to transforming the complex into a lively entertainment centre.
“There are plans by the management of the NT to have exchange programmes with other internationally renowned organizations.
“This is because Nigeria recently signed cultural bilateral agreements with other countries where some of the organisations are located.
“That will give the National Theatre the opportunity to invite international artistes to perform within the theatre.
“It is certain that the glorious days of the National Theatre will gradually be restored through such programmes,” Abe said.