This was revealed by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, after the FEC meeting on Wednesday.
The fund for the renovation is expected to be provided by the consortium of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Bankers’ Committee.
Alhaji Lai Mohammed said the FEC approved the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Federal Ministry of Information and the consortium of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Bankers’ Committee.
He said:“I sought and obtained an approval to execute a memorandum of understanding between the Federal Ministry of Information, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Bankers’ Committee worth N21 billion for the renovation of the National Theatre Iganmu, Lagos.
“This is a landmark approval because it has paved the way for investment in the creative industry as part of the resolve of this government to create at least 1 million jobs in the next three years from the creative industry.
“The CBN through the Bankers Committee is willing to invest N21, 894, 000, 000 to renovate the National Theatre, refurbish it, and run it profitably.”
In his statement, the minister also said after the National Theater is renovated, no job will be lost as competent management will be put in place to run it.
He continued: ‘‘It will be a turning point in the creative industry in the sense that we are going to have a brand new National Theater, an event center that will help in creating more jobs.
“President had in 2020 gave approval to the CBN and the Bankers’ Committee, to develop, refurbish, renovate the National Theater and at the same time take over the adjourning lands to create a veritable creative industry where there will be four hubs. One for films, one for music, one for IT and the other for fashion.”
The consortium of CBN and the Bankers Committee is expected to manage the structure for some years before handing it over to the government as part of a Public Private Partnership (PPP) regulations.
In July 2020, the federal government had officially handed over the National Theatre to the consortium of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Bankers’ Committee for renovation.
The Central Bank governor, Godwin Emefiele, had expressed hope for the commissioning of a new and improved national arts theatre by Mr. President, before expiration of his tenure in 2023.