The National Theater, which is expected to create 35,000 among the youth, would be ready by December 2022, the bankers committee said on Thursday after its meeting with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
National Arts Theatre is one of the most iconic buildings in Nigeria built nearly 45 years ago. Addressing journalists after the meeting, Herbert Wigwe, Group managing director/CEO of Access Bank Plc said Work at the National theater has started in earnest.
Giving a recap of the National theater project, he said “the CBN and the bankers committee decided that we are going to support the creative industry as a means of basically getting tens of thousands of our youth out of the street, particularly those who are creative and give them the right to basically explore their creativity and come up with valuable contributions to the system whether it is in IT, fashion, or the film industry or the music industry. We couldn’t find a better place but the National theater”.
National theater he explained is a place to support the creative arts. “It is not just Nigeria’s pride overtime the entire infrastructure has become dilapidated. All of that work is going on. There is a second module to the National theater that has to do with music, fashion, IT, and film industry,” he said.
“The second phase will start shortly. Most of the contracts would be awarded soon in September and we expect the entire project should be completed (National theater and the various extras) will be ready by December 2022,” Wigwe said.
Godwin Emefiele, governor of the CBN had in February this year said the Bankers’ Committee is providing funding for a prototype cluster located to the north of the National Arts Theatre, a development which he labelled the “Signature Cluster”.
He said the facility will be a convenor – providing space, support network, business development and community engagement for the creative, cultural and technology sectors. The Signature Cluster will consist of a building each for Music, Film, Fashion and Information Technology verticals. In addition, a Welcome/Visitor’s Centre, Police and Fire Stations, and structured parking for up to 500 vehicles will be built.
The 44 Hectare site adjourning the National Theatre will be developed and utilised for the development of purpose-built creative hubs for the Fashion Industry, Music and Film as well as Information Technology (IT).
The aim is to deliver a successful Creative and Entertainment city that will encourage additional investment into Nigeria’s creative industry.
In addition to the four signature buildings, Emefiele said other support facilities which include multi-storey parking to accommodate 500 cars (the National Theatre currently has dedicated parking for 250 cars), a police station, a fire station and a visitors’ Welcome Centre