You Cannot Sell National Theatre, Reps Committee Tells FG

Linda Nwabuwa and Ronke Sanya  
Updated February 13, 2018

Members of the House of Representatives Committee on Culture and Tourism have opposed the proposed plan by the Federal Government to sell the National Theatre in Iganmu, Lagos State.

The lawmakers on Monday insisted that the national asset cannot be sold as it remains a national monument.

They made their position known during an interactive session between the committee and the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.

Chairman House Committee on Culture and Tourism, Representative Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama said selling the national edifice is not in the best interest of the citizens of the country.

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“There are two issues that are not budget-related that we require you and the Minister to look into as a matter of urgency. I am sure that you received the resolution of the House about the proposed plan to sell the National Theatre as part of our National Assets. We cannot sell National Theater.

“As the representative of the people, we will stand for Nigerians to any level within the powers of the law to ensure that it is not sold. I want you to please, look at it,” Ogbeide-Ihama said.

He argued that the culture and tourism sector can provide the enabling environment for skill acquisition and employment opportunities for Nigerian youths aside boosting the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Ogbeide-Ihama said the spate of clashes among ethnic groups in the country would be drastically reduced if Nigerians are given the opportunities to appreciate the festivals, carnivals and cultural practices that abound in the country.

The Chairman of the House Committee on Culture and Tourism then urged the Minister to prevail on the Federal Executive Council (FEC) to provide funds for the development of the sector. He assured that he would reciprocate the gesture by pushing for adequate budgetary approval for the sector.

The Committee Chairman also expresses concern over the ‘neglect’ of the culture and tourism sector arguing that the sector can easily provide employment opportunities for the teeming population of youths and boost the gross domestic product of the country.