CBN, Banks Commit N25bn to National Theatre and others


The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and banks under the aegis of the Bankers’ Committee has unveiled plans to spend about N25 billion as initial funding on the development of Nigeria Creative Centre at the National Theatre, Lagos and three other major cities in Nigeria. The other cities are Kano, Port Harcourt and Enugu.

According to the CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, he spoke on the initiative in Lagos during the official handing over of the National Theatre in Lagos to the Bankers’ Committee for renovation and upgrade.

Others in attendance at the event were the Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr. Sunday Dare; Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed; the CEO, Access Bank Plc, Mr. Herbert Wigwe; Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, his deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, and other top officials of the Lagos State government.

Emefiele thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for approving the handing over of the edifice and its adjoining land to the Bankers’ Committee.

According to him, by his action, the president has demonstrated that he recognises that a renovated National Theatre and the complementary facilities that will be built along with it will help in unleashing the creative talents of Nigeria’s youths across multiple sectors and in supporting Buhari’s objective of creating new employment opportunities for Nigerians.

Additionally, Emefiele added and said that thehandover was timely considering the external headwinds facing the economy presently.

He noted that the impact of the COVID-19 on the global economy and the containment measures put in place to contain the spread of the virus had led to a slowdown in global growth which has also affected the Nigerian economy.

“Given our dependence on crude oil as a major source of government revenue, as well as for our foreign exchange earnings, these challenges have served to reinforce the need for stakeholders to promote policies and programmes that will enable greater diversification of the Nigerian economy.

“A diversified economy that supports increased productivity in agriculture and manufacturing sectors, while harnessing the talents of our youths in the creative industries will lead to the build-up of a more resilient economy, which is better able to withstand external shocks, while creating wealth and jobs for our growing population,” he said.

Emefiele, who is also the Chairman of the Bankers’ Committee, said upon completion in another 18 months, the facility would have transformed into Nigeria’s Creative Industrial Centre, which would be comparable to other world-class entertainment and convention centres in any part of the world, he explains.