July 13, 2024

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Rehabilitation of National Theatre: Kalejaiye commends FG, tasks Minister on job creation

2 min read

Mojisola Lawal

Following the formal handing over of the National Theatre to the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and the Bankers’ Committee for rehabilitation in Lagos on Sunday, High Chief Kehinde Kalejaiye has appealed to the Federal Government especially the Hon. Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed to consider the artisans and traders whose daily survival hinge on the edifice.

Kalejaiye made the appeal in a statement personally signed by him and made available to newsexplorersng.com on Monday in Lagos.

In the statement he commended Alhaji Lai Mohammed for the planned upgrade which is expected to create almost 10,000 jobs for the teeming youths during and after the upgrade.

The message read in part, “I must commend the effort of the Federal Government and the commitment of Alhaji Lai Mohammed for conscientiously serving the interest of the masses. It is noteworthy to state that the iconic National Theatre has been lying unused and unutilised for many years.

But the attention giving to it by this present administration is a sign of better and humane things to happen to Nigerian youths in the form of gainful employment and other opportunities.”

Highlighting the importance of the upgrade of the 134-hectare of land edifice to the creative industry, Kalejaiye said, “The National Theatre in the 70’s, 80’s and to the early 90’s played host to highly celebrated movies like Aiye, Jaiyesinmi, Taxi driver, Ogun Ijaiye, Ija Orogun and many others.

But the fortunes and relevance of the cinema house started dwindling with the fading away of cinema culture among many homes and families couple with the neglect of the edifice by successive administrations in the country.

Meanwhile as the news of the proposed renovations brings happiness to members of the creative industry, fun lovers and other stakeholders, I want to once again appeal to the Minister to ensure to protect the interest of traders and artisans making use of the premises of the national Theatre to earn a living.

Considering the tensed employment situation in the country, it will be chaotic to throw such huge number of people comprising traders and other menial workers out of job because of an upgrade.

Although Alhaji Mohammed has promised Nigerians that no single job would be lost in the process.

In fact he announced that some 6,000 jobs will be created during the construction phase, while the completed project could generate up to an additional 600 permanent and 2000 to 3000 call-on/call-off jobs.

In addition to this, I am charging the FG and minister to absorb traders and other workers into the scheme of things as doing this will bring smiles to the faces of the people concerned and also help preserve their dignities.”

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