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Government urged to stop National Theatre concession

08 December 2014, 19:25

Lagos - The Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations, Civil Service, Technical and Recreational Services Employers (AUPCTRE) has urged the Federal Government to shelve plans to concession the fallow land in National Arts Theatre, Lagos.

The Secretary of the AUPCTRE, Federal Organ,  Isidore Okpara, said  that the area could be made attractive if the management had been prudent.

"We are strongly opposed to this concession of the fallow land around the National Theatre because the step was not driven by efficiency or effectiveness. We can transform the environment and make it attractive to the world if there is transparency, prudence and accountability in the affairs. There are cases of reported frauds in the past, running into not less than N500 million of tax payers money which could be used to transform the national heritage. The fallow land the government wants to sell can be turned into parks and be made attractive to Nigerians and investors. The National Theatre is a spirit, souls and symbol of Nigerian culture and arts which should be preserved along with its environs,’’ the scribe said.

He said the internally generated revenue could have been used to turn the national heritage around if they had been well managed.

He said that there had been attempts in the past to concession out the national heritage which were resisted by the public.
Okpara said that union had a stronger stake in the fortunes of the complex as stakeholder responsible for organising employees of National Theatre.

He called on the management to use its expertise to harness and deploy the abundant human and material resources at its disposal to good use instead of selling the heritage.

Okpara urged the government to turn around the edifice and bring anyone that had defrauded the outfit to book.

He said that since the opening of the theatre in 1977, it had not undergone the required structural maintenance.

Also read: 'Theatre artists should step up performance'

The labour leader appealed to the government to strengthen the board of National Theatre so that it can exercise its statutory functions.

He said that the union needed to be carried along as a stakeholder in the entire processes of concession.

Okpara said the the union was determined to defend the interests of its members in addition to protecting the national heritage.

The Federal Government has announced a plan to concession the expansive land surrounding the National Arts Theatre, Lagos for 30 years.


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