The Executive Director National Theater Francis Peter Ojede yesterday clarified that the facility is up for renovation and not anything else.
Ojede came out following reports that the 50 year old heritage facility, approved is to be demolished and replaced with a state of the art shopping mall.
“The talks about the demolition of the National Theatre and replacing it with a shopping mall are not true; we just plan to renovate so that we create a better working environment for the artists and tenants,” he said.
While addressing the media at the National Theater, Ojede cautioned the stakeholders and the public “not to believe the negative propaganda.”
“Many artists’ gain from the national theater and also we get revenue from it, if the negative talk continue tourists who come to see the theatre might be discouraged”
Ojede explained that after over 50 years of existence the National theatre building has depreciated, naturally. The flat roof which is incompatible with the tropical climate has continued to leak despite the regular repairs.
“We cannot overlook the fact that in such a major renovation some people might temporarily be affected and we kindly ask you to bear with us. We highly treasure our stakeholders the Artistes and tenants,” Ojede said.
He noted that part of the roof and the stage are made of asbestos which is outlawed internationally.
“The proscenium arch stage has depreciated; the lighting and sound system can no longer support creativity in modern art. The chairs are breaking every other day despite the repairs which has created an impression that we are not doing a good job via maintenance of the facility”.
“Regarding tenants, we held a consultative meeting with them last week on 7th June 2017 to tell them about this coming project”.