As part of the recently-launched Creative Industry Financing Initiative (CIFI), the Central Bank of Nigeria alongside the Bankers Committee for the development of creative industry Park is taking charge of National Theatre in Iganmu, Lagos.
The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, during the Creative Nigeria Summit in Lagos disclosed that the edifice which was built in the mid-1970s, covering about 23, 000sqm, over 5,000 Main hall seats and also a collapsible stage will be under the care of the CBN and the Bankers Committee who had already put aside more than $30m to invest in it.
The Governor further added that Lagos State government is supporting the development with additional 40 acres of land around the National Theatre and that the project needs to be completed on time with an expectation of massively amplifying the commercial, cultural viability of the National Theatre and to improve wealth and job creation in Nigeria.
“This was the critical reason behind the CBN and the Bankers Committee decision, following our annual retreat in December 2018, to set up the Creative Industries and Financing Initiative. Using the AGSMEIES fund through which the banks set aside on an annual basis five per cent of their profit after tax, our goal is to support startups and existing businesses in the creative industry space, as well as the development of a creative industry park across three major cities in Nigeria."
“With the kind support of the Federal and Lagos State Governments, the National Theater Iganmu in Lagos is expected to serve as the initial pilot for the Creative Industries Park. Our plan is to develop a 40- acre Creative Industry Park around the National Theater including giving the Theater itself tremendous facelift; thereby reopening the touring potential the National theatre offered during the FESTAC 77 art culture.” - Emefiele said
The CBN is encouraging banks to put more money into SMEs and the Creative Industries generally. The aim of the National Theatre is to build Music, Movie, Fashion and IT Hubs, hence turning it into a Creative Industries Park. These Hubs will support practitioners and students, with space, financing & training.