The Management of National Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos has attributed the delay in the proposed renovation of the monument to the need for proper inventory and accurate verification of portions to be renovated by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Steve Ogundele, National Theatre spokesman, told the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday that the gigantic nature of the monument made it necessary for due diligence to be carried out before commencement of renovation.
NAN reports that the Federal Government on July 12 officially handed over the National Theatre to CBN under the aegis of the Bankers’ Committee to renovate the monument, upgrade the facility and return to the management after completion.
Ogundele said: “The renovation project of the National Theatre is still on course.
“Note that the complex is a very big structure and the consultants are taking their time investigating the building and facility.
“The purpose is for them to know the extent of work needed to be done, what to touch or pull and what not to tamper with during renovation for obvious reasons.
“Particularly, what needs not to be touched is very important because of the sculpture.
“So, they need to be more careful and take their time to preserve those things against destruction.”
Ogundele noted that the National Theatre, as an architectural masterpiece, art and cultural landmark, is a valuable structure.
Ogundele described the monument as artistic heritage, which is very significant and must be guarded jealously.
He explained that on completion of the project by the CBN and Bankers’ Committee, they will hand over the renovated and redeveloped complex back to the Federal Government and National Theatre management.
NAN reports that the National Theatre was originally built in the mid 1970s by the General Yakubu Gowon Administration ahead of the Festival of Arts and Culture.