The ongoing renovation of the National Arts Theatre is worth about $100 million in funding, this is according to Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
In July 2020, the federal government handed over the facility to the CBN and the Bankers’ Committee.
Speaking on the project on Saturday, Emefiele said foreign investors have also expressed interest.
“For avoidance of doubt, this project is costing the bankers’ committee, by last estimates, about $100 million. More will be invested in this project, but it is going to be a business where the monies will be realised again,” NAN quoted Emefiele as saying.
“I’m happy that foreign investors are already showing interest.
“I want to place it on record that we have received enquiries from the United States from investors who have said that they are interested in taking a look at not just the National Arts Theatre, but also the creative opportunities that we are developing around here.
“So, I must say that this is exciting for us at the Bankers’ Committee and also at the Central Bank of Nigeria.”
Emefiele said President Muhammadu Buhari would, on the day of the inauguration, lay the foundation for the four verticals –- the music, the movie, IT and fashion hub.
He thanked the Lagos government for actively supporting the project, adding that he was excited with the progress made so far.
“I am getting excited because we are hoping that by the end of this year, there will be some programmes and global activities which will be hosted in this complex,” he said.
“We would be talking to arts gallery and hopefully by this year, we can bring the arts exhibition into this complex because we know that by November, this place will be ready.
“So, in November, we can begin to bring this place back to us again, and then put life into the tourism sector in Nigeria and particularly in Lagos state.”
Also speaking, Lai Mohammed, minister of information, lauded the Bankers’ Committee for providing the funding for the project.
Mohammed also thanked the Lagos government for providing the enabling environment, especially in the areas of rail transportation and the usage of the waterways.
“From what we have seen, a lot of work has been undertaken here since our last visit in December 2021,” he said.
“We are satisfied with the progress that has been made. We are hopeful. And we have crossed the rubicon.
“By the time we come back in two months time, we will all see that a lot of work has been buried under.”
Babajide Sanwo-Olu, governor of Lagos, said that the project would further help grow the state’s gross domestic product (GDP).