Tola Akerele assumes role of GM/CEO National Theatre as Sunday Ododo hands over

National Theatre CEO Tola Akerele

Tola Akerele has officially assumed her position as the chief executive officer and general manager of the National Theatre as her predecessor Prof. Sunday Ododo hands over.

The handover ceremony which began at 10 pm at the National Theatre on Thursday was attended by staff of the organisation including Mr Femi Joel, the director of special duties who led the opening prayer.

Akerele shared photos from the ceremony on her Instagram account on Friday, with pictures capturing the handover moment. She expressed excitement over her new appointment and her eagerness to lead.

She wrote: “Today marks the official commencement of my role as the GM/CEO of the @nationaltheatrenigeria

“Ready and excited for the journey ahead.”

Akerele also received a congratulatory message from Dr Shaibu Husseini, director-general of the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) who wrote in the comment section of her post, “Congratulations My DG.”

A statement detailing the handover ceremony was also shared on the official Instagram page of the National Theatre.

The statement read: “Akerele takes over as Ododo bows out of the National Theatre.

“The handover ceremony for the incoming GM/CEO, National Theatre, Mrs. Tola Akerele, commenced at 10 am. Mr. Femi Joel, the Director of Special Duties, led the opening prayer, followed by Mr. Steve Ogundele, serving as the meeting’s compere, who introduced Mrs. Akerele as a distinguished figure in the cultural sphere.

“Professor S.E. Ododo, the outgoing GM/CEO, welcomed Mrs. Akerele, expressing confidence in her ability to uphold the National Theatre’s heritage and highlighting the progress made during his tenure, particularly the ongoing renovation project. A moment of silence was observed in honor of the late Herbert Wigwe, former GM of Access Bank, who played a pivotal role in initiating the renovation efforts.

“Professor Ododo recommended the preservation of historical documents, including the original architectural designs, for the incoming leadership. Mrs. Akerele pledged to build upon the foundation laid by Professor Ododo, focusing on staff development and innovative programming to enhance the institution’s stature.

“The meeting concluded with Chief Henry Ndubusi extending appreciation to both Mrs. Akerele and Professor Ododo for their contributions, underscoring the enduring legacy left by the outgoing administration.”

Tola Akerele and 10 others were appointed new chief executive officers (CEOs) for agencies under the Federal Ministry of Art, Culture, and Creative Economy by Presientt Bola Tinubu in January 2024.