Workers protest proposed sale of National Theatre

National Theatre Lagos

Workers at the National Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos on Tuesday embarked on a peaceful protest against the proposed sale of the national monument and other Federal Government facilities.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the workers carried placards with various inscriptions expressing their opposition to the proposed sale of the national assets.

The workers blamed the dwindling fortunes of the 40-year-old monument on negligence and corrupt practices of past managers.

They carried placards with inscriptions like “National Theatre can work, we need repairs and not sale”, “The theatre community says no to sale of the theatre. National Theatre must stay’’ and “government wants to sell our culture, it’s a shame. No, No, National Theatre must stay.’’

Speaking during the protest, Mr Dayo Akogun, Branch Chairman, Amalgamated Union of Public Corporation, Civil Service, Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE) condemned the proposed sale of the theatre.

Akogun said that corruption and bad management were responsible for the bad state of the monument.

“If the challenges in the system are tackled, the National Theatre can work effectively and generate funds.

“We need managers that will help us attract patronage rather than promote its sale,” he said.

Mr Dare Durosimi, Lagos State Chairman, Radio, Television, Theatre and Arts Workers Union of Nigeria (RATTAWU) said the government should rather tackle challenges affecting the monument instead of selling it.

Durosimi said that RATTAWU was not in support of the proposed sale and would support AUPCTRE’s decision to campaign against it.

NAN reports that the National Theatre has seven banquet halls that could accommodate between 650 and 5,000 and all the lights, water and air-conditioners were functioning effectively.

The management has further employed security guards, including Civil Defence personnel, to secure the environment.