By Usman Shuaibu
A university don at the University of Abuja, Prof. Barth Oshionebo, has called on the Federal Government to deem it necessary to create an endowment fund for theatre artists in order to improve socio-economic growth of the country.
He also charged the Federal Government to empower all the departments of theatre arts in Nigerian Universities including private film professionals, so as to impact positively on the societies.
Oshionebo, who made this call in an interview with newsmen after the presentation of 27th inaugural lecture entitled “Drama and Theatre-in-Education and Educational Theatre of the Future” which was held at the permanent site of the university on Thursday.
He further urged the government of the day to give the necessary attention to film makers in Nigeria to enable them contribute positively towards the nation-building.
His words: “Most of the countries in the world do not play with their performances in terms of film performances because they can project the philosophy of each country as well philosophy of our countries even our foreign policies can be projected through performance or production. They should not rely only on the national theatre troupe. They cannot do it alone, they should turn their attention to the departments of theatre art.”
Professor of Drama and Theatre-in-Education, however, appealed to Nigerian leaders to make use of Theatre for Development (TFD) in order to arrest some pending issues or problems generating tension in the country.
This, according to Oshionebo, “It is a theatre that addresses the problems which confront a community, problems that need to be addressed and solved in order to usher in development”.
Speaking at the occasion, the vice chancellor of the university, Prof. Michael Adikwu, commended the inaugural lecturer for the good presentation of the lecture.