By Albert Akota
The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare, has praised President Muhammadu Buhari for renewing his commitment to providing opportunities for the Nigerian Youth.
He described the President’s call for investment in projects that will directly benefit young people as visionary and timely.
The Minister made this known on Sunday July 12th, in his remarks at the event to handover the National Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos, to the Central Bank Nigerian (CBN) and the Bankers Committee for its redevelopment into the Lagos Creative and Entertainment Centre.
“Today’s event is another giant step towards strengthening President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to create opportunities for our teeming Youth. For me, this project fits perfectly into his challenge to me to seek out and collaborate with willing partners to keep the Nigerian Youth busy.
The potentials of this four component New National Theatre is massive in job creation for our Youth, talent discovery and development, revenue generation and as an innovation and technology hub.
“With the pandemic still biting hard at our nation and the world at large, this project is a much needed shot in the arm to vaccinate our Youth against the multi-headed challenges of unemployment, criminality and the negative impressions forced on them by the very few unscrupulous individuals, who have chosen a life of crime on the international scale.”
The event was attended by the Minister for Information, Culture and Tourism, Alhaji Lai Mohammed; the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu; the CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele; and the Chairman of the Bankers Committee, Mr. Herbert Wigwe.
Mr. Dare thanked the Bankers Committee for their will to invest in the Youth, saying it was worth the risk. He added that the creative industry in Nigeria which is fueled by the energy and imagination of the Youth, is a lucrative venture.
“It is now commonplace to hear music produced by our Youth in shopping malls of Dubai, New York, London, and Moscow amongst other great cities of the world,” he said. “In terms of downloads, Nigerian artistes like WizKid and Davido are punching at a global level.
From the Royal Albert Hall to 02 Centre in London, to virtually all African capitals, sold out audiences in some cases exceeding 35,000 people have paid premium prices to see these amazing home-grown Nigerian products perform.
The value chain they lubricate – from legal specialists, logistics, video/graphic artists, fashion, broadcast engineering and much more – are extensive.”
The National Theatre property and the entire land was officially handed over by Alhaji Lai Mohammed since the establishment is under his ministry, which is in a partnership with the Lagos State Government, the Bankers’ Committee and the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development on the project.
The project, which is to be completed in 18 – 22 months, would convert the National Theatre to a creative village, with four other pillars, including a pillar for the film industry; one for the music industry, one for fashion and another one for Information Technology.
“One strand that binds the millennial generation is their love for the creative arts and entertainment.
These are the lifeblood of the new millennial economy,” Mr. Dare said. “Despite the crowded global market, Nigerian Youth have excelled with their music permeating every corner of the globe.
They are etching the Nigerian brand in the consciousness of their generational peers, as a country that can produce the very best. For each of the examples given, there are millions amongst our Youth with talents, innovative ideas and skills, who are unable to access much needed technology and credit. They all need their country’s support.
“The Nigerian Youth represents a critical component in propelling the world towards attaining the sustainable development goals.”