Mr Kabir Yusuf, the General Manager, National Theatre, Iganmu, on Wednesday discredited the rumour that the edifice had been sold, as recently reported in the social media and in some national newspapers.
Yusuf disclosed this at a briefing at the National Theatre, saying: “we have not sold the National Theatre and we are not going to sell it”.
According to him, the stakeholders went on a road show to look for investors that will bid for the concession of the fallow land around the National Theatre.
“The road show is sequel to our advertisement on the local and international media on requests for “Expression of Interest” for the concession of the fallow land around the National Theatre.
“The bids were opened on December 22, 2014.
“It is in line with the Master plan for “Nigerian Entertainment City” which we want to create through Public-Private Partnership (PPP), in accordance with the Infrastructure Concession Reconstruction Agency (ICRC) Act, 2005,” he said.
The GM noted that that the National Theatre held four Investor Road Shows to shop for reputable local and international investors in four locations.
He said that the locations were in Lagos (Nigeria) on Nov. 6; London (United Kingdom), Nov. 13 and 14; Dubai (United Arab Emirates) Nov. 16 and Nov. 17, and Johannesburg (South Africa), Dec, 1 and 2, all in 2014.
The GM also said that ten Consortia indicated interest to participate in the PPP project to provide the following complimentary facilities: a Five Star Hotel and an International standard shopping mall.
Others are a multi-level car park, land and water recreation parks, office buildings and a facility management team.
Yusuf said that, “the Consortia that submitted pre-qualification documents were: Resilient Africa Propriety Ltd, CCECC Nigeria Ltd, Afrebay USA, Quippo Energy Nigeria Private Ltd and Neon Holdings Consortium.
“Others include: Trevari Group, Causeway Project Ltd, Calzada Ltd. RMB Westport and Chrismichaels Ltd/Topwide Apeas,” he said.
Yusuf, however, said that, “the prequalified bidders are seven companies which are Resilient Africa Propriety Ltd, CCECC Nigeria Ltd, Quippo Energy Nigeria Private Ltd, Neon Holdings Consortium, Calzada Ltd and RMB Westport.
“The seven companies are the ones to be issued with the Request for Proposal (RFP) in continuation of the process,” he said.
The National Theatre chief executive also said that there was a need to move the arts world forward and that the national theatre, which is known as the ‘home of Nigeria’s creativity’ had over the years been in a dilapidated state.
The representative of VGL Capital Ltd, Odulami Kehinde, the concession handlers, said that they would look for financially viable companies to handle the projects.
“They will design and build the projects, they will choose and document every step from takeoff to the last finishing,” he said.
NAN reports that the monument is located in Iganmu, Lagos.
The construction of the National Theatre was completed in 1976, in preparation for the 2nd World Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC) in 1977.
The edifice has an exterior that is shaped like a military hat. with a 5500-seater Main Hall and a collapsible stage.
It has two 700/800 capacity cinema halls, both of which are equipped with facilities for simultaneous translation in13 languages.
In 2001, President Olusegun Obasanjo announced plans to privatise the edifice.