By Idris Olukoya
Lagos (NAN) Veteran actor, Jide Kosoko, on Sunday commended both the Federal and Lagos State Governments’ moves aimed at revamping the National Arts Theatre in Lagos to its glorious status.
Kosoko, a member, Board of Trustees of Theatre Arts and Motion Picture Producers Association of Nigeria (TAMPAN), told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the theatre had been the pride of the entertainment and Nollywood industry over the years.
He said that the government moves was a right step in the right direction.
NAN reports that Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture, had on Jan. 28 restated the Federal Government’s commitment in collaboration with the Lagos State Government to restore the National Theatre to its glorious height.
Lai stated this in Lagos when he inspected the complex in company with the representative of Lagos State Government, Prof. Adegbola Abbas.
Kosoko lamented the poor conditions of the national heritage and pride, saying that such conditions were not encouraging.
According to him, the theatre by now, is supposed to be the giant stride for creative industry where foreigners and neighbouring countries are supposed to be learning and showcasing their talents to the world.
“The theatre should be the pride of Africa. It is a huge valuable asset for the government,” he said, adding that government should do the needful so that the edifice would fetch it huge revenue.
” For government to realise huge revenue from the old edifice, it needed to upgrade the theatre to international standard.
“Doing so will attract an influx of foreign counterparts, tourists, visitors and investors to the place, ” he said.
Kosoko expressed his dissatisfaction at the management of the theatre over the years by their negligence and non-challant attitudes toward the complex.
He, however, said that the government’s recent moves and commitment to renovate the theatre would promote the entertainment industry and attract investors.
The veteran actor urged the government to fix the toilet facilities and ensured they worked properly, lighting up its surroundings, beef-up security surveillance and equipped the halls to modern standard.
“This will in return generate and attract activities within the theatre, ” he said.
Kosoko also appealed to government to revisit the master plan of the theatre’s artists’ village for proper implementation.