By Emma Okonji
The Managing Director of Jumia’s hotel and flight booking services, Omolara Adagunodo has urged the federal government to redirect its attention to revamping one of Nigeria’s oldest tourism products, the National Theatre, adding that it will yield massive revenue for the tourism sector.
Adagunodo, made the call recently in Lagos while speaking to some stakeholders within the industry at an event organised by tourism enthusiasts in the country.
She cited the continuous progress and revenue generated by privately managed theatres like the MUSON centre and Terra Kulture as proof that if the government should consider restoring the theatre to its former glory, it will produce a lot of investment returns.
According to her, “We have witnessed in the last couple of months tons of activities happening at the MUSON centre and Terrakulture in Lagos such as concerts, stage plays, and many more. These activities are consequently raising a huge amount of revenue for the owners.
“Aside from the revenue generation, lots of Nigerians have become employed through these theatres. These sufficiently prove that our government needs to redirect its attention to revamping and resuscitating our national theatre as this will undoubtedly generate tons of revenue for the tourism sector.”
The call came months after Adagunodo had urged the federal government to leverage the synergy between the entertainment and hospitality sector to boost revenue for the economy.
The National Theatre which was established in 1976 to promote arts and culture in the country is currently in dire need of attention as it lies dormant.
“The government is losing millions of naira by neglecting this unique masterpiece. This is not good for the country because the theatre alone can generate thousands of jobs for Nigerians as well as serve as a source of revenue for the economy,” she added.
Adagunodo urged the government to provide funds to, first of all fix the theatre, adding that “If the facilities can be fixed, the National Theatre will become a strong competitor to the likes of Terra Kulture and Jazzhole, and the theatre will become the destination of choice for Lagosians.” This will in turn enable the government to earn revenue from the theatre, she said.