Senate orders federal government to stop sale of National Theatre, TBS

The senate has asked the federal government to stop its plan to sell off the National Arts Theatre and Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS).

The upper legislative chamber also mandated its committee on culture and tourism to identify all edifices that should be declared national monuments.

The resolutions of the senate followed a motion sponsored by Fatimat Raji-Rasaki, senator representing Ekiti central.

Raji-Rasaki said the structures occupy a historical landmark which serves as a symbol of the country’s nationhood.

“The media is awash about the sale of assets belonging to federal government, including the National Theatre and the Tafawa Balewa Square in Lagos, to raise more funds to finance the 2018 budget,” the senator said.

“Tafawa Balewa Square represents the landmark on which Nigeria got the instrument of nationhood at a ceremony on the morning 1st of October, 1960 when the Union Jack was lowered down and the green-white-green national flag was raised and hoisted.

“The National Theatre specifically built to host the 2nd Black African Art Festival named the Festival of Art and Culture (FESTAC) in January/February 1977, where all black people across the globe gathered to celebrate the uniqueness of the black race.

“The final symbol of transfer of power from colonial rule to independence took place at the Tafawa Balawa Square Lagos.”

She said instead of selling off these assets, the government should develop the square into an attractive profit-making tourist centre.


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