For the most part of 30 years in which Nigeria’s foremost culture edifice, National Theatre, has been in comatose, government has lost over N300 billion.
The 5,000-capacity main bowl has not been put to use since 1992 due to structural errors. The other halls run skeletal services at best, with most of them as non-cultural or artistic events. Organisers of artistic events have since shifted to other well-maintained venues.
The government has continued to incur overhead costs in terms of salaries of staff of both the National Troupe of Nigeria and the National Theatre. “A source close to the operations at the facility told The Guardian that the overhead expenses on the National Theatre within the last one year (although not regular) at N18 million monthly, and N4 million for National Troupe of Nigeria. This has, however, stopped to be regular in the last two years, but whenever it comes, the two establishments get that much,” the source disclosed.
In spite of the monthly allocations and monies collected from the few event organisers and patrons, the edifice has been in total darkness for most part of 2017. It is currently experiencing a blackout because it owes N20 million electricity supply debts.
The Guardian, November 14, 2017
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