Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Wednesday said the state government has begun the construction of six new arts theatres as part of efforts to engage the youths and promote tourism through arts and entertainment.
The governor who disclosed this while inaugurating a Board of Arts and Culture for the state, said the state was also spearheading the initiatives to transform the National Museum and the iconic National Arts Theatre into world class centers of history, tourism arts and entertainment.
The theatres, which would be situated across Badagry, Epe, Ikorodu, Alimosho and on the Mainland, the governor said, would be up and running before the end of this year.
He said the inauguration of the Board was in line with his vision to explore private sector support to nurture new talents and generate events for a sustainable development of the creative arts sector in the state.
Ambode said despite the achievements already recorded in the sector since assumption of his administration, there was still so much to be done if the state will achieve its aim to become a global hub for music, theatre and film.
“The commitment of our administration to harness the huge creative talents that abound in the State in the fields of Arts, Culture, Entertainment and Sports has never been in doubt. The ultimate goal is to use all of these to drive tourism, create employment and increase the contribution of the non-oil sector to the state’s gross domestic product.
“The Council for Arts and Culture which we have just inaugurated has a huge responsibility to translate our vision in this regard to reality,” she said.
Members of Board include, arts aficionado, Mrs. Polly Alakija as Chairman, with veteran thespian, Mrs. Joke Silva, multiple award winning actor and movie producer, Mr. Kunle Afolayan, influential visual artist, Mr. Kolade Oshinowo and foremost artist and designer, Chief Mrs. Nike Davies Okundaye as members.
Others are Mobee of Badagry, High Chief Patrick Yodenu, Mobee, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Mr. Adesina Odeyemi and Director of Culture at the Lagos State Council for Arts and Culture, Mrs. Saidat Otulana.
Ambode said the Board would among other things, be expected to ensure the sustainable management of arts and culture facilities and infrastructures in the State and create a sustainable framework for the sector.
While urging the Board to generate local and international events to showcase and promote the State’s diverse talents in the field of creative arts, music, entertainment and sports, he tasked them to promote and preserve the rich cultural heritage while being sensitive to the diverse cultures of the citizens of the State.
Besides, Governor Ambode said that in recognition of the enormous responsibilities the Board would be saddled with, his administration ensured that only seasoned professionals, notable and respected personalities were chosen to serve on the council.
He said the inauguration of the Board, coming on the heels of the 50-day event countdown of the State’s Golden Jubilee celebration, showed the total commitment of his administration to put the arts and culture sector in the right perspective.
Ambode also thanked members of the Board for accepting to serve the State.
Speaking on behalf of the new appointees, Mrs. Polly Alakija thanked Governor Ambode for reposing confidence on her and other Board members, assuring that they would stop at nothing to make great impact in the lives of young people through arts, culture and creative sector.
She also assured of the commitment of the Board to explore all areas of possibilities to achieve the set out objectives to make the arts and entertainment sector evolve as a revenue generating mechanism for the State.