From Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
The House of Representatives has suspended the consideration of the 2022 budget of the National Theatre, pending an assessment of government at the theatre.
The chairman, House Committee on Culture and Tourism, Omeregie Ogbeide- Ihama, disclosed this, on Thurday, when the management of the National Theatre appeared before the committee to defend its 2022 budget estimates.
Ogbeide-Ihama explained that there are allegations that some public property within the National Theatre are being disposed. He noted that the lawmakers would need visit the theatre to make an on the spot assessment.
According to him, “the issue of National Theatre is of utmost importance. That edifice is our pride and it is strange to all of us that you are not even working there now, that you had to move somewhere within the premises because they are working.
“Due to allegations of property within the National Theatre being sold, part of the amendment to the motion is an oversight on the spot visit to NT in Lagos. Also the documentations we have requested for we have to get it by tomorrow.
“We would put the budget of the National Theatre on hold until we have an in-depth understanding of the purported or supposed MOU that was signed, according to you, on February and have the details in which bankers committee would go into Federal Government property and begin construction on April and expect that we will appropriate public funds to that agency.
“I think this issue needs to go beyond all of this; bankers committee and CBN would need to come and explain to us what is happening to that property and its environs in Igomu, the popular National Theatre that housed all of Africa during the FESTAC 1977.”.