Nigerians react to proposed sale of national theatre, TBS, others

National Arts Theatre, Lagos
National Arts Theatre, Lagos

Following indicated plans by the federal government to sell the Tafawa Balewa Square, the National Arts Theatre and other selected power plants under the National Integrated Power Projects, Nigerians have taken to social media to share their diverse opinions.

The proposed sale according to the Director General of Budget Office, Ben Akabueze, is to generate sufficient revenue to finance the country’s budget for the next three years (2018-2020).

According to Mr. Akabueze, Nigeria’s revenue generation capacity is dismal, leaving her with no choice than to borrow.

He however supported his argument by saying the reverse would be the case if the asset it owned were generating revenue.

“We are generating too little revenue, hence we are borrowing. If we generate enough, borrowing ratio will drop”, he said.

Shehu Sani, a senator representing Kaduna central, took to twitter on Wednesday to register his grievance over the planned action by the federal government.

“The proposal to sell off the National Theatre and Tafawa Balewa Square in order to finance the 2018 budget is unacceptable. These are our national monuments and priceless edifices of our history. I will stand against it in the floor of the senate”, he said.

The tweet quickly generated widespread reactions on his timeline with Nigerians sharing their sentiments.

“Sir kindly educate me on the need to keep it, cos as it is now, it’s not maintained & a financial burden on FG. If sold it will still be on Nigerian soil useful & maintained” a twitter user, Ray‏ @raybigtime said.

Another user, Ali Boma¥€‏ @iamalibomaye asked: “In history which country has ever sold their National theatre ?”

Read other reactions here:


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  • David Puff

    I remember vividly an interview of the minister of information few months back when he came to national theatre when he said the place will never be sold as it is a national pride of the black race entirely.
    What happened between then and now?

    • Gary

      Nothing happened between then and now. Lai Mohammed is an irredeemable liar and propagandist. He has no scruples and blows with the wind. If Lai greets “good morning” look outside or check your watch and you’ll see it’s 5pm.
      The federal infrastrustructures left behind in Lagos would have been better managed and utilized if the right thing had been done ab initio: hand them over to the government and people of Lagos.
      Shame on Bola Tinubu and all the APC acolytes if the regime they helped to install cannot do right for the people of Lagos.
      They will hear from the voters of Lagos in 2019.

  • Du Covenant

    What a confused nation, always afraid of taking respomnsibility. I continuously mentioned on this form how useless we are as a people. We lack the discipline to maintain just about anything including our private homes in Nigeria, why do we think selling every national asset is the way forward?. Are we not confirming to the world that, we are hopelessly not serious?. It takes a lot of discipline to build a nation and if we lack it, let the British just come back and continue where they stopped after all we are willingly taking ourselves to the Arabs in Libya to be sold as commodities, what a shame in the 21st century?.

  • Henry M

    Nigerians are a funny bunch of people. They are quick at expressing sentiments when it comes to disposing non essential, under performing assets.. This same lame duck argument was proffered in FAVOUR of NITEL when GSM LICENSES were granted, 90% were against it citing the need for patriotism in maintaining State control of communications. I thank God that we are all living witnesses to the miracle of GSM. Can someone please tell us what value the national theater has added to the lives of Nigerians? Nothing! Meanwhile, There are over 300 employees attached to it, all on salaries, pensions, allowances, and all sorts of perks for doing nothing. A private enterprise on that expanse of land can create jobs for thousands of people as well as taxes to the Federal and state governments. In addition, I advocate that other wasting assets such as federal secretariat, doddan barracks, trade fair complex, power plants, airports, train terminals etc must as a matter of urgency be sold immediately.. Government should only be an Enabler of business and not a participant. And those of us shouting foul should be candid to themselves – How many of these wasting white elephant edifices have put food on their table? None!