I am very happy to address this gathering on this occasion of the formal commissioning of this new Lagos Theatre at Igando-Alimosho. I am full of confidence that from today, lovers of live theatre and the Arts will henceforth experience spectacular fun at this 500-seater capacity theatre.
In accord with our promise to create a new economy around Tourism, Hospitality, Entertainment and Sports, our government has laid a solid and long term foundation to support a sustainable tourism and entertainment-driven economy.
This theatre is one of the five built under this administration in line with our project T.H.E.S.E. This project seeks to engage our active and creative youths, create employment around the entertainment, arts and culture sector and thereby boost the State’s economy. The other theatres are located in Badagry, Epe, Ikorodu and Ikeja.
We are optimistic that the positive benefits of these theatres across the State would be huge as it would create opportunities for many of our unemployed youth to express themselves and bring out their creativity. This will reduce anti-social behaviour in our communities and help us discover some of the hidden talents in our State.
It is on record that during the great depression in the U.S. in the mid-20th century, the government deliberately promoted the arts as part of the new deal. Their regionalist intervention was strategic. It boosted creativity, imbued the spirit of patriotism and ultimately created jobs and wealth, which the new generation of Americans is enjoying till today.
Entertainment and Tourism interventions under our administration are deliberate and calculated. The expansion of our One Lagos Fiesta to the Five Divisions brought social activities closer to the people and has exposed many young artistes. These theatres will do even more because they will be open everyday for creativity and entertainment.
Our State is not only the nation’s hub of commercial and economic activity but the entertainment hub. We want to take this to the Next Level and provide the infrastructure that will support the growth of this sector.
The vision is to have these theatres busy with performances which will bring revenue to artistes and entertainers. This will in turn create opportunities for the tourism and hospitality sectors and the ripple effect will touch every aspect of these communities.
There is no State in the country that attracts visitors and new comers on daily basis as Lagos does. With our population, we have a large market for every sector. After the hustle and bustle of the day, people crave for entertainment and leisure. These theatres are built to provide for this need as well as creating jobs.
The 500-seater capacity theatre being commissioned today will serve as medium for the transfer of our history and cultural heritage from generation to generation, provides cross cultural exchange and diversity inclusion, generation of conversations on both local and international media and opportunity and avenues for school tours/creation.
As a government, we can create the infrastructure but we need the people to make it work. This is a challenge to our creative entrepreneurs and youths. We have built the stage for you. Come and show the world what you can do and create wealth for yourself.
I urge the people of Alimosho axis and environs to cherish this theatre. We have delivered on our promise, its now for you to make the best of it and protect what is yours.
Ladies and Gentlemen, it is now my pleasure to formally commission this new Igando Theatre to the glory of God, for the promotion of creativity and for the good of all Lagosians.
Thank you and God bless you all.
Itesiwaju Ipinle Eko Lo je Wa Logun
Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode
Governor of Lagos State
Wednesday, 15th May, 2019