It warned that the nation’s unity would be under threat by the sale.
RATTTAWU also decried what it described as “the haste and high level of impunity with which relocation of Art and Cultural related parastatals is being handled,” saying it was suspicious.
According to the Lagos State chapter of RATTAWU, Godwin Itotowa, “concessioning of the National Theatre through Public Bureau Enterprises, BPE, is no news to Nigerians generally and specifically to stakeholders in the Arts and Culturel sector.”
Itotowa said that under the leadership of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo the attempt was massively rejected and jettisoned, adding “Arts and Culture is a supposed verifiable tool for national integration, unity and development, especially at this very state of the nation.
“The forerunner in Arts and Culture sector reasoned well enough to have kept the Theatre… Among such other parastatals are National gallery of Arts, National Council for Arts and Culture, National Institute for cultural Orientation and National Troupe of Nigeria. By the provisions of National Council for Arts and Culture (Amendment) Decree 1987, Section 3(1) (a) – (g); where the functions of the council is spelt out, this move will not only prevent her from performing it’s statutory roles but negate the principles that guide and engender the attainment of these functions.
“The National Troupe of Nigeria, as a parastatal established by Decree 47 of 1991 is responsible for showcasing the nation’s rich cultural heritage internationally and locally.
The Decree provides that it is to be governed by the same board, pension scheme as National Theatre and is to be housed by the National Theatre. In fact, the parastatal is the soul of the National Theatre. Without the National Troupe, the Theatre is an empty edifice only for wedding ceremonies and Annual General meetings of companies. Decree 47 of 1991 has not been amended or repealed by the law makers.”