Lagos – The Federal Government says it will not renege on its promises to rebuild the demolished artists village at the National Theatre Lagos and compensate those affected by the demolition.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed gave the reassurance on Monday when he met with officials of the artists’ village at the national theatre, Iganmu.
He said contrary to insinuations, the Federal Government had not abandoned the artists.
“I have come here to let you know that we have not abandoned you.
“We promised that we are going to compensate you and rebuild the artists’ village and we will do exactly that.
“We don’t believe in impunity, that is why I have been engaging you after the incidence and I have personally met with you for at least three times.
“The fact remains that we are constantly in touch with you and it cannot be correct to say that the Federal Government has abandoned the artists village.
“We are on course, what we promised we will do, though the wheel of government drives very slowly,” he said.
The minister cautioned against confrontational approach by a section of the group, stressing that the issues could only be resolved by engagement.
He said that the development of the creative sector was central to the administration, and government was doing everything possible to reposition the sector.
The spokesperson of the artists, Mr Tope Babayemi acknowledged the efforts of the minister in advancing the creative industry.
He also thanked the minister for his immediate response and meditative measures since the incidence occurred.
Babayemi urged the government to fast track the process for their compensation and the rebuilding of the village.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the artists village was demolished on January 23. (NAN)