By Lydia Ngwakwe
Lagos – A former banker and seasoned economist, Dr Boniface Chizea, on Thursday called on the Federal Government to harness and utilise all assets lying fallow in the country.
Chizea told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the unused assets and monuments, if properly harnessed, could boost the nation’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP).
He was reacting to plans by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to build a hub around the National Arts Theatre for youths to develop their talents, and as well boost the tourism potential of Lagos State and Nigeria.
“One of the problems we have in this country is that we have assets all over the country, and we have not been able to harness and use them properly.
“One of such places is the National Theatre; such a massive place should not be lying uncultivated when it can be turned into a lots of things.
“We have issues as a country; our economy is not growing.
“So, anything that we can do to give us a window of opportunity should be welcomed,’’ Chizea said.
He expressed disappointment that the national art edifice was wasting and providing shelter for all manners of characters.
The economist expressed optimism that the place would be transformed beyond human imagination so as to attract visitors from overseas.
Also reacting, the Director-General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr Muda Yusuf, said care should be taken to ensure that the intervention model was sustainable.
“It should not be a facility that will be managed by an agency of government; this should also be complemented with measures to fix peculiar industry’s challenges, such as piracy,” he said.
Yusuf said that the creative industry was one of the fastest growing sectors in the Nigerian economy with impactful multiplier effect on jobs creation, especially for youths.