- The Senate has said Nigeria will not sell the National Theatre, Tafawa Balewa Square and other national monuments
- The Senate debated motion on proposed sale of the national monuments and mandated the committee to work on it and report back
- Deputy Senate president, Ike Ekweremadu, says there is need to maintain the national monuments and a structured concession should be tried
The Senate has reaffirmed its commitment to the non-sale of the National Theatre, Tafawa Balewa Square and other national monuments.
This is sequel to the adoption of the report of its committee on Culture and Tourism at plenary on Thursday, April 25.
Presenting the report, the chairman, Senator Fatimat Raji-Rasaki, said it was instructed to examine monuments across the country and report back.
According to her, the committee traveled to Lagos and other parts of the country to assess the monuments and recommends that, given their historic and monetary value, they should not be disposed of, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
Legit.ng gathers the chairman further said that the committee came to a conclusion that some other monuments, which were hitherto not recognised as national monuments should be given that status.
She said: “Senate debated motion on proposed sale of the National Theatre and Tafawa Balewa Square and mandated the committee to work on it and report back.
“This followed the motion I moved on Dec. 20, 2017 on Federal Government’s plan to sell the monuments.
“The Tafawa Balewa Square was instrumental to our history and the National Theatre was built for all blacks to celebrate the uniqueness of the black race.
“The committee traveled to all the locations of all the monuments across the country and has concluded work on 32 edifices. Eight natural sites and four technological edifices."
Contributing, Senator Shehu Sani (PRP-Kaduna), said the monuments were important to Nigeria’s history and should not be sold off.
He added that selling them off would be a great mistake as the historic identity attached to them would be erased, while generations to come would not have any sense of Nigeria’s history.
Sani said: “When we travel to other countries we visit historic monuments, and adding to revenue generation in those countries.
“It therefore behooves on us to keep ours for visitors to have where to visit and for generations unborn to have a sense of our history.
“I visited Benin Republic monuments and the Slave Castle in Ghana among other countries and I saw how much they generate from them."
The lawmaker urged parents to take their wards to historic places to teach them the country’s history rather than just visiting eateries and amusement parks.
He advocated that rather than selling them, the country should find a way of funding and maintaining them.
Senator Yusuf Yusuf(APC-Taraba) said since the position of the senate is not to sell them, workable strategies needed to be evolved to manage them properly.
He said: “Selling may not be the best option but what do we do. I hear the square is under concession but is not well managed."
In his remarks, the deputy president of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, who presided over plenary, said the monuments should be maintained rather than being sold off.
He said: “We need to maintain them and try a structured concession. There is no gainsaying the fact that monuments that should be maintained to be part of our history.
“Some other ones should be identified in the course of time and as we evolve as a country to be named as national monuments."
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Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that former president Olusegun Obasanjo was accused by a member of the House of Representatives, Johnson Agbonayinma, of selling the Apo Legislative Quarters because of his third term agenda.
The accusation was made by the lawmaker, on Wednesday, April 24, when his colleague, Segun Adekola, moved a motion that the name be changed Apo Legislators Quarters.
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