Akinwunmi Ambode, Lagos state governor, has said that his administration will refurbish the National Arts Theatre, Lagos, in time for the Africa Movies Academy Awards (AMAA).
The 2017 edition of AMAA will take place on May 15.
Habib Aruna, chief press secretary to the governor, said Ambode gave the assurance when he played host to officials of AMAA led by Peace Anyiam-Osigwe, its president, at the Lagos House, Ikeja.
He expressed optimism that the plan to upgrade the theatre to world class standard would serve as a viable venue for the AMAA event when completed.
“I want to also say that I am very particular about the venue of the AMAA, so we would use everything possible to make sure that the National Arts Theatre is ready,” Ambode said.
“We are in a process and before the month ends, we should have something to start doing within the first week of April to getting the whole place ready.”
Ambode said that the hosting of the AMAA event in Lagos would add more glamour to the celebration of the state’s golden jubilee and showcase its hospitality to the continent and the world at large.
“This is a very historic moment for us in Lagos. 2017 we are celebrating the existence of Lagos for 50 years. If you look at the calendar, you would wonder in what ways and manner can we celebrate Lagos?
“Without your sector, there is no Lagos. So, when we say 50 years, we are talking about 50 years of history, so somebody documents it, somebody dramatizes it, and then somebody keeps it, so that those who are yet unborn would see it, so even when we are not there, it would be displayed through your creative talents.”
While officially accepting the hosting rights for AMAA 2017, Ambode said the state would take advantage of the opportunity to boost its tourism mileage beyond Lagos @ 50.
“The whole essence is to grow the GDP of Lagos; it would bring people into Lagos, they would stay in our hotels, they would come watch the movies and then they would pay their taxes and eventually it’s a conglomerate of goods and services that would escalate our GDP.”
Anyiam-Osigwe commended the governor for his interest in the creative industry, saying that it has given the sector a major boost in recent time.
“It’s amazing to have a governor who is like a family that seems to understand what our needs are. We’ve never had a governor of Lagos state who has shown so much deep interest in Nollywood,” Anyiam-Osigwe said.
She added that the 2017 AMAA ceremony, the 13th in the series, would feature films from 72 countries.
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