LAGOS, Nigeria — Nigeria’s iconic National Theatre rises out of the brackish swamps of Lagos near its islands, a massive concrete and marble structure that is a reminder of when the West African nation had seemingly endless oil dollars to spend.
Today, the theater and its surrounding marshlands have become known more as a good place to dump corpses than to catch the latest play.
Now, Nigeria’s federal government has plans to make the theater part of a new push to redevelop the area into a commercial property that could be worth millions of dollars.
To raise money for its restoration, Kabir Yusuf, the general manager and CEO of the theater, said the federal government plans to lease land surrounding the theater to private investors. The project is guided by the theater’s original plans, which call for a five-star hotel and other amenities.