Damilola Oyedele in Abuja
The Senate has resolved to probe the alleged proposed sale of the National Theatre and the Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS) in Lagos by the federal government to raise funds to finance the 2018 budget.
It also urged the government to halt the proposed sale, and rather declare them alongside the State House, Marina and Dodan Barracks as National Monuments.
The resolution followed a motion sponsored by Senator Fatima Raji-Rasaki (Ekiti PDP) who said TBS and the others represent landmarks of history in Nigeria.
She queried the proposal particularly as the Senate already approved a loan facility for the executive to finance the 2018 budget.
â€œ Informed that nowhere in the world did any nation dispose of the symbols of its nationhood and attainment. The United States of America cherished its attainment of independence as the structures relating to its independence are under the National Park Service as monuments to cherish and behold. They are all places of tourist attraction,â€ she said.
The senator said there have been several unsuccessful attempts to sell TBS and the National Theatre off in the past, adding that declaring them national monuments would permanently block such attempts.
Raji-Rasaki observed that while the Lugard House in Lokoja and the house of the colonial Governor of Eastern Nigeria in Calabar, are national monuments, the residence of Nigeriaâ€™s first prime minister in Onikan, Lagos, is yet to be declared as such.