The National Delegates Convention of the National Association Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners (NANTAP), hosted by the Delta State Chapter, held between 9th and 12th of November 2023.

In attendance were delegates from twelve state chapters: Delta, Ogun, Edo, Oyo, Anambra, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Ondo, Imo, Lagos and the FCT. And from guilds and affiliates such as Nollywood Elders Forum, Guild of Directors, Guild of Theatre Arts Drummers, Guild of Nigerian Dance Practitioners. National Executive Council members, Body of Fellows, members of the Board of Trustees, and other industry stakeholders were also in attendance.

The Convention whose theme was “Building a Borderless Market to unlock the Potentials of the Nigerian Creative Economy”, was declared open by the Chairman, Body of Fellows, Professor Duro Oni, FNAL, fta, Fsonta.

In his opening remarks, the President of the association, Mr. Israel Eboh, fta, underscored the need for Nigerian theatre arts practitioners to rebrand, rebuild, and create more opportunities for network towards a better theatre profession in the new socio-political and economic climate prevailing in the country. The imperative for a new approach to professional practice features not only in the addresses and goodwill messages presented at the opening ceremony but also in the deliberations at the National Delegates Convention.

The Premise
Delegates deliberated on the current state of theatre practice across the country. They noted the challenges such as poor funding, inconsistent official policies, harsh economic climate, lack of synergy between training institutions and practice, inadequate infrastructure, and unstructured or total lack of government support, among others.

The Delegates expressed the need to do more in terms of advocacies for enabling policies that would enhance the practice environment and synergize with other organisations, local and international, in this regard.

The NDC also recognised the need to push for more investments by the government and the private sectors in the arts, especially theatre, as this way, theatre can rise above the current economic challenge.


  1. That there is an urgent need for the theatre artistes to create awareness among themselves and move toward rebranding the profession in the new dispensation.
  2. That an urgently enabled and a carefully crafted scheme to be included in the education curricular on the core business of theatre, should be developed for capacity building
  3. That the idea of theatre as a business and economic venture should be stressed at all levels of government and social interactions. To this end, NANTAP has registered its business under the name: TAP BUSINESS VENTURES NIGERIA LIMITED.
  4. That theatre practice should be conducted under a safe and secured environment. Greater attention should be paid to safety in and around theatre buildings and institutions
  5. That whereas, NANTAP had advocated the establishment of a stand-alone Ministry for Culture and Tourism out of the Information Ministry in the economic agenda of President Tinubu’s administration, the Convention decries the break-up of the ministry into two separate entities that undermines the fundamental task of driving the Nigerian tourism sector towards international and local celebration through our rich culture and arts sector.

The convention further frowns at a situation where one Permanent Secretary serves three different Ministries (including Information) and pleads with the government to, as a matter of urgency provide each of the ministries with its own Permanent Secretary for efficient service delivery.

  1. NANTAP is deeply concerned about the ongoing renovation of the National Theatre by a consortium of bankers. Visits to the place show that in the execution of renovation and restructuring, no deep consideration is being given to the final output, as a performance friendly place. Emphasis is more on cinema (exhibition) to the detriment of live performance, which is the grand purpose of the national monument as a symbol of our rich culture. We also noted regrettably, that the Main Bowl stage has lost its grandeur of its revolving facilities, while the capacity has been reduced from 5000 seats to 3500. All the performance spaces that gave the National Theatre its uniqueness have been abridged considerably. The association urges an urgent intervention to reverse this concern before it is too late.
  1. Finally, the Convention appreciates support towards the Asaba Delegates Convention from: The National Theatre, National Council for Arts and Culture, Clevenard Global Limited, National Film and Video Censors Board, National Institute for Cultural Orientation, Leadway Assurance Plc., National Troupe of Nigeria and the Delta State government for their support and partnership.

Communique Drafting Committee:
i. Edmond Enaibe, fta, Chairman
ii. Gbemisola Adeoti, fta Member
iii. Efe Mayford-Orhorha, Member

By osibanews

Eliel Otote A is an Actor and Filmmaker, with a bias for journalism. He was a freelance feature writer with the Nigerian Observer in the 80's in Benin City, he also presented programmes on both radio and television. Eliel is the Editor and Publisher of OSIBAnews Network Magazine, of which this blog is an affiliate.

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