Convert Independence Building To Tourists Site – Stakeholders


Some  stakeholders in the tourism industry last Friday urged the Federal Government to convert  the abandoned Independence building into a tourists’ site.
The Tide source revealed that the building had been occupied by hoodlums over the years which ought not to be.
According to them, the building is supposed to be a reference point of Nigeria’s dignity and pride.
They said that it  had been abandoned for years and was becoming a delapidated  structure.
Our source reported that the building was inaugurated by the British Government in 1960 when Nigeria gained her  Independence.
The building  once housed the Defence Headquarters under the General Ibrahim Babangida-led  administration and was known then as the Defence House.
In 1993, some portions of it caught fire and since then, the building had not been managed properly but  abandoned.
Nigerian flutist, Omotshola Iseli said that the Federal  Government should renovate the edifice and put it to good use.
He said that the building was large enough to accommodate the exhibition of various aspects of the Nigerian culture.
He said that it could house art galleries, museum, hall-of- fame and more.
He said all those would represent the identities  of the country.
Iseli  added that whenever international tourists visit, they could be entertained there while they would learn more about the country’s past and present.
“The independence building is supposed to be a reference point of respect for our independence and identity.
“We can have our cultural shows  exhibited in different forms there by having a museum, art galleries and a  hall- of-fame.
“Individuals who had contributed to the development of the nation over the years should have their pictures and profile kept in the hall-of-fame ,” he said.
The Head  of Corporate Affairs, BHS International, concessionaires of Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS), Mrs Josephine Abraham advised the Federal Government  to lease  the outfit out to competent investors.
She said that such an investor would be able to manage and maintain it well.
Abraham said that such investors could erect some of the nation’s symbolic monuments like those of Queen  Moremi there to attract tourists.
“It is quite shameful to have the country’s Independence building abandoned for years, making it an abode for hoodlums.
“Government must wade in quickly by engaging qualified investors who are capable of projecting the place as a world class tourism destination hub,” she said.
Also, renowned Cartoonist, JossyAjiboye, urged the Federal Government to convert the building into  an art gallery.
He said that artists who would be exhibiting there could be paying  a stipulated percentage to the government every month.
He said that would also ensure good maintenance of the outfit.
“The independence building should not just be left to collapse one day.