Thursday, February 11, 2010
What we are looking forward to:::The new Tafawa Balewa Square.
TBS managers unfold dome, Eyo designs
The picture of a new Tafawa Balewa Square is gradually evolving as the new managers, Big Hope Services International Limited, has completed architectural designs of a calabash dome and Eyo for the complex
It has also hinted of plans to erect statues of five Nigeria’s independence heroes including the late Tafawa Balewa, Nnamidi Azikiwe, Obafemi Awolowo, Sir Ahmadu Bello and Mrs. Margaret Ekpo at a strategic spot for visitors to appreciate.
The foundation laying stones for these five busts was expected to be performed by President Umaru Yar’Adua which was originally scheduled for last December, but had to be postponed due to some developments.
A statement by the BHS obtained on Saturday the drawings for the two major structures in the proposed new TBS was a reflection of the commitment of the new managers to preserve and promote the nation’s cultural and historical value.
The dome would house a museum, art galleries, theatre, studios, office suites, among others, while halls, event venues would be inside the Eyo building, it added.
It said that BHS’s choice of calabash was based on the fact that the calabash is a household African native item that cut across cultures, while Eyo represented a significant culture of the host state, Lagos.
“A city centre of this nature with art and culture outlook along side other businesses in the same complex, would turn Lagos into the next attraction in tourism and business travel in the world of hospitality,” it added.
The BHS Project Architect, Mr. Akintunde Aboderin, wondered why Nigerians who travel far and wide, either for business or tourism, visiting famous and notable cultural and tourists sites around the world, had never bothered to find out why foreigners did not find the nation attractive.
He said, “For us at BHS International, we have found the answer to the weak destination attraction of the country. That answer is art and culture of which we have a master plan for the proposed TBS City Centre.
“Even though the initial master plan is currently undergoing some modification and eventual approval by the Lagos State Government, the tourism focus of the city centre remains intact, hence the calabash dome and Eyo in retrospect.”