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It came out a couple of weeks ago that the Rivers State chapter of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) couldn’t host the organization’s annual convention because they were strapped for cash.

This resulted in the event being moved, at the last minute, to Ibadan, the resident city of ANA’s president— Prof. Remi Raji.

Since then, there’s been talk about the financial state of the Rivers State chapter. Are they broke?

Not quite.

According to what an ANA official told me, “the present structure has it that hosting chapters raise funds, usually from their state governments, to pay for this subsidy…at the last Minute, Governor Ameachi did not release the funds for them, putting the convention in jeopardy.”

They were banking on money from the state government that ended up not coming.

Luckily, the federal government came to the rescue. Pleased with the happy turn of events, Prof. Raji said in an interview published last week that they got lucky.

You’re probably thinking what I’m thinking. Isn’t it a bit risky to rely so heavily on the government for subsidies? The government can be unreliable, as the Rivers State case shows only too well. Are there other more reliable avenues for funding—like endowments— that they could explore?

By the way, if you missed Prof. Raji’s address at the conference, read it HERE.

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Ainehi Edoro is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she teaches African literature. She received her doctorate at Duke University. She is the founder and editor of Brittle Paper and series editor of Ohio University Press’s Modern African Writer’s imprint.

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