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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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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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