A Nigerian senator is a waste of human space. Yet, at a total package of $540k/year, he is dangerously close to making twice the package of a Canada 150 chair.


Recently, Canada’s federal government launched a new Canada 150 Research Professorship. This prestigious endowed chair is aimed at enhancing Canada’s international competitiveness at the highest levels of higher education and within the ambit of the global knowledge economy.

A Canada150 Professorship is worth about $350k/year. Canada poached many of the inaugural recipients of the chair from Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Columbia, Princeton, and Oxford.

I am director of Carleton University’s Institute of African Studies, the only stand-alone African Studies department running undergraduate and graduate programmes in any Canadian University. We made a bid to host one of the new chairs. Our bid was successful in a highly competitive process that saw Universities across Canada compete for only 20 slots. Our new Canada 150 chair, Professor Shireen Hassim, one of the world’s leading experts in the area of gender and African politics, will be joining us at Carleton’s Institute of African Studies from the University of the Witswatersand, South Africa.

When our successful bid was announced, many of you rejoiced with us. You were proud that this has happened under the leadership of the Institute’s Nigerian director. However, you missed a little detail: with $350 thousand per annum, Canada has decided to attract the best brains in the world to her Universities and the US Ivy League is taking a hit because they have no response yet to that chair. Canada will be announcing about 20 chairs per year for the next seven years and I wager they will keep draining the US Ivy League and Oxford/Cambridge in the UK.

Nigeria gives such funds to senators, governors, and other worthless political actors for wardrobe, clubbing, womanising, security votes, and frivolous foreign trips.

A Nigerian senator is a waste of human space. Yet, at a total package of $540k/year, he is dangerously close to making twice the package of a Canada 150 Chair.

Canada – invest in education and knowledge.

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Nigeria – invest in the pocket of useless politicians. Try to make the money you spend on the conspicuous consumption of politicians back by increasing school fees indiscriminately and sending your children out of school.

Dino Melaye’s annual partying bill in various hotel rooms in Nigeria and across the world, splashed across social media, is dangerously close to the cost of maintaining a Canada 150 chair.

Nigeria, let that sink in.

Priorities…

Pius Adesanmi, a professor of English, is director of the Institute of African Studies, Carleton University, Canada.