Thursday, March 23

Nigerian government has other priorities that doesn’t include education

By Onyebuchi James Ile

In 2008 at the very verge of concluding my Ph.D, l got a call from the German foreigners office in Duesseldorf, while l was away in Vienna working as a chartered translator. The lady reminded me that my residence permit would expire on the 31st of December and that l had the right to apply for German citizenship. Noticing hesitation in my silence, the lady asked me: “or do you have a job offer in your country?”. I said no. She said further that l should think about it. 

I had made up my mind to leave for home once l was done with my Ph.D to pursue a career in academics. I had been inspired by some professors in my department and the university, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, (profs Egonu, Ohaegbu, Mmodum and Nnoli where l had studied German Language and Literature and gotten a scholarship to Germany. 

Back home, l joined the Nigerian Turkish Nile University and loved it. I rose to become an Associate Professor and would have been a full professor there in 2021, had l not left the university. I had no reason to leave until it became obvious that my department, the department of English Studies,  was going to be closed due to the politics of money and enrollment. 

I joined the public university and have ever since regretted not accepting the offer made to me by the German foreigners office. The Nigerian government has other priorities that doesn’t include education, and being in their university is letting a dream flicker and die. But ideas are now getting into my head and l will endure till it is sabbatical time. Yes!

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