President of the Association of Nigerian Authors, Denja Abdullahi, has given the assurance that preparation for the 37th International Convention of the writers’ body, which is scheduled to hold in Abuja between October 27 and 30, 2016, is going on without any hitch.
Abdullahi, in an interview with our correspondent on Monday, said that the rent for all the designated venues for the convention had been paid by ANA.
“Also, I have secured hotel accommodation for the expected delegates. Every other thing, including the publication of this year’s ANA Review, has been taken care of. Right now, everything is set for the event,” he said.
But the ANA helmsman wondered why, in spite of the financial challenges facing the association, no member had bothered to find out how the national executive committee had managed to raise money to fund the event.
He said, “Nobody has bothered to ask or find out how I have been able to fund the convention .The truth is that funds have not been coming from anywhere. Apart from Chevron, which gave us the sum of N500,000 about five months ago, nobody has given us any money. Even the person who pledged to sponsor the convention has not given us a kobo.
“If I had decided to depend on promises made by that person and some others, we would not be having a convention this year. If I had not been prudent and far-sighted enough to save some money and to begin preparation since January, there certainly would not be a convention. I got grants to do a project and I was able to save some money.
“I told my executives that we were going to save some money from the project in order to avoid running into an embarrassing financial situation during the preparation for the convention. If I had been profligate and spending money foolishly, would there be anything left to fund the convention? As I am talking to you, everything is set for the convention. What remains is for the delegates to arrive in Abuja. We have made sure that nothing will go wrong during the event. The judges have been paid their fees and they have given us their reports.”
Two years ago, the national executive committee of ANA barely managed to scale some hurdles to host its convention in Ibadan, capital of Oyo State. For the first time since the establishment of the association, the convention, as most of the writers would find out, almost did not hold due to unforeseen circumstances.
The convention will linger in the memories of many of the writers in attendance and absentees, who had earlier given up on the hosting of the event, after an initial postponement, as an unprecedented miracle. Many of them could not help but heave sighs of relief.
Abdullahi appears determined to ensure that past mistakes are not repeated during the build-up to the forthcoming convention.
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