THE FAT LIE ABOUT A LECTURER’S FAT SALARY

“Mazi, it’s a lie!”

One of my students exclaimed when he saw my October pay slip. It was lying face up on the table in my office.

I’m a lecturer in a federal university. My salary is a little above N100k. Yes, you heard me. A little above one hundred thousand naira only. This is no prose-fiction.

My students think my salary is up to N500,000. Sorry to disappoint you, dear students. Most professors don’t even earn up to that amount. Uchechukwu Goodnews, can you hear ME?

I know that I crack a lot of jokes. I know I crack jokes a lot. Humour-mongering is my hobby; laughing is my hobby. But this is no joke. Or rather, this is a huge joke. The salary of most professors is not up to N500k. Unbelievable but true. You think I’m joking, abi?

The Nigerian federal university lecturer’s salary is a huge joke, a cruel joke. I’m telling you. If you think I’m lying, I’ll upload my pay slip here. But, I no sabi upload anything on Facebook sef. Hey Hanamel Kingston Onyx, can you help ME to upload something?

My society believes my salary is in the six zeroes category. Hehehehehe! I jus dey laff dem.

The society wherein I live expects me to live in a mansion. People expect me to drive a posh car, maybe a Cadillac Escalade 2016 model or the 2018 model of Lamborghini Huracan Spyder. After all, I’m HEAVILY PAID (ask Daniel Clinton, my public speaking Team Mate). Yeah, I’m paid millions every month! After all, I lecture in a federal university. In Port Harcourt, the oil city, the garden city.

Sorry to disappoint you, members of my society. My one-million-a-month salary is just a figment of your imagination. Reality check: my salary is just a little above one hundred thousand. The lecturer’s salary is a huge joke, a cruel joke indeed.

The last time I checked last month, a bag of rice sold at N25,000. This is December, the Christmas season. The price will climb the palm tree and jump unto the iroko. I had (still have) plans of buying two bags of rice. One for my family. Another for some indigent neighbours where my church, Living Christ Mission, is situated in Oyigbo, Rivers State. Two bags of rice will amount to fifty thousand naira. My salary, sorry!

A bottle of palm oil has increased from N250 to N750 (small Ragolis bottle) and from N600 to N1500 (big Ragolis bottle). Surely, prices of foodstuff will continue to rise. My a-little-above-one-hundred-thousand naira salary will not rise. Why?

My salary is a broken-winged bird that can only chirp but cannot fly. How I wish it could fly and catch up with the astronomical increase in prices of foodstuff! But it cannot. The lecturer’s salary is a huge joke, a cruel joke.

I ran into a House Officer in UPTH recently. The dude greeted ME familiarly. He said I taught him GES 100: Communication Skills in English many years ago. He’s doing his house-manship in UPTH now. After house-manship, comes NYSC.

At the moment, he said, his consolidated salary is N180,000. After deductions of pension fee and others, he takes home between N155,000 and N165,000. You know, I taught him many years ago. Currently, my consolidated salary is N140,000. After deductions of pension fraud and others, I take home a-little-above-one-hundred-thousand naira.

Ovieteme George is my very good friend. He works at African Independent Television (AIT), Bayelsa. Recently, he won the AIT 20th Anniversary Outstanding Staff Award (Yenagoa Station). He has told me once and the repeated time to become a journalist. He wants me to try broadcasting. Stubborn ME, I no gree hear word. How can I leave my dream job of lecturing in a federal university and ‘come and be moving upandan’(apologies to Hymar Idibie David)? Is it because my salary is a little above one hundred thousand? Is it because the lecturer’s salary is a huge joke, a cruel joke? Ovie, take time o! LOL

Once upon a time, Dr. Obari Gomba, current ANA King of Poetry, my friend and colleague at the Department of English Studies, warned me. He told me that a lecturer’s salary can only pick one or two bills, and nothing more. ‘One or two bills, and nothing more’. That sounded poetic. I thought Obari was practicing poetry on me. I didn’t believe him.

That was before I was employed in a federal university. I hope Chisom Nlebedum, my First Class ex-supervisee is listening. Okwudiri Anasiudu, inokwa ya, are you there? Uchechukwu Goodnews, goodluck to you for desiring to be a lecturer! Your generation will be better! SMH

Kasarachi Hayford Inno, my StandingTall friend, my ‘bloda’ from another mother also warned. Kasarachi is a lecturer at the Department of Linguistics and Communication Studies. He’s smart and stubborn. Stubborn to failure; he looked failure in the eye and chose success. Stubborn to death; he stared death in the face and chose life. He presents a weekly Wednesday StandingTall programme on radio at Family Love 97.7 FM Port Harcourt.

Kasarachi Hayford Inno once upon a time told ME, “A lecturer’s take-home pay cannot take him home at the end of the month”. That sounded like radio talk. I didn’t believe him.

Dr. Obari Gomba and StandingTall Kasarachi Hayford Inno are lecturers in a federal university. They warned me. ME, I can be stubborn sometimes sha. I’m a lecturer in a federal university. My salary is a little above N100,000. The salary can only pick one or two bills, and nothing more. This is no poetry. The take-home pay no de gree reach home sef. *wide toothy smile*

My students think my salary is up to N500,000 per month.

My society thinks I’m paid millions month after month.

My salary is a little above N100,000. This is no joke. Or rather, this is a huge joke. It’s a cruel joke.

I’m telling you. The Nigerian federal university lecturer’s salary is a huge joke, a cruel joke.

If you think I’m lying, I’ll invite Onyx to help upload my pay slips.
Enough said!
-Mazi Eze

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