By CrossRiverWatch Admin
Prof. Zana Akpagu in such a short time as the Vice Chancellor of the University of Calabar has shown that he is not just a quintessential leader but also a good manager of resources.
Having become the Vice Chancellor of the University of Calabar only in December, 2015, this leader of the ivory tower has performed creditably.
With the dwindling funds coming to the University, he has within the time in review, brought reform in the management of finances of the university and achieved so much in terms of infrastructure development and academic growth.
The University of Calabar was established in line with the tradition of fulfilling the global Universities mandate of teaching, research and community service.
The ultimate goal of University education is to enable students to acquire the principles of scholarship that equips them with the capacity to investigate, invent, create and so become productive members of the society.
In just one year and six months Prof. Zana Akpagu has made some lasting landmarks.
From the academic front, new programmes have been introduced.
Prominent among them include the faculties of Engineering, Dentistry and Pharmacy.
Other new Departments are Music, Fine Arts, Mass Communication, Tourism and Hospitality Management, Food Science and Technology.
These areas of development of academic structures are not only relevant to the catchment areas but also strategic for state and national development.
Beyond these, they are important in a fast changing world if the university must reposition to meet the man power needs of the future.
The Prof. Zana Akpagu administration has sustained a very high tempo in terms of provision of infrastructure on campus.
In addition to the completion of an edifice for the Faculty of Medicine, the Faculty of Engineering has been started and it is hoped that this will also be completed in record time.
Many other on-going projects are at various stages of completion.
He has completed the elevated water tanks at the staff village, the ultra-modern tennis court with gallery is 90% complete, other projects such as the Post-graduate hostel, the Media Arts Studio, lecture theatre, staff office block are also ongoing.
He has recently also broken ground for building of students hostel.
In keeping with global best practice, the university is into various levels of partnerships, collaborations and linkages.
Under his leadership, the university is trying to push to break through the circle of global research monopolised by American and European universities.
This indeed is the core of his administration’s strategic and innovative vision.
The University of Calabar has continued to be Information and Communication Technology driven.
On this note, the scope of the Information and Communication Technology infrastructure will continue to expand as leading Information and Communication Technology providers have been assembled to change the ICT landscape.
Both staff and students will be made to enjoy the 21st century internet facilities in no distant time.
Prof. Akpagu is poised to take the university to the next level and make it a global brand.
One of his strategic visions is to expand the university frontiers of teaching, research and learning.
New academic areas especially the Faculty of Environmental Studies with courses like Architecture and Quantity Survey are planned to be established soon.
This will become one of the new areas of challenge in the remaining part of his tenure.
When these two new programmes are fully established, the University of Calabar will become bigger, bolder and better.
Innovative leadership as displayed by the Vice Chancellor is critical to strategic development of a forward looking tertiary educational institution like the University of Calabar.
Prof. Zana Akpagu is thus poised to continue providing this leadership for the university.
With increasing demands of running a 21st Century University, adjusting to fit the realities of an emerging techno-industrial society, Prof. Zana Akpagu is conceiving innovative ways to raise funds to achieve set goals and objectives.
In line with this, to meet up with the university’s responsibility as a corporate entity, especially the pursuit of the newly established Faculties of Engineering, Dentistry and Pharmacy, Prof. Zana Akpagu launched an endowment fund where friends, well-wishers, Alumni and honourees of the university are contributing to.
This has proved to be a very successful strategy as the fund has received encouraging support with the Governor of Sokoto State, Dr. Aminu Tambuwal and the Chairman of Dozzy Group Dr. Daniel N. Chukwudozie and many others making varying contributions even as the Vice Chancellor is continually encouraging other stakeholders to contribute more to it.
The Vice Chancellor is also unveiling soon other strategies to increase internally generated revenue.
Prof. Akpagu is poised to harness the potentials of the university creatively to achieve this within the shortest possible time.
Only recently in a meeting with the German Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr. Barnhard Schlagheck, the Vice Chancellor discussed plans for Federal Republic of Germany to build a 5 Megawatts solar power plant as a prelude to the setting up independent power generation for the university.
The University of Calabar Council that was under the Chairmanship of Chief (Dr) Engr. Emmanuel Inwuanyawu was very supportive in achieving many of these goals and the Vice Chancellor is confident that the council under the new Chairmanship of Senator Nkechi Nwaogu, will achieve even more going forward.
Indeed the Pro-Chancellor has pledged her commitment to continue with the positive developments in the institution.
Indeed the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Akpagu has expressed confidence that the Pro-chancellor will bring her wealth of knowledge and experience to bear in the strive to develop the University.
All that is needed now is for all stakeholders within and without the University of Calabar community to give the required support to the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Zana Akpagu and his team and support the ongoing effort towards repositioning the university for excellence and productivity.