Let's Deal With These Facts: Prof. Zana Is The Real Deal By Ifere Paul

While in the university of Calabar between 2001/2006, the University of Calabar was grossly under staffed.

None academic staff held more responsibilities, and professionalism to duties became inadequate.

As a poor student who had no money to buy textbooks, I made the University of Calabar library complex a place to visit nearly every other day for my assignments.

I can remember how difficult it was to get a library card which enables students to use the library and or to borrow books. This was because only one person was apportioned the responsibility to issue library cards for nearly four thousands students of the university.

Many of the books that the University of Calabar received that period were not cataloged and were left on the first floor of the library complex which served as the catalog section of the library at that time.

Incidentally, that's where the registration for the issuance of the library card starts. Somehow, the cataloger was also responsible for registering students for the use of the library. Making it difficult to concentrate on the job as the cataloger.

This left many modern textbooks as at then, which should have been on the library shelves, moistened by rain. Sadly, by 2006, all those books were washed off by the flood that hit the university that year. This is what inefficiency cost the university by not employing manpower for so many years.

After my NYSC in 2007, I came to the University of Calabar to get a transcript for my study abroad program. It was a task nearly impossible. There were more than 5000 applications for transcripts unattended to, some dating back to 1992.

Only one lady was in charge of the issuance of transcripts for social sciences and management sciences.

The faculty of social sciences had 7 departments offering courses from BSc to Ph.D. There was consultancy courses  too. Just imagine the work load for one person to prepare transcripts for all these departments and their consultancy programs.

I resorted to self help by paying an extra charge to make sure I got my transcript. It was then I found out that the transcript office at the old registry near the small gate, had no messengers staff as the lady in charge of my faculty, had to personally move to the faculty to get computed results from departments under her.

It was during the VCship of Prof. James Epoke that drastic measures were taken to reduce the embarrassments caused by understaffing in Unical.

Prof. Zana Akpagu is seen as the saving grace for many cross riverians. He ensured that every vacancy is filled.

Today, you see more messengers, stenographers, typist, library attendants, and other junior level employees discharging their duties and increasing the efficiency level of the university.

Pro. Zana has also increased the quality standard in terms of employment of lecturers.

I know for a fact that Prof. Zana employed sound and internationally exposed lecturers. For example, one of the best graduating student in computer engineering at master's level from the university of Salford was employed by Prof. Zana. Offem Lekam, a serious minded, intelligent, and researched minded lecturer, is a Ph.D holder from Russia was also employed by Prof. Zana, Igiri Abua is a top notch researcher that was retained by Lulea University in Sweden. After two years in Lulea, he met me up in Kritianstad that he will no longer continue his contract because of cold weather and returned back to Nigeria. He lost hope until Prof. Zana came on board. Abang Josiah studied master's in traditional Chinese medicine at Xiamen University, taught there for 6 years before returning back to Nigeria. He tried getting employment in Unical to no avail until Prof. Zana took over.

One of the best student from the department of Political Science was Ubi Omini. Ubi graduated from Unical and immediately enrolled in for his master's degree. He got employed by Prof. Zana after several attempts. He is currently doing his Ph.D in Unical. There are many other instances where Prof. Zana placed emphasis on the quality of the people he engages as lecturers.

It is quite sad that a lot of people believes that the University of Calabar is overstaffed. This is a big lie. It is rather the opposite. The truth is the university needs funding.

According to 2019 audit report of the University of Calabar, even with the massive employment done by Prof. Zana, the university is still under staffed.

With new departments like Music, Fine and Applied Arts, Tourism and Hospitality, Dentistry, Pharmacy,  Computer Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering,  Civil and Environmental Engineering,  Electrical and Electronics Engineering,  Agric and Bio Resources Engineering, Petroleum Engineering, Mass Communication and Digital Studies,  Architecture,  Estate Management and Evaluation, Surveying and, Geo-informatics, Urban and Regional Planning, Physiotherapy, Food Science and Technology, Criminology and Anti-corruption studies, the University of Calabar needs many more quality lecturers and I know Prof. Zana is equal to the task.

For me, Prof. Zana has demonstrated so much in human capacity development for the University of Calabar. He has done remarkably well and deserves the APC Senate seat to do more.
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