By Inyali Peter
Investigation into the improprieties that led to the decision of the Management and Governing council of the University of Calabar, (UNICAL) to axe ex-Bursar, Mr. Peter Agi has revealed a shocking details on how he (Agi) ridiculed the institution in Ghana.
A document exclusively obtained my Fearless Reports has revealed that Agi subjected the prestigious institution to national and international ridicule and disrepute.
In fact, the Ghana incident which was cited showed that he was not just out to sabotage the growth of the institution but to ensure he reduced the university to nothing within and beyond the shores of this country.
In December 2015, the university was billed to participate in the Pan-African Universities Debating Championship held at the university of Ghana, Legion. The Vice Chancellor who is statutorily responsible for making approvals performed his duty by approving an undisclosed sum of money for the program. But regrettably after an unnecessary delay, Agi reluctantly released a day after the championship had commenced only insignificant part of the approved funds.
He deliberately refused to release funds for the registration of the participants. This created an embarrassing scenario for the varsity contingents as they were not only humiliated but denied tournament materials. They were only allowed food after the leader of the team called Nigeria to borrow money from his wife to pay part of the registration fees.
To show clearly that Agi was committed to ridiculing the university, he released the exact amount of money previously approved by the Vice Chancellor. But this was after hundreds of embarrassing emails to the contingent leader from Legon demanding that the university pays the University of Ghana the 1,300 cedis debt incurred during the tournament.
Painfully, it was so frustrating that when Agi released the money, it could no longer defray the indebtedness as the exchange rate of the Naira to Dollar at the time of application was about N200. By the time the Bursar released the approved registration fee, the exchange rate had skyrocketed above N300.
Because of this, the University of Ghana today sees UNICAL as a dishonorable and disreputable institution in addition to the disgrace which the situation subjected the university community and the entire country to.
May be only this his removall and consitent explanation by UNICAL with verifiable facts that prompt approval was given can prevent the total collapse of the mutual relationship that existed between the institutions.
While a lots have been said about the ex-bursar utter disregard for constituted authorities especially when it concerns releasing duly approved funds for staff and management, little or nothing has been said on how this almost ruined the reputation of the university in the international Community.
Perhaps, his actions would have been excused considering the fact that he never had real experience on how a bursar should function prior to his appointment, but his ridiculous excuses that he was defiant to orders to release funds for academic activities because he was trying to be conservative with public funds as well guiding the university against unnecessary spending shows that he was fully conscious of what he was doing.
This is so because document obtained in the course of this investigation shows that any approval that concerns him directly or some of his allies were given speedy released.
For instance, when he ingloriously sent his wife who is neither a staff nor contractor of the university to a conference on behalf of the institution, he unilaterally released over N3 million without consulting with the Vice Chancellor. Probably, he was scared that such approval would never have seen the light of the day.
Like stated in other articles about Agi's tenure as Bursar, all units, staff and students of any institution are there first for the purpose of academics before anything. This is why it's always emphasized that every activity in an academic environment must be geared towards advancing knowledge.
Regrettably, rather than work to improve and manage the reputation of the varsity, Agi instead acted in a way that was inimical to the reputation and growth of the institution.
This is more worrisome considering the fact that Agi is a product of UNICAL. Ordinarily, every alumnus/alumna of an institution should be concerned about the image and reputation of their former institution let alone staff.
The opportunity Agi had but abused is what many people within and outside the country looks for to give to their alma matter.
Even if there was internal wrangling in the system which is normal, Agi would have put the reputation of the famous university first and above other things.
The impression other people, institutions and partners hold about an organization is directly proportional to the way the organization present herself. Unfortunately, Agi presented UNICAL as a dishonourable institution may be for self recognition or unncessary ego and the damage has been enormous.
As a graduate of the institution, more was expected of him. In fact, he has the current Vice Chancellor, Prof. Zana Akpagu as a manual to learn from on how a graduate of an institution should act if given the opportunity to contribute to the development of his/her alma matter.
The rapid development witnessed under the Zana's administration is a clear indication of his passion and commitment to the golas and objectives of UNICAL. New programs are introduced every session. There's rapid infrastructural development going on and the general welfare of the students among other things have been given desired attention.
But for Agi, the story was never the same. What prompted him to give the university that makes him what he is today such heinous treatment is still unknown and only time shall tell.