For the fourth time since its inauguration in 1966, the University of Lagos (UNILAG) is set to host the 26th edition of the Nigerian Universities Games Association (NUGA) sporting events.
The university’s vice-chancellor, Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, disclosed this at a press briefing on Tuesday, adding that the games would hold between March 16 and 26, 2022.
Mr Ogundipe said the university won the hosting right for 2022 after defeating the University of Jos, scoring 76 points as against the latter’s 66 points.
He said: “With the announcement of this win, the University of Lagos set arrangements in motion by paying the obligatory fees of six million naira (N6,000,000.00) to the NUGA national council, signing the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with NUGA and then constituting the UNILAG-NUGA Local Organizing Committee (LOC) and its 14 sub-committees to drive the planning and preparations for the games.
“This was to have been held in 2020 but the global COVID-19 pandemic disrupted things. The NUGA Council has now given the go-ahead to the new dates of 16th to 26th March, 2022, and this is why we are here.”
He added that the NUGA games will feature 136 universities and about 10,000 student athletes and officials will participate in 17 different games.
The games, according to Mr Ogundipe, are football, volleyball, basketball, handball, lawn tennis, table tennis, badminton, hockey, cricket, chess, taekwando, judo, swimming, karate, athletics, squash and boxing.
Beauties of NUGA
Speaking on the benefits of the games, the VC said academic institutions are not just for academic activities but that knowledge must be all-round.
He said apart from exposing the students to other opportunities, it is another way of selling the university’s brand to the world.
The vice-chancellor said it will provide an opportunity for corporate organisations to showcase their brand.
He therefore used the opportunity to request support for individuals and organisations, saying the university will present the best NUGA ever organized in its history.
Mr Ogundipe said arrangements have been made to beef up security in and around the campus, saying the organiser will ensure only bonafide university students will participate in the games.
About 1000 close circuit television (CCTV) camera will be installed on the university campuses – Akoka, Idiaraba and Yaba.
The vice-chancellor said the university will be collaborating with all relevant security agencies, to ensure adequate security of every participant
The vice-chancellor, who blamed the postponement of the game on the COVID-19, said the university will ensure that all protocols against the spread of the virus are strictly observed.
He said appropriate committees have been put in place for that.
The association was formed in July 1965, shortly after the 1st West African University Games was held at the University of Ibadan earlier that year.
In 1970, NUGA became a member of the World Federation of University Games, and in 1974, it became a founding member of the All-Africa University Games Association.
Presently, there are over eighty universities as members of NUGA, both private and public owned.
The games have grown overtime to sixteen namely: Athletics, Badminton, Basketball, Chess, Cricket, Football, Handball, Hockey, Judo, Scrabble, Squash, Swimming, Table Tennis, Taekwondo, Tennis and Volleyball.
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