By Samuel Bamisebi
The flag off ceremony of the 26th Edition of the Nigeria University Games Association held in the host institution, University of Lagos yesterday, 26th November, 2021.
The event attended by many students even as the new session had barely kicked off also saw in attendance a host of dignitaries including the host, Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, Pro Chancellor of the University Prince (Dr). Lanre Tejuoso, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Lucian Chukwu, The Honorable Minister for Youth and Sports of Nigeria, Mr Sunday Dare, Secretary-General of NUGA, Professor Ayodele Olympian Chioma Ajunwa as well as other notable high class products of the competition in times past.
Also in attendance were entertainers, from the master producer and CEO of Mavin Records, Don Jazzy, famous Big Brother Naija star Bisola Aiyeola, Magixx, Wavy The Creator, Dj Lawy, Andre Vibez, who were in charge of making the amazing competition anthem as well as hosts Lamu and tv presenter Mimi Onalaja.
Speaking at the event, the minister of sport, Mr Sunday Dare explained the importance of the lighting of the torch. “The lighting of the torch in Sports is very significant.The torch is indicative of the positive spirit of gamesmanship and its ability to promote friendliness, fairness and peace. The lighting is also symbolic. It is the igniting of the passion, will to win against all odds and the competitive spirit that is determined to overcome all obstacles in order to claim the ultimate prize freely and fairly,” Mr Sunday said.
The Nigerian University Games Association was founded in 1965 and has continued to remain relevant and significant to youths and sports development since its first edition held in 1966 at the University of Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria. With the last edition, being the 25th edition held in University of Agriculture, Markurdi, Benue State in 2017, the pandemic as well as some other conditions like funding and getting facilities ready has made the biennial event which was meant to hold in 2019 take a few years forward.
The Honorable minister also charged the Nigerian youth to continue to seize opportunities available to them and be the Centre of solutions for the Nation.
“The strength and the future of any Government or people is her Youth. They are a resource to be harnessed and not a problem. They are solution providers with the 21st century skills and ideas, as well as the energy that they possess. Our universities still produce some of the best young graduates who have taken over and excelled in ICT, Sports, Business, Engineering, Medicine and the Creative Industry(music, entertainment and fashion). The youth are the new CEOs and they have arrived,” Me Sunday Dare said.
“It is time for the Nigerian Youth to wake up, take their place as the nerve centre of the nation and seize the opportunities that Government is giving them through the numerous youth programs,” the minister concluded.
The 26th edition is set to hold between the 16th and 26th of March, 2022 at the University of Lagos with over ninety (90) Universities, both private and federal expected to be in attendance.