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UNILAG to spend N3.6bn on city NUGA games, hosting to win

UNILAG to spend N3.6bn on city NUGA games, hosting to win

The University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka-Lagos is to spend the sum of N3.6billion to host the 26th edition of the Nigerian University Games (NUGA) billed for March 16 – 27, 2022.

Joseph Ola Awoyinfa, the executive secretary of NUGA-UNILAG 2022 disclosed to BusinessDay the amount was budgeted to help fix the sporting facilities within and around the university where these sporting activities will be taking place.

“In fact, the amount is not even enough to get the facilities to international standards. TetFund had to even come to our rescue by helping us fix the swimming pool. By the noble gesture of TetFund, the institution’s swimming pool is upgraded to an Olympic size with a speed-timer, a feat not common to come -by,” he said.

Awoyinfa decried the fact that governments have not really been financing NUGA which makes it very difficult for many tertiary institutions to navigate their ways financially hosting the games.

For NUGA-UNILAG 2022, he applauded Babjide Sanwo-Olu, the governor of Lagos State, and Sunday Dare, the minister of sports and youth development for identifying with the institution to host a successful game, though the promises are yet fulfilled.

UNILAG NUGA games 2022 team
UNILAG is not actually hosting the NUGA games for profit-making, rather is preparing to set a model on how best to host

However, the executive secretary noted that UNILAG is not actually hosting the NUGA games for profit-making, rather is preparing to set a model on how best to host.

“We are not hosting to make money but to make a legacy. UNILAG 2022, is a NUGA to watch out for because for the first time the games will be hosted within and outside the university compound. We will be hosting some games at Teslim Balogun Stadium, Rowe park, and Legacy pitch,” he stated.

UNILAG NUGA games 2022 team
We are not hosting to make money but to make a legacy

According to Awoyinfa, NUGA is actually living to its aims which are to foster unity among students through sports. He pointed out that sports language is one language that unites the diversified federation of Nigeria and enables students from different parts of the country to meet every two years to mingle and interact, besides, to discover new talents.

“NUGA is a propagating base for identification and nurturing of athletes that will represent Nigeria. It is a pool where sports stars are caught young and nurtured to the international limelight. And it is a way of keeping the youth off the street, and criminal acts,” he noted.

Moreover, the university don stressed that hosting NUGA games afford to host universities the platform to upgrade their sporting facilities, as no university would want to host with obsolete facilities.

Read also: Maltina announces ‘school games’ 2022 nationwide registration

Awoyinfa revealed that UNILAG is fully poised to embrace collegiate sports academies and encourage sports development among students.

“We are partnering with Brazil and Canada for sports academy development in the University of Lagos,” he stated.

Meanwhile, Adebayo Olatunde, the UNILAG’s NUGA students’ ambassador has affirmed the readiness of the institution to top the medal haul at the end of the event not minding the 136 universities and more than 10,000 athletes that will be participating in the games.

“We are hosting to win, our athletes are training hard and are in good shape rearing to go; the facilities are ready; by the end of this week the tartan tracks will be done,” Olatunde said.

UNILAG NUGA games 2022 team
We are hosting to win, our athletes are training hard and are in good shape rearing to go

According to the students’ ambassador, “The University of Lagos is hopeful to win gold medals in all the sports, and is not ready to settle for neither silver nor bronze.”

“We trust the capabilities of all our students participating in the games, and are putting our eyes on each for a gold medal,” he stated.

On how to ensure the refurbished facilities for the NUGA games are kept in good condition after the event, Olatunde said that the organising committee has plans with the sports secretary of every department of UNILAG to ensure that every single facility is maintained and kept safe after the event.

NUGA was founded in 1966 at the University of Ibadan following the first West African University Games (WAUG) in Ibadan in 1965. In 1970, NUGA became a member of the World Federation of University Games (FISU), and in 1974 was a founding member of the All Africa University Games Association (FASU).

The University of Lagos won the hosting right for 2022 after defeating the University of Jos, scoring 76 points against the latter’s 66 points.