By Usiere Akpan
The Akwa Ibom government has endorsed the hosting of the 26th edition of the Nigerian University Games (NUGA) by the University of Lagos.
Gov. Udom Emmanuel announced the endorsement while receiving a delegation from the University of Lagos, led by its vice- chancellor, Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, which took place at Government House Uyo, Tuesday.
Emmanuel said that the endorsement of the NUGA eventwas in furtherance of commitments towards the development of talents to fly the Nigerian colours in major sports competitions in the world, commending the University of Lagos for the planned hosting of the games.
The governor recalled that NUGA has been the platform for the discovery of talents in various sports for many years, accepting the invitation to attend the opening ceremony of the event that will commence on March 16 through 27th, promising to encourage efforts in games in tertiary institutions of the country.
He mentioned that Akwa Ibom has made significant contributions to place Nigeria on an enviable position in global map of sports and athletes, maintaining, “From our own sports council, we’ve produced a whole lot of stars for Nigeria, the present holder of 200m Commonwealth Games comes from Akwa Ibom and also our Ekong who plays for the Super Eagles.”
Emmanuel expressed delight that “In terms of sports development in this country, I think we’ve contributed seriously. We’ve a vision based on the facilities we’re putting on ground, stressing, “By the investment we’re making, we’ll get to a time where we’ll have more than 50 percent of talents in national sports from Akwa Ibom.”
Professor Ogundipe said that the purpose of the visit was to invite Emmanuel, an alumnus of the University to the NUGA 2022 event and also to present the torch of unity ahead of the games, hinting that about 10,000 athletes from 80 universities are expected to take part in the 26th edition of the NUGAGames.
Ogundipe commended Emmanuel for transforming Akwa Ibom by the industrialization policies and in the many investments in education and sports, maintaining that the University of Lagos was satisfied by the leadership qualities exhibited by Emmanuel, being a worthy ambassador of the institution.
The highpoint of the event was the presentation of the torch of unity for the 2022 NUGA to Emmanuel, watched by members of the state executive council.