The Nigerian News Agency reports that the start of the 26th NUGA was marked by the opening ceremony at the hosts’ Sports Village.
The opening ceremony also saw the march past the universities, while students from the UNILAG Staff School also performed a calisthenics and dance session.
In his welcome speech, Gbajabiamila described sport as a true tool for unification between different ethnic backgrounds and religions.
“We have men and women here who are ready to show their talents like I did in years past, when I was a student at UNILAG.
“Nearly 78 universities and more than 10,000 athletes and officials are gathered here because sport is a universal language understood along lines.
“In the next few days, we will see the evolution of the talents and I have no doubts about the university that will come out on top, my only concern is the university that will be in second place.
“Sure, we know that ‘Lagos don’t dey carry last’. Also, I have seen sport as a means of development and unity, bringing everyone together,” he said.
“Today, we stand at the threshold of history to start the 26th NUGA and the fourth of its kind organized by UNILAG.
“We are here today because UNILAG believes in NUGA’s mission to provide fertile ground for the emergence of well-rounded graduates, who are equipped for strong service to the nation, the continent and the world at large.
“That is why we spared no effort in preparing for this day by working diligently and 24 hours a day through our LOC, we did everything possible to mobilize human, official and material resources to guarantee a remarkable event,” he said.
Ogundipe added: “Our sports facilities have been upgraded to a world-class standard so that our young athletes have a platform to showcase their talents without hindrance.
“Arrangements have been made to ensure that all participants in the games feel comfortable and that their experiences are positively unforgettable,” he said.
NUGA President Prof. Hamafyelto remarked that NUGA 2022 would be the biggest university sports competition in recent times.
“I have no doubt that the experience we will gather here will long remain in our memories, as you will agree with me that Lagos, being the sixth largest city in the world in terms of population, is known for its youthful vibrancy in the sport business.
“Lagos, for many of the participants, is a destination for tourism, business and education,” he said.
The Provost, Dr. Tejuoso, invited the participants to take advantage of the sports festival to develop mentally.
Likewise, Minister Sunday Dare, in his message of goodwill, encouraged young people to enjoy the various games of the university competition.
The events for NUGA 2022 are football, athletics, badminton, hockey, cricket, chess, judo, swimming, karate, squash, handball, taekwondo, tennis, table tennis, volleyball, basketball and boxing.