By Jacob Ajom,
The much anticipated 2020 Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry Games officially began yesterday following a colourful opening ceremony at the Chevron Recreation Centre, Gbagada.
There was a lot of fanfare as athletes and officials swarmed the exclusive arena in the early hours of Sunday to witness the grand opening ceremony which was witnessed by top officials of all the participating companies. Chairman of the Local Organising Committee, Malam Aminu Zaria presided over the affairs of the day.
In his opening address, Zaria enjoined the athletes not to forget the real essence of the games which, in his words, “keep fit, cultivate friendships and connectivity among workers in the oil and gas sector.”
He said the games were also staged to enhance the production capacity of the workers in the industry. “In the next one week, we are going to showcase our best who will compete among each other and we will present to Nigeria, a healthy workforce for enhanced productivity.”
The LOC boss also informed that two sports; Badminton and Volleyball will feature for the first time in this year’s games and the participating companies too had increased from 10 to 12.
In his loaded opening speech, Zaria also said very soon, “the physically challenged members of staff of our various companies would be made to also feature in their special events of NOGIG in order to give an opportunity to everybody.”
He also disclosed that plans were on to take NOGIG beyond the shores of Nigeria as there was need to identify with workers of the same industry in neighbouring countries. “When we are finally ready, we will start from Africa, before going global,” Aminu said.
The first medal at the games was won by Engineer Leye Falade, GM(Production), NLNG who defeated Mr Ed Ubong, MD, Shell Nigeria Gas 2-0 in an exhibition Table Tennis match. It was the climax of the opening ceremony which also featured cultural dance.
Hostilities begin this morning with Badminton, Basketball, Chess, Scrabble and 8 ball pool holding at the Chevron Recreation Centre Gbagada while competition in Squash, Table Tennis and Tennis will begin at Ikoyi Club 1938.