As part of their oversight functions, the members of House Representatives Committee on Sports paid a courtesy visit to the National Lottery Regulatory Commission.
Welcoming the lawmakers to the Commission’s headquarters, in Abuja, the Director-General, Mr Adolphus Joe Ekpe described the visit as special. He said the Reps visit was his first national assignment since his clearance by the Senate.
The DG informed the lawmakers that there are a lot of challenges facing the Commission, but described the challenges as opportunities to work for the good of the country.
Ekpe told the honorable members that his greatest challenge was the huge litigations that were holding the operations of the Commission back. But the DG was of the opinion that since the National Lottery Regulatory Commission board is headed by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), the cases would be resolved out of court in order to move the Commission forward.
He told the lawmakers that out of N150 million appropriated for the Commission in 2013 budget, only N51, 642.000 has been released to it as at September.
He also told the lawmakers that the Commission headquarters was on rentage for three years in addition to it’s 14 offices across the country. He therefore solicited the assistance of the lawmakers to increase the Commission’s budget and prompt release of the money appropriated it to enable it carry out its functions.
The DG promised to work with National Lottery Trust Fund (NLTF) to ensure that Nigerians began to see the good causes from lottery. Responding, the Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Godfrey Gaiya said the Committee members were at the Commission for their oversight function, particularly to find out how the Commission used its N150 million capital budget for 2013. He pledged the continued assistance of the Committee to the National Lottery Regulatory Commission.
By Bethrand Nwankwo & Emma Ogazie