The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Engr. Babachir David Lawal has tasked the National Lottery Regulatory Commission to generate more revenue with strict enforcement on all lottery operators for effective lottery regulation in Nigeria.
He said this while welcoming the DG NLRC Adolphus Joe Ekpe along with a team of the Commission’s staff who paid a courtesy visit to him in his office on a brief about the activities of the Commission and to solicit for government support and funding for the lottery sector.
The SGF assured the DG NLRC of government’s full support towards tackling uncooperative lottery operators since the Commission is a revenue generating agency. According to him, the government would not subject itself to blackmail or sabotage in any form, due to the present economic challenges. He demanded that the Commission should be firm in its enforcement by revoking license of underperforming or non performing lottery operators.
Furthermore the SGF stressed that any licensee who refuses to conform to the rules and regulations of the Commission would be punished accordingly. He advised the Commission to work with organisations such as EFCC and FIRS as well as the Nigeria Police to investigate issues of non performing lottery operators, especially due to under remittance of lottery proceeds.
He commended the efforts of the Commission at mapping the lottery industry, and securing a designated Court for prosecution of lottery cases. He encouraged the Commission to be proactive at acquiring and developing new products that would not be affected by legal disputes that would hinder the Commission in efficiently fulfilling its mandate. The SGF applauded the effort of the Commission in creating the SMS Transactions Monitoring and Archival Platform (STRAMAP) geared towards improving generation ability of the Commission.
Engr. Bashir supported the need to modify the National Lottery Act 2005 for better regulation and monitoring of the Lottery Industry. However on the outstanding challenges of modifying the Act, he suggested that there be an alternative mechanism for funding which would discourage the use of Internally Generated Revenue by organisations because it has been generally banned by the present government. In line with this, he said that all lGR should be remitted to the Treasury Statutory Account. He further fortified the automation of the lottery industry as a means to eliminate pilfering of funds by operators and regulators for transparency.
He encouraged staff to be proactive at carrying out their duties while he condemned the lackadaisical attitude of staff towards performing official duties
The NLRC boss, Mr Ekpe thanked the SGF for his support and encouragement affirming that automation of lottery stakeholders, amendment of the National Lottery Act 2005, and acquisition of permanent office complex, litigation matters and better staff package are the dire needs of the Commission towards fulfilling its mandate. However he stated that the Commission in his regime has unanimously tried to set goals with strategic vision for each year in the areas of management retreat, staff induction, training and outstanding promotion, internal working automation, functional website, and set projected target for the year 2016 to generate up to N4.8 billion with N2.9billion remittance to the National Lottery Trust Fund and N1.8billion Internally Generated Revenue.
The DG further spoke extensively on the importance of automating the operation of lottery business. He said a regulatory agency in an emerging market like the NLRC must always strive to be ahead of industry stakeholders, most especially, the operators.
Lottery...the Right way...