By Paul Effiong
The Federal Government has charged Lotto Operators across the country to increase remittances to it to enable it utilize such revenues generated from the Lotto Industry, to meet the socio economic needs of Nigerians and thereby lift them out of poverty.
Minister of Special duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, Senator George Akume gave this charge in a meeting with Lottery Operators, recently in his office
The lottery business he noted has grown from a humble beginning to be a multi-billion Naira Industry and as such government is interested in harnessing wealth in the Lottery industry for the socio economic development of Nigerians.
He therefore urged them to be innovative by developing games that will excite Nigerians.
He lamented that some operators are indebted to the Federal Government from 2007 to 2017 and thus appealed to them to clear their outstanding debts to enable government plough same for good causes in line with the mandate guiding the establishment of the National Lottery Trust Fund.
He reiterated that the Federal Government is making progress against all odds in the provision of rail transportation, Power, road construction and the Social Investment Programme.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs Engr. Festus N.Y. Daudu said that the essence of the meeting was to interact with the operators to see how government can wade in to tackle the challenges faced by operators as they are not meeting up with Lottery obligations as enshrined in the Lottery Act of 2005.
Lottery Operators and Regulators seized the opportunity of the meeting to call for the amendment of the National Lottery Act as it is not realistic in view of challenges faced in the industry today. In addition to this, they advocated for a legal framework to resuscitate and sanitize the industry.
The meeting also called for the establishment of a Central Monitoring System on which all operators will be connected to for proper monitoring and enforcement as it is being done in other climes.
The Director General National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC) Mr. Lanre Gbajabiamila and the Executive Secretary National Lottery Trust Fund (NLTF) Dr. Bello Maigari, called on the operators to see them the regulators as partners in progress as the funds accruing to both agencies are utilized for good causes across the country.