By Amaechi Agbo
The Minister of Special Duties and Inter-governmental Affairs, Senator George Akume has inaugurated an 11-member task force committee for the recovery of unpaid revenues from lottery operators and permit holders in Nigeria.
Inaugurating the committee at the Minister’s Conference Room in Abuja, the minister lamented that despite the obvious revenue strength of the lottery sector, the accruable returns to the federal government reserves have been very poor.
While giving the committee headed by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, William Alo the mandate to recover all unremitted funds to the federal government’s coffers within two months, Senator Akume charged them to beam their searchlight on the sector from 2015 till date.
“Today I am inaugurating a special Ministerial Committee to be Chaired by the Permanent Secretary on the Recovery of Unpaid revenue from lottery operators and permit holders in Nigeria from 2015.
“The terms of reference is expressly stated in the appointment letters forwarded to the designated task force members and it is expected that the task force shall complete its work within the next 2 months.
“Since my assumption at the Ministry, I have had ample opportunity to consult with industry stakeholders. I have been less than satisfied with my findings.
“It is clear that historic revenues collections from lottery and gaming transactions have underperformed resulting in significant losses to government.
“Despite my earlier appeal for increased effort by operators to pay what they owe, statutory returns continue to be poor or nonexistent. Given our current economic climate, definitive measures must be taken.”