By Musa Adamu
The House of Representatives yesterday resolved to investigate licensed lottery operators in the country over their alleged defaulting in financial obligations to the federal government.
The motion moved by Hon. Abdulrazak Sa’ad Namdas (APC Adamawa), passed for investigation when put to vote by the Speaker of the House, Hon Yakubu Dogara.
Moving the motion, Hon. Namdas noted that out of the 21 licensed lottery operators in the country, only about two or three had successfully paid their fees and other taxes to the federal government over the last few years.
He said the lack of tax remittance to the federal government had led to the country losing millions of Naira in revenues to the lottery operators.
He further noted that all over the world, tax evasion was deemed a very serious offence as most advanced countries sustain their economies through effective and transparent taxation system where operators of businesses pay their taxes promptly.
According to him, the Nigerian Lottery Commission can become one of the revenue generating agencies if the operators of lottery are made to pay taxes to the government as and when due, saying government needed the money to execute various projects rather than borrowing to fund the annual budget; he further averred that these lottery operators had been defaulting in payments of all their fees to the Commission for more than 10 years now.
He invited the House to recall that the Acting Director General of the Commission had even stated that since his assumption of office about four months ago, the operators had not been meeting their obligations;
He therefore, urged to House to mandate the Committee on Governmental Affairs to investigate the activities of licensed Lottery Operators from 2000 to date with a view to ensuring that tax defaulters among them were made to pay promptly, and report back within six weeks for further legislative action.