The National Lottery Regulatory Commission was established through the National Lottery Act, 2005. The Commission was primarily born out of the need to regulate the operations of lottery business in Nigeria, promote transparency and accountability in lottery industry while protecting the interests of players, stakeholders and the general public.
Though established in 2005, the National Lottery Regulatory Commission was scarcely known until 2009. It sat on a small space on the 5th floor, Block C, Phase II of the Federal Secretariat, Abuja.
Mr. Peter Igho (MFR), took up the mantle of leadership of the Commission in 2009 and his first assignment was to sensitize the public about lottery and its opportunities and benefits to the Nigerian economy. He also tackled the accommodation problem that the Commission faced. As Director General, Igho succeeded in both challenges as he enhanced the public view on lottery and moved the Commission to the 1st and 4th floors of the Merit House, Maitama Abuja. In 2013, Igho successfully moved the Commission into a two story building in Jabi District.
The next Director-General Mr. Adolphus Joe Ekpe (2014-2016) , a Nigerian Stock Exchange guru who was a principal officer responsible for the automation of the activities and workflow of the Nigerian Stock Exchange in Port-Harcourt. He replicated that achievement at the Commission with the take off of our Automation process which was set to ease transactions and increase revenue for the commission.
The Commission is now headed by the newly appointed Director General, Mr Lanre Gbajabiamila. A graduate of B.SC (Hons) degree in Marketing from California State University, USA and a certifiedin Unix Programmer from the prestigious ‘Seale Group’, Atlanta Georgia in 1999.
He started his career with Derivion/Metavante Corporation in 1997 as a Senior Analyst and also worked as Senior Consultant in several blue chip companies such as BearingPoint INC, Atlanta where he was a Senior Management Consultant.
Ever since his return to Nigeria he has been very active in the Nigerian gaming industry such as the National Sports Lottery (NSL) where he was the Senior IT Manager on Software Quality Assurance where he pioneered the Essnet Lottery Operating System (ELOS) which effectively managed 5 million lottery transactions weekly.
The general feeling has always been that Lottery is not different from ordinary gambling.
The Director – General Mr. Peter Igho(2009 – 2013) faced the burdensome task of selling the Lottery business and the Lottery Commission to the generality of Nigerians. At many occasions he attended, he made positive pronouncements about Lottery and the mandate of the Commission.
Mr. Peter Igho scored a big goal during his visit to the Director – General, Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), Mr. Nuhu Yusuf in September, 2009, when it was announced that “any promotion advertisement that does not carry the seal of the National Regulatory Commission would no longer be carried/aired by FRCN”.
The then Minister of Information and Communications, Prof. Dora Akunyili equally assured the Commission of her support as the sanitisation of the Lottery industry tallies with the re-branding campaign of her ministry in particular and the present administration in general.
Similarly, the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) promised to help. The Council’s Director – General, Mrs. Ify Umenyi promised to work towards making promoters cooperate with the Lottery Commission or be made to face the law.
When the message was taken to the top echelons of the Police, the then Inspector General of Police Mr. Ogbonnaya Onovo said the Police were ready to arrest and prosecute any company that was found to have indulged in fraudulent promotions. These and many more achievements Mr. Igho recorded during his tenure.
The next Director General, Mr Adolphus Joe Ekpe (2014 – 2017), had positioned the commission through his plan to take it to new heights and economic growth through ingenious reforms and owing to his past and record breaking achievements through ICT automation and which this is his priority in the Commission.
The Current Director General, Lanre Gbajabiamila, comes into the industry with a wealth of experience.
He was appointed General Manager/ Chief Executive Officer of the Lagos State Lotteries Board, where he led the Lagos State Lotteries Board to become a trail blazing regulator of lottery and related gaming activities in Nigeria. Over the years, he has attended international and local executive management programs along with gaming and regulatory training conferences. He is a member of Institute of Directors and the Ikoyi Club, Lagos. He is a non-executive director in Makklink Limited and Ginger Hospitality Limited.
Mr Gbajabiamila brings to the Commission his vast gaming industry expertise as well as his extensive local and international business network
The National Lottery Regulatory Commission is a relatively new agency of the Federal Goverment of Nigeria. In line with the transformation agenda of Mr. President, the Commission is saddled with the responsibility of regulating all lottery games and promotions in Nigeria. In addition, improve transparency, accountability, stakeholder confidence and revenue generation for Government towards good causes.
In trying to achieve the above mentioned goals, public enlightenment and National Reorientation is a key component for success, to this end, the Media and Publicity Unit of the Commission is developing programmes that would bridge this knowledge gap, create an enabling safe and secure environment for lottery business.