Amend NLRC Act, NLRC DG urges NASS

Amend NLRC Act, NLRC DG urges NASS

The Director General of the National Lottery Regulatory Commission, NLRC, Mr. Lanre Gbajabiamila has urged the National Assembly to amend the Lottery Act 2005 to conform to the current trends of running the Lottery industry in the country.

Mr. Gbajabiamila made the call during the House of Representatives Committee on Inter-Governmental Affairs investigation into the crisis rocking the lottery industry
Whilst appreciating the House Committee on its initiative to organize the stakeholders meeting with lottery operators to find a way forward on the current crisis rocking the lottery industry, Gbajabiamila said it was a great honour and privilege to be invited to observe the proceedings.

He said further that the Commission, as the apex regulator of the lottery industry in Nigeria, is statutorily saddled with the functions of promoting transparency, propriety and integrity in the operation of National Lottery in Nigeria, as well as ensure the protection of the interests of the players, stakeholders and the public in the National Lottery.

“Pursuant to the provisions of the National Lottery Act (NLA), the Commission takes its functions very seriously and is determined to obey the letter and spirit of the enabling Act.
As the regulator of the industry, the Commission must be seen to take all operators as equal and partners in progress in the Lottery business. It is our duty to provide a level playing field for all operators and make the business environment crisis-free as much as possible.

“Regarding the ongoing rift primarily between Western Lotto and Premier Lotto, and by extension all lottery operators, the Commission is as concerned about the development as the House Committee. It is our hope and desire that the intervention of the House Committee into the matter will result in amicable resolution,” Mr. Gbajabiamila said.

Continuing, Mr. Gbajabimila stated that the Commission was working closely with other sister agencies to address the challenges, calling on both parties involved in the imbroglio to sheathe their swords and accept the decision reached according to the National Lottery Act.

“We plead for patience and tolerance in this matter. It is imperative that all parties and stakeholders in this matter must act according to the National Lottery Act and extant laws rules and regulations guiding the industry. Whatever decisions are made must be compliant with the National Lottery Act.

“Ultimately, the focus of all stakeholders is to generate revenue and remain profitable. Our aim is to ensure a fair and sustainable playing field for all, while improving revenue generation for the Federal Government, especially in these trying times in the world economy. As partners in progress in this industry, we must all work together for the common good of the playing public, operatiors and Nigeria,” he concluded.

Responding, the Acting Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Mansir Manshi said that the committee would do everything within its constitutional powers to address the challenges.

Hon. Manshi said that the House resolved on March 18, mandating the committee to intervene in the rift on the “Ghana Games” between the operators of the Premier Lotto and Western Lotto and report back.

“It is the hope of the committee that a workable solution will be reached to attain the optimal potentials of the industry.

“We also have in mind the huge amount the industry is losing and the lost revenue due to government as a result of this crisis,” he said.