NLRC moves to collaborate with CAC and NITDA on companies’ registration and Technological advancement

In a bid to checkmate activities of unscrupulous companies seeking registration into the lottery industry, the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC) and the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) have put in motion a collaboration that would assist both agencies curb the menace.

The collaboration, which was disclosed during a courtesy visit by the Director General of the NLRC, Mr. Lanre Gbajabiamila to the corporate headquarters of the CAC in Abuja, saw both agencies agree to work closely to vet licensing applications from intending companies as well as plug leakages in the system.

Giving his remark at the courtesy visit, Mr. Gbajabiamila, who ecstatic about the partnership, said it was long overdue and the NLRC was looking forward to a more robust working relationship with the CAC.

Director General of the NLRC, Mr. Lanre Gbajabiamila (left), with the Registrar General of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) Abubakar Garba, when the former paid the CAC a courtesy visit in Abuja recently

“This collaboration has been long overdue in terms of paying this visit. As you know, our mandate is to regulate lottery, sports betting and gaming activities in Nigeria. Our Commission can only do so much on its own because of the way the industry has grown and continues to grow. A partnership case in point, is the partnership with the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to ensure lottery operators complying with our payments in good faith. The reason we are here is to also ensure our collaboration is modified in the area of new discoveries in the lottery sector,” the NLRC DG said.

He continued that though the Commission was already working with the CAC in tackling nefarious lottery license applicants, he wants to take the partnership to another level.

“Since I assumed office two years ago, we have, together with the CAC, been tackling frivolous business names to confirm whether they are duly registered with the CAC or not.

“The NLRC in its own wisdom, took it upon itself to first of all vet applications through your good office and you in turn, sent them back to us for confirmation. I believe that is the spirit of working together as Federal agencies to ensure the mandate and preaching of Mr. President on anti-corruption and leakages are taken care of.

“I want to take this opportunity to also thank the CAC for what it has done so far with the Commission. We have an updated draft of the Memorandum of Understanding which we would submit for your perusal and amendment. We sincerely hope that this partnership will blossom to the benefit of both Commissions and the country at large,” Gbajabiamila concluded.

In his response, the Registrar General/CEO of the CAC, Abubakar Garba, said the CAC had had issues with registration of lottery companies in the past, particularly in states where jurisdiction has continued to be an issue.

Abubakar said: “We have had issues in the past with the registration of lottery companies, particularly when we were challenged by states that the issue of lottery is a concurrent matter and should not be the exclusive preserve of the National Lottery Regulatory Commission “This made us revisit the earlier requirement that approval in principle must be obtained from the NLRC before such registration. But we have been mindful of the need to properly regulate these companies. Generally, as an agency, we have dispensed mostly with the approval in principle because of delay in the process.”

On the issue of approval in principle, the Registrar General disclosed that the CAC would provide a database for the NLRC, so that at first glance it would be able to flag applications that are not genuine.

“Instead of asking for approval in principle, we will create database for the NLRC so that from the comfort of your office, you would be able to verify whether a company is registered with us as a lottery company; if anyone has submitted an application to you, you can also confirm, then if you need any additional information that is not provided in the database, it would be provided to you. I think you’re doing that already but access to the database will give you an opportunity to do first level check. I’m glad you have mentioned the issue of MoU with us. We will look at it to know modifications to make, as well as our own suggestions and then we will finalise on that,” the CAC boss assured.

Director General of the NLRC, Mr. Lanre Gbajabiamila (right), with his counterpart of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mr. Kashifu Inuwa, when the NLRC paid a courtesy visit to NITDA head office in Abuja

Similarly, the NLRC extended its partnership to the National Information Technology Development Agency(NITDA) office in Abuja.

Speaking during the visit, the NLRC DG, Mr. Lanre Gbajabiamila explained the need to collaborate with the agency as Lottery business has grown from a retail paper-coupon playing venture, to different aspects of distribution channels online.

The, DG, NLRC, Mr. Lanre Gbajabiamila (3rd right); the DG\CEO NITDA, Mr Kashifu Inuwa, and some top Management staff of both Commissions during the NLRC courtesy visit.

He further harped on the need to partner with Federal Government agencies to tackle the vast increasing space of remote gaming in Nigeria.

Assuring of his agency’s support and partnership, the Director General/CEO of NITDA, Mr. Kashifu A. Inuwa, said he was delighted at the prospect of the partnership, and a technical team from both agencies would work out the modalities for a proper Memorandum of Understanding.