Lanre Gbajabiamila, Director General, National Lottery Regulatory Commission, has asked all erring lottery operators to defray all debts owed to the Federal Government or face stiff sanctions.
The National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLC) is partnering with anti-corruption agencies to curb fraud in the lottery system, its Director-General, Lanre Gbajabiamila, has said.
According to him, the collaboration with “the National Information Technology and Development Agency (NITDA), the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC)” will help “to combat cyber fraud that is associated with lottery in the country.”
A statement signed by Magnus Ekechukwu, assistant director, Public Affairs, of the commission, quoted Mr Gbajabiamila as saying on Tuesday that part of the plan to tackle fraud is setting up of a central monitoring system.
This, he said, would ensure that all earnings due to government on lottery were collected with precision.
Mr Gbajabiamila said with the new system, all the loopholes and drains in the lottery business would be blocked to ensure that all taxes and revenues payable to government are fully collected and remitted.
He said this could make the commission become one of the top revenue earners for Nigeria.
“I am upbeat that in a matter of some few years, lottery shall become a major source of revenue for Nigeria,”
Mr Gbajabiamila said further that with the arrangements being put in place by the commission, lottery would soon be contributing significantly to “the federal treasury as it is being done in advanced countries like America, UK and Spain.”
He also claimed that that the commission under his watch had been reogarnised and “raking in billions of Naira for the government and it has continued to grow steadily since then”.
The Director General said the commission under his leadership was totally committed to the goals of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari on the diversification of Nigeria’s economy.
“We have remained tirelessly ingenious in engendering means of improving on revenue earnings for Nigeria and bettering lottery business in all ramifications,” he said.
He said both the management and staff members of the commission were already being trained and given enhanced welfare package for the workers.
He assured that in addition to the recently approved Peculiar Allowance for members of staff of the commission, the enhanced salary structure permitted for them since 2015 would become implementable after the realisation of the new monitoring system as the commission would then have sufficient funds to meet its obligations.
The Director General further revealed that work is at advanced stage on the establishment of an indigenous National Game with all the benefits of higher revenues for the government, greater dividends for players and profound growth in the industry, generally.
He commended the Minister of Special Duties, George Akume, who supervises the commission, and the Governing Board of the commission led by Fatai Ibikunle, as well as the management and staff members for what he described as their “supportive roles.”