Gbajabiamila: I Changed Gambling to Gaming Because It’s Entertainment

When his last four-year tenure as the director-general of the National Lottery Regulatory Commission ends next year, Lanre Gbajabiamila will have put in 21 consistent years of service in the industry, starting as an operator in 2003 and working for nearly 10 years as head regulator in Lagos before his current designation, as chief executive officer of Nigeria’s apex lottery agency.

He recently fielded questions from Nseobong Okon-Ekong on the immense growth in the industry, the volume of jobs created and why he is waiting eagerly for the launch of a Central Monitoring System that can track all businesses in the gaming ecosystem real-time online, leading to the next phase of exponential expansion. Excerpts:

Can you give us a glimpse into your typical day at work?

Yeah, this is my typical day. In fact, today is a bit better because I scheduled to meet with you, so, my schedule was not as packed as it normally should be because you came in from Lagos. I just thought I’d give you a little bit of a good time so that I can have this interview.

I have pre-scheduled appointments, meetings with stakeholders, meetings with operators, and issuing of licences. Taking care of petitions brought against operators and players alike, and also unforeseen expectations or invitations from government officials like the supervising minister in our ministry, and also members of the National Assembly committees in charge- overseeing our agency, both in the Senate and the House of Representatives. Sometimes, we have to go there as well. It’s a full pack. There are meetings with my directors and making sure the commission is run adequately. We tackle issues and day-to-day activities that need to keep the commission rolling.

You were in a similar position in Lagos before you came here. How did that prepare you for your current role? Also, would you say there are things that you have found at the centre that you didn’t have to deal with in Lagos?

Yes, obviously. Lagos is a state. But when you are here, you are dealing with all the states. However, I must say, it prepared me for what I am doing now. I don’t know whether you’re aware that I worked with an operator back in 2003. They carried on with a lottery operation in Lagos at that time, and I worked there for two years. I was in charge of their technical department and helped to build the software that they use for their transactions with a Swedish company.

Lanre Gbajabiamila

After that, I moved back to the US. There was an opportunity again to come back home to Lagos, particularly after Lagos established the Lagos State Lotteries Board. At that time, they needed somebody who had lottery experience, as God had it.

I had lottery experience based on my working with an operator, so I was able to get the appointment in 2007. Also, at that time, the government aimed to change the lotteries law. There was a bill to the Lagos State House of Assembly to that effect. I was part of that effort, working with the then Attorney General of Lagos State, Supo Shasore. We worked on an amendment to strengthen the laws for lottery and gaming. I was there for eight years with Governor Fashola. I served Governor Ambode for two years. In 2017, I got an appointment by President Muhammadu Buhari to come here.

Moving here definitely helped me, as I am confronted with the regulatory framework dealing with the same industry: lotteries, casinos, and sports betting. I must say Lagos was the foundation for me, and I’m from Lagos. At that time, the lottery was being done in a very different manner from how it is being done now. They were using coupons until we came and moved everybody to start using more of their system. Technology started a bit there. Some operators, for example, Chief Kessington Adebutu, founder of Premier Lotto, better known as, Baba Ijebu, were very much against.

Obviously, when you are used to a certain way of doing things, you are apprehensive of novelty. But I knew that it was time for change and time to raise the bar. He wasn’t too happy about it. He was like, ‘Who is this guy that wants to scatter my mode of doing business?’ Eventually, you know, he turned around when he saw that his business was better. He was very happy. That was quite an experience. Having dealt with that in Lagos, it was a good foundation for me to come to the centre, even though there are differences in terms of staff strength. In Lagos State, I was probably dealing with about 30 staff. Coming to national, you have a staff strength of about 1,400, and there are zonal offices all over Nigeria. That is a huge difference, considering the diverse cultures and ethnic groups in that. Thank God I was able to manage each one, and I am still here to do my second tenure.

What lottery or gambling licences and permits does the NLRC issue?

We issue core lottery licences, and we also issue sports betting licences to the likes of Bet9ja. We issue casino permits, interactive games permits and promotional permits as well. We have a bouquet of lottery licences/permits that have to do with the gaming industry,

Who can apply for these licences?

You can. We will do due diligence on you. Anybody can.

What do I need to present before you?

Our requirements basically include a company registered with the CAC. We look at your technology and your business plan. We look at your financial capability because the industry, the business, is very capital intensive: You have to pay out. The integrity of the industry is at stake once an operator does not pay out winnings. So, we look at that. We look at your taxes, and then we also do our individual due diligence- KYC policy, that is, know your customer so that we can know to whom we are issuing licences.

What happens to those who apply and you don’t approve? Can they reapply?

Yes, we’ve done it in the past. We started that when I was in Lagos state. It’s always good as a regulator to advise. It’s not just about improving revenue. They need to also counsel them. There is a lot a responsible regulator has to do. You can come to my office, and I will ask you, “Have you done your proper due diligence? Have you done your feasibility studies?”

Because this business is not for everybody, you hear of the Bet9jas, the Premier Lottos, or Golden Chance on how they have been successful. It didn’t happen overnight. Since I know a bit about being an operator, now that I am a regulator, I’m able to advise you or whoever the applicant is that these are what you should expect. Are you sure you want to do this, or do you want to go ahead? Go and think about it. Or do more homework, so to speak.

Some would still say, ‘I’ve done my homework, let’s do it.” Some would go and think about it. Some, by the time they try to submit their applications, we see something that cannot be approved. Then, we don’t approve it. Or they can go back and correct, do the right thing and then come. We have done that as well. It’s just about being responsible as a regulator.

Can you review a licence that has been issued?

Yes, we can review. Then, we’ll go through the same CAC document. It is like you’re applying again. We’ll look at what you brought. Maybe somebody has a new technical partner, and the technical partner is also a shareholder in the company. So, that’s a big difference. And then we look at their finances better. People can reapply; at least, we’ve seen that before. An example is with GLO. How many times did GLO apply for a telco licence? Twice, I think. And they still came back and got it.

Concerning responsible gaming, who are the authorities that the NLRC is partnering with to ensure responsible gambling?

We partnered with a lot of federal agencies, like the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU). They have access to every transaction. We are also working with the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC), as well so that activities of lottery and gaming are safe for all stakeholders in the lottery and gaming ecosystem. We also do our advocacy. We spend quite a bit educating the general public. We partner our stakeholders. They are the main ones, as well as the operators. We are responsible to the players, so to kind of channel it down the ladder, they, too, are able to educate the agents not to go and set up or not to sell tickets, for example, to the underaged.

We also make sure that the technical partners have somebody in the system who is able to analyse and see the patterns of anybody who is placing a bet. If he is spending a very high amount as a frequent player, then the system will alert the operator that that particular player has this pattern. That is part of the responsible gaming mechanism that we use technically. We implore our operators to also have that in their system to mitigate the pattern of players. We don’t want a nation of gamblers.

Have you ever placed a bet?

Never.

Not even to experiment to see how the system works?

Not since I’ve been a regulator. Maybe in my life before, when I was in college trying to see if my luck would be there, yeah, I tried it, and I never won, so I don’t bother anymore. I’ve tried it before, and it was a good experience, but to me now, when I first started, they said the lottery is gambling, and I changed that word gambling to gaming because I believe it’s entertainment. Lottery’s where you play, where you try your luck either for fun or also for contribution; social contribution to help the government. If you win, good. If you don’t win, you’re still a winner because you’ve done a little bit of charity to the government to use the funds for good causes in all the sectors that it is required for.

Who can conduct a trade promo, that promotional lottery?

Trade promo is like what we call a promotional lottery. It is for all of these organisations, corporate entities, banks, telcos, and any entity that wants to promote their products or reward customers, so it is open to anybody. It is not restricted to any organisation.

Do they have to go through the same process as the ones for a permit?

They have to, as a way to, also see us as the responsible regulator that we are. If you are doing a promo that we give you a permit, obviously, you have to be rewarding with some prizes, be it a home, cars, or wherever. We get your application or your proposal, we look at it, you tell us who you are going to be rewarding, and we now verify. We have our department of monitoring and enforcement. They go as a team to verify each promo before the promo starts or before we issue the permit: okay, this is the place, they have these prizes, it is in their warehouse, or the ones that are giving out houses, they have the certificate of ownership to be given out, and so many other products that have been given out. For instance, Big Brother Naija, they give out a lot of prizes, so we verify that. We also give them permits to run that.

Do the sponsors know they have to come to you?

Multichoice knows they have to approach us for the permit, and then they will let us know who their sponsors are. The sponsors come and see us. We will then verify those things that they will give during the period of Big Brother Naija.

Do you have terms and conditions for people who want a promotional lottery?

Like requirements? Basically, it is more or less the same. But it is not as tedious as the ones for core lottery and betting. Obviously, they must have a CAC document; that is to say, they are registered for business in Nigeria. What’s the scheme that they want to do? They must let us know how long it is going to be for, what prizes will be given out, and the mechanism for the game. Those are the basic things that we need to have. There are taxes, obviously. They pay taxes because this has to be documented. When we get audited, they will see that we already have these in place. There’s no operator that has a permit or licence or organisation that has a permit that doesn’t have a file with us that is fully documented for audit purposes.

You gave us a hint about Baba Ijebu and how he reacted when you introduced tech. What new rules or regulations would you recommend right now to help the industry?

The industry is evolving. The industry is growing technology-wise. Sorry that I keep going back to when I was in Lagos, but I have to start somewhere. When I was in Lagos, the technology wasn’t that advanced in lottery and gaming. Everything was within each state. The operations were within each state. The technology they were using was within their state.

But when we now advanced a bit, we said that all their internal transaction have to be brought under a system so that the government can audit to see the integrity of that system. They now started using POS, a point of sale that was integrated into their system, which they were not using before. Previously, they used more paper coupons. That’s what they presented. There wasn’t transparency or accountability for the operator and the agent.

The operators were losing because of what the agents declared to them, but once everything went online, with the POS, they were able to see what they were actually making and who played with which particular agent. It was a plus to them. That’s why when the change came, they were not too sure, but with time, I got calls and letters of appreciation for that initiative that we took because a lot of companies were able to see the point in using technology. From that time; 2014 or 2013, 2012, the innovation of technology continues to grow more than what it was at that time.

To answer your question a bit further, technology is needed in so many ways. We need the Central Monitoring System, CMS, whereby we’re able to monitor all the operators’ activities, not only for financial transactions, which is very important, but also the pattern of the players, and also to determine which states are contributing more to the federation account. At the end of the day, we’re all Nigerians. It is not just about the state. We should be able to track responsible gaming as a regulator without relying on the operator. We should be able to enforce on the operators that are operating and are not compliant because it is by the tip of your system that you close them down, and they are not operating, and you are able to analyse them.

There is this new one that the government has brought in: KYC, data protection, the actual numbers because you guys hear so many numbers out there that the industry is worth trillions, billions. Where are the facts? Nobody knows the facts. Is it what Deloitte or audit firms are saying, or what individuals are saying about Nigeria, that the industry is worth trillions? It might be. It might even be more, but how do we know for sure the actual figure? It is the central monitoring system that can give us the exact position. That’s what determines it. Everything else is just speculation. And I don’t like to work on speculation. It’s not fair to me, and it’s not fair to the stakeholders. We need to be sure what we’re throwing out there. To those who think that they know more than the regulator, they should show us proof. You should ask them, ‘Where is your source? Where’s this data coming from?’ I guarantee you, they can’t give you because they don’t know. I’m telling you that the only way that we can know is to have a Central Monitoring System.

What’s delaying the Central Monitoring System?

A lot. Not a lot like that, but the government delayed it last year. But I believe that the government of Bola Ahmed Tinubu, with his ‘Renewed Hope Agenda’, and with his reputation from Lagos as a revenue-generating governor, and what he has done building Lagos on the technical platform that all the other governors have been using to date, then we will be able to get this one done this time around with this new administration.

Nigeria is in dire straits right now, and we need revenue. We all know the situation of the economy. Anything from the lottery industry will be well appreciated. That’s why I feel strongly that we’ll get this done. It will be a win-win situation for everybody. It’s not just a win for the federal government, this central monitoring system, because what it also helps us to do, to know, is that we’ll know which state, I’m from Lagos, when we go to Lagos, what Lagos is entitled to, Lagos will be getting. We will be able to see it. The beautiful thing about this is we can also let the other stakeholders, our ministry of finance, and our state regulators they can see what is coming to each state because Lagos is the biggest when it comes to lottery and gaming, so you cannot expect us to give what is going to Lagos to the other states that are not as vibrant. Yes, they will get it, but this system will let us see the transaction, both on mobile and on the internet.

And also, it will help us to see what we call remote gaming. What do I mean by remote gaming? These operators are from outside the jurisdiction of Nigeria. Our players participate. Yes, they pay them the winnings, but do they pay government taxes? Is there recourse to the government? No. And we’re losing billions in that sector. With this, we have a regulation for that in our new bill. So we’ll be able to capture that. Good times are coming up in this lottery and gaming industry. And I think we are going to get there this year. Once we’re able to see everybody’s transaction from any state through the help, because we can even do it all alone, we also are engaging our sister federal agencies that have stronger mandates for this online space.

The NCC, we have an MoU with them. We have an MoU with NFIU. Let us see how the financial transactions go. We also have an MoU with NITDA. We are also in touch with the office of the National Security Adviser to shut down anybody’s IP addresses; they have the power to do that. There are so many things we can do with our state regulators. We are not doing any ‘big brother’ or anything like that. We can work collectively, together; harmonise our laws, standardise our laws. Everybody will know their role. What is supposed to go to every state for those within the state? Those who have retail shops within the states will capture that revenue. When I was in Lagos state, that’s what I was doing. I’m sure they would have told you that when I was in Lagos, I did this and that against the Director General who was here at that time. I don’t know whether it was part of your question, but I better throw it out there: that’s the elephant in the room.

Yes, I did that because back then, the lottery industry wasn’t as advanced as it is today. Operators in Lagos were operating within Lagos. They didn’t have any reason to go outside Lagos. They were not on mobile. They were not on the internet. So I said to the DG then, ‘No, they are within Lagos. If they go outside Lagos to other states, then you can go after them’. So, that was how I protected my jurisdiction and operators at that time. Not knowing, you know how God works, that the tables would turn, not exactly a U-turn, but I am now on the other side. And now some people are using that to say, ‘You started this, you started that’, but what I did was for good reasons. But now that we are here, we are all online.

Those years have changed, and the industry has changed. The industry will still change five years from now. That’s why we need to work collectively. That’s why we’re working with all these agencies of the Federal Government. And that’s why state regulators cannot give directives to the federal agencies that have the mandate, but we can do that to help everybody.

What do you need to do to let the state and other stakeholders understand your viewpoint?

I don’t know what else I can do, to be quite honest, because I’ve been trying from day one when I resumed office here with the previous GM in Lagos state who took over from me. I started the stakeholders’ meeting. I invited everyone to our office. They came once or twice, and all of a sudden, they stopped. The new CEO came on board, I welcomed him. We saw in Lagos; we discussed. We had our conferences; he was invited. But never showed up. I can’t force anybody. After that, we invited the state regulators, and some came. We have an attendance register for the last one we did. Even at our last International Gaming Conference, some still came.

I don’t know why we are doing this. The Association of Bookmakers, the lottery operators forum, they see our efforts to bring everybody together, and they talk to the state regulators, but it seems that there is, I don’t want to make accusations, but it seems that there is not a collective sense of responsibility for them to come on board and no man is an island.

We are federal, but we are not showing all of our powers of enforcement. You know, the commission is responsible. The commission has an open-door policy. We are open-minded. If it was maybe another person, they might just say, ‘You know what, let me use my apparatus of federal’, the few ones that I have mentioned, to tell the necessary agencies to just shut certain operators down from the air and stop them from doing business online. We are not like that. We won’t do that. But with time, we are still very hopeful that they will reason…some sense of belonging because everybody is in a position. That’s a matter of time. They’re not going to be there forever. How do you want to be remembered when you leave? We engaged at the last meeting, at my instance, Lagos, to be precise. I met with Mr. Governor: he was very attentive and showed concern, and he initiated a meeting for me to meet the attorney general and we met sometime last year in the AG’s office, and our Lagos state counterpart was there with some of his directors, the directors from the Ministry of Justice, my directors were there, and we went from Abuja. We met, and we explained all that I’ve said in terms of working together, agency to agency. I explained how online works, giving them the option that retail belongs to every state. So, they said they would get back to us and as usual, we’re still here.

Hopefully, they’ll get back to us. Maybe tomorrow or in the near future, but we’re still very optimistic. I spoke to the AG a few weeks back, just as a reminder, because he’s a man who, coincidentally, was the solicitor general when I was in Lagos state, so we worked together. He said he’ll get back to me, so I’m hopeful because we need to do this, not just for the regulator but for the industry and for investors. We need investors. The first thing they asked me was ‘What are you doing with this double taxation, state versus federal?’ it is not helping and then the operators as well. They have to pay different taxes everywhere they operate.

Have you tried a political solution? You have same political party in power at the centre and in Lagos?

It is a matter of understanding the industry. And if they understand, or maybe they understand. But they just feel that they have some ego, maybe. ‘No, this is how it should be. Meanwhile, the reality is what we have now: federal and state. The federal government has access to federal agencies that control the space that the lottery operators are using. The state doesn’t have the apparatus for that. So, there are still substantial operations in retail, within each state. With that, some revenue can accrue to the states, but if we have a central monitoring system, we’re able to determine what transactions emerge from each state and what goes to Lagos. I’m from Lagos. I don’t want to deprive my state, they will get the chunk size. Like I said too, we can share the view of what is made every month and see what was made just for transparency. We have nothing to hide.

Is this central monitoring system proposal in the new law that is coming?

Yes, it is in the new law.

And this new law is proposed by the NLRC?

It is being proposed by the NLRC and the National Assembly.

What state is it at now?

Unfortunately, they didn’t give it to former President Buhari. So everything is done. We are very hopeful that the new leadership of the National Assembly will bring it in for Mr President’s assent.

It is at that stage?

Yes, it is at that stage.

Let me play the devil’s advocate. The one argument that I often hear from the state regulators is that the Constitution doesn’t say that a federal agency has the power, nor does it state the power to do what you do. So, they are standing on the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Let’s give you an example: what about the telcos? They are not just only cross-border. They are also interstate. We are talking about interstate now. Are we now going to say that what the constitution says is, as much as it is the law, right? Those laws that were written did not envisage what we are experiencing now. And if they want to stick to that, how do they want to implement it? What apparatus do they have? Are they going to undermine the federal agency?

Does the new law that’s coming take that into consideration? Will that part of the constitution be amended?

We have solutions in the new bill. We cannot change the Constitution. The constitution is bigger than the commission. We’ve taken into consideration all that. We’ve explained to them at so many meetings on this matter, and we are in the Supreme Court now. Let the Supreme Court decide.

Why don’t we hear about mega winnings like we have in the US? Is it that our economy cannot accommodate such?

Our economy can accommodate it. As you are aware, we also launched, about two years ago, the National Lottery Nigeria and the operation has been online since its inception. We are now moving back to going retail because the strategy of the consultant was to first start online and build up to the retail, whereby we will now take the product to every state. The purpose of that is to do the rollover, our major game, six of 49, not the regular ones that the operators are doing now, five of 90, which is a fixed odds game. With this one to roll over, and if it continues to roll over, there will be the Mega Powerball.

With this, we are also working with our West African state neighbour, Ghana. We are also a member of the African Lottery Association. Being a member of the association all other countries, like Cote d’Ivoire, are members of that association and will also be able to participate in this lottery. Like you said, again, this is also online. Everybody can be part of it. We were working on that, but these things, you have to keep pushing it as they traction, it doesn’t happen overnight. The Baba Ijebus have been doing it since I was in secondary school, and that is why he has established himself. There are so many operators like that, even the Bet9jas. I was the one that licensed them, and they started small, but look at how big they are now. Give us time, we are getting there, and everybody can participate. The good thing is that it is going to be a live draw on NTA. It is part of the advantage of the Lottery Commission. We have partnered NTA to air it just before the 9 o’clock news, that way everybody gets to see it and payment will be done.

You seem not to agree with people who are hazarding a guess about revenue in the gaming industry. What volume of revenue is the NLRC contributing to the coffers?

I like to work on facts. In our industry, we need to be very careful. The industry has grown, don’t get me wrong. The industry has grown from what I knew in 2003 when I was working as an operator, to what I saw in my almost 10 years in Lagos state. The industry has contributed billions, more than what I even generated when I was in Lagos State because I was able to generate almost N7 billion to N8 billion in IGR during that period when I was in Lagos state. The records are there to be shown, and I have it in my file as well.

So the records are there. That was so many years ago, so if you now look at what we’re doing now, and the number of operators, the online traction that we’re getting, and the way we’re seeing how the operators are developing, I would say we are maybe a bit shy of a trillion naira. But that’s just me still speculating. And I don’t want to speculate, but once we get this CMS, I will publicise it, saying this is what we are now making. This is our actual figures. And it could be more. It is possible, but let us base it on facts.

Let us start with you, sir.

Oh, really?

Are you not the one with all the facts? You license them.

I don’t see all their transactions.

That’s why you want the Central Monitoring System.

I don’t see it because it is what they declare to us, we take. That is the importance of the CMS. It is what they send to us on their monthly and audited reports, even though we go there ourselves. Once they plug into it, the CMS is real-time online. There is no hiding place. We will see everything. We will know the number of payouts. We know the number of players. So these numbers are very important. And that’s what the CMS is going to give to us, so I don’t have the actual numbers to give.

And that’s why I say, even when I go to the National Assembly, when I am called, when I am on the phone, that’s what I say, but what we need is what we are telling the government to do. Once we get that, there is no excuse for anybody to give. These are the actual numbers the government will see because they will have access to the CMS to look at it to see what we’re making. There’s no hiding what is going on. And that’s what is done all over the world.

When you say a little shy of a trillion, do you mean annually?

Let us get the CMS. I don’t want to put a number out there that I am not sure of. What I have just said is a speculation. It is not actual because I don’t have it.

Did you see the storm on X a couple of weeks ago? Some people were pushing for a ban on lottery and gaming in Nigeria. What is your stance?

Ignorance is a disease. I don’t know what they’re talking about. A ban? Why? Does the person know what lottery is contributing to the ecosystem and the social economy of Nigeria for him or her to say that they should ban the lottery? Does the person know the employment lottery is giving out as per Mr. President’s agenda? Does he know what lottery operators are contributing?

Let’s say ignorance is a disease. That’s why we, as regulators, need to continue raising awareness, holding stakeholders’ conferences, and being out there in the media. People like you need to assist and say things, which I know you do regarding this industry. We must congratulate you for taking that niche, using THISDAY, and giving out a platform for collating news and events on the lottery and gaming industry in Nigeria every Thursday. Well done. So we need a platform like that to speak on behalf of the stakeholders; whether it’s good or bad, be factual. I don’t like fake news; there is a lot of fake news out there. But I have learnt to deal with it because I understood fake news more when I got to Abuja. When I was in Lagos, there was nothing like fake news.

Would you say that you are able to know the top lottery and betting operators in Nigeria in terms of the revenue that comes to you?

Yeah, I know them.

Do you want to mention?

I don’t want to discourage the other ones because some are trying, some just started. But yeah, everybody knows the top ones in the industry, and nobody will dispute, for instance, when it comes to the core lottery, Premier Lotto, otherwise known as Baba Ijebu, is tops. Nobody can ever dispute that. Even the operators in that sector of the lottery give respect to the Premier Lotto. The brand has been working for over 40 plus years. So, they have made their niche as the leaders of the industry. Then we also have a few other ones like Winners Golden Chance. We have R&S in Enugu, he took his niche in Enugu, and he is doing well.

And then when we go back to the sports betting, we have the Bet9ja. We have BetKing. BetWay is also top there. Then, we have the other ones, too, whose trajectory we can see is improving, and they are taking the initiative in doing other things as well. Apart from what they contribute to the government through their remittances for good causes, some of these companies also do their own CSR. When you hear somebody going on X and saying negative things about the industry, maybe that person should go for the Lottery and Gaming 101 lecture so that they can retrieve that comment. You have to give these people some credit. They’re doing well.

How does the NLRC’s slogan, ‘Lottery, the right way’, resonate with other ancillary things you have here: welfare and the rest for the staff? Is their welfare the right way?

I met that saying here. I didn’t invent it. I think it was the former DG, Peter Igho, that started that slogan. I kept it. It sounded right, that we will always do things the right way, whether it is in the industry or within the commission itself. Work ethics has to be the right way. Whatever we do, the right way. Lottery is our family, so we all look to that.

The welfare of the staff is very important to me, which is one of the things I made sure I changed when I took over as DG back in 2017. I saw that the salaries were poor; it wasn’t as good. Coming from Lagos, comparing Lagos salary, the money they were paying them here is very small, but I don’t have any control over that. As a civil service, there is a benchmark. What I did was to ease the burden of the salary. We were able to get three Coaster buses for the staff to use for their transportation to and fro the office. I made sure that they had better working tools. We are training them better, specific to the industry so that they will know what they are doing.

In the last two years, I’ve also started giving them a peculiar allowance, which is in addition to what they are getting every month. The welfare of the staff is very important because if you take care of your staff, you get better production. So far, their enthusiasm for work has improved. Since I came here, I can say that without a doubt.

Source: thisdaylive.com

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