Nigeria Set-up Committee to Recover Billions from Lottery Companies

The Nigerian government echoed that it is losing billions of naira to unpaid revenue from lottery operators from 2015 to the lottery sector due to outstanding payment from lottery operators through tax.

Consequently, due to this, the government inaugurated an 11-man ministerial task force committee in Abuja to recover such funds across the country. The committee members include the chairman Mr. Williams Alo, Permanent Secteray in the ministry, and the following members include the Director-General National Lottery Regulatory Commission, Mr. Lanre Gbajabiamila, Mr. Bello Maigari, and Mr. Okechikwu Oduma, and other members are Dr. Stella Maduka, Mrs. Okunade Serah. Mr. Simon Tyungu, Mr. Jude Ughwujabo, including a representative from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Economic Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), and a Nigerian representative Police Force.

The task force members are also expected to recover funds from the lottery permits holders across the country, and they are given two months to complete their task.

According to Sen George Akume, Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs made this known that the inaugurated special Ministerial Committee Taskforce to be chaired by the Permanent Secretary to recover unpaid revenue from lottery operators and permit holders in Nigeria from 2015.

“The terms of the reference are expressly stated in the appointment letters forwarded to designated task force members, and it is expected that the task force shall complete its work within the next two months,” –  he said.

Minister further said that he had ample opportunity to consult with industry stakeholders since he assumed duties, adding that he was unsatisfied with his findings from lottery operations across the country. Historic revenues collection from lottery and gaming transactions has underperformed, resulting in significant government losses.

“Despite my earlier appeal for the increased effort by operators to pay what they owe, statutory returns continue to be low”, – Akume said.

Lanre Gbajabiamila

Therefore, he charges the task force to determine what funds are owed to the government from 2015 to 2020 and facilitate the immediate recovery of fund funds to the government treasury. The government also expressed displeasure over inadequate income from the country’s lottery sector despite the numbers that have established operations in the country compared to what is obtained from other countries. The lottery sector in Nigeria had the potential to increase the country’s revenue base if the proceeds made from it were remitted correctly as required, regarding the need to raise funds for the administrative issues of this country.

This country cannot continue to depend on oil as reasonable effort is being made to diversify the economy. That is why we have to look at some gaps that are not generating enough funds from the lottery to meet up the excellent course and help the government pursue its developmental projects. Also, Mr. Lanre Gbabiamila explained that the committee would serve as a platform to capture all the lottery operators in the country who owe the government.

“The central monitoring system will capture any leakage, meaning the authority is working towards all the operators in Nigeria will be connected to that platform, and it will capture online transactions, so there’s no way the brand can hide.”

Thus the regulatory board, in turn, plans to implement technology that will capture all operator’s transactions process to monitor the transactions of each operator of credit and debit balance to determine their proceeds.

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