Lottery and sports-betting companies operating in the country have defaulted in tax payment and other remittances to the federal government to the tune of N591 billion in the last 14 years.
Senator Burunji Kashamu, who represented Ogun East Senatorial District in the eighth senate, revealed this during an interview with journalists in Lagos at the weekend, saying that tax revenue from lotto industry can take Nigeria out of its economic woes if properly harnessed.
According to him, the failure of lotto industry operators to be faithful in the payment of taxes and levies to the government was partly responsible for the inability of government to be up to date in infrastructure development.
“I have it on good authority that all the promoters ought to have paid N600 billion to the Federal Government and its agencies but they have only paid N9 billion in the last 14 years. It is common knowledge that leading lottery and sports-betting companies are generating more than N1.5billion daily and N45billion monthly but do not pay the appropriate taxes. Some of them have over 400 active accounts in various banks in Nigeria that they use to perpetrate their fraud and illegality of short-changing the government,”he said.
Hea dded: “All the lottery and sports-betting companies have over 60,000 outlets/agents spread all over the country. Instead of them to allow the industry to flourish like it is in Ghana, South Africa, United States and the United Kingdom, where the funds are used to support the government and promote good causes, they short-change the Federal Government while feathering their own nest. Can you imagine one lottery operator saying he wanted to fix the National Stadium in Lagos when he has government’s money in his hands? What kind of corporate social responsibility or philanthropy is that?”