ABUJA–THE Federal Government through the National Lottery Regulatory Commission, NLRC, has concluded plans to organize a conference to look into allegations of multiple taxation, over-regulation and issues of underage gaming in the country.
The conference according to the Director General of the NLRC, Mr. Lanre Gbajabiamila is part of the efforts by the commission towards boosting the revenue earnings of the country.
Already, major lottery operators in Lagos State have allegedly consented to fully support the national gaming conference.
A statement issued on Sunday in Abuja by Head of Communications for the Commission, Mr. Magnus Ekechukwu, stated that the conference was “one of the means through which the commission seeks to make more money for the country and lottery operators.”
According to the statement, “Relentless in its innovative drive for enhanced lottery business in Nigeria, the commission has put together the national Gaming Conference where all the germane issues concerning the growth of lottery business would be discussed and successful paths created for higher gains for the stakeholders and more revenue for the country.
“In his characteristic manner of seeking the best at all times, the Director General of the commission, Mr. Lanre Gbajabiamila used the entire week visiting major stakeholders in the Nigeria’s commercial capital, Lagos where he received a resounding assurance of the readiness of the key lottery business owners to fully participate in the conference scheduled to hold in Lagos between 25th and 27th of this month
“Accompanied by his management team, Mr. Lanre Gbajabiamila, paid courtesy visits to select major licensed operators, explaining the importance of the programme and how it would be of immense benefit to all stakeholders.
” Some of the operators already visited include Premier Lotto Limited, (Baba Ijebu), Winners Golden Chance, Digi Bay Limited (Betway), KC Gaming limited, (Bet9ja), Naira Bet, Bet King and a host of others.”
The statement further explained that at each of the locations, the Director General took time out to explain the importance of the forth-coming conference to the entire lottery and gaming industry in Nigeria, describing the event as the first of its kind in the Nigerian Lottery and Gaming industry.
The Director General was quoted as saying that the conference was being organized to create the much needed awareness on the mandate of the NLRC, with a view to enlightening all stakeholders on the need to establishing a broader, stronger and virile working synergy which would help to grow the industry for the benefit of all Nigerians.
He said, “The lottery industry is a peculiar one that requires better understanding and cooperation from every one for it to thrive. The Government, as well as all critical stakeholders deserves the best from the industry, we need to synergize to ensure we have a growth pattern that would favour everyone.
“The Lottery Commission cannot do it alone, everyone, including the operators, government, and other sister regulatory agencies have to join us in the effort to reposition the lottery and gaming industry for sustainable growth and development.”
Continuing, the DG said “the National Gaming Conference is being packaged by Nigerians and for Nigerians”, adding that the need for gaming companies to source their technical providers from Nigeria would be brought to the fore; an idea he said was to encourage home-grown technology as well as boost the local content policy of the federal government.
The Director General further stated “that many germane issues would be discussed, including issues relating to multiple taxation, over-regulation as being alleged in some quarters, jurisdictional boundaries, legislative and legal issues, underage gaming and overall strategies for boosting the lottery and gaming sector in Nigeria.”
Some of the agencies expected to participate in the conference, he said, include the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit, NFIU, the Independent Corrupt Practices (and other related offences) Commission, ICPC, Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, Gaming and Lottery operators, state regulators, as well as other top government functionaries drawn from the three arms of government.