Allegations of Misappropriation: Nigerian Lottery Trust Fund Faces Scrutiny by House of Representatives Committee

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The House of Representatives Committee on Finance is currently conducting a status enquiry into the National Lottery Trust Fund (NLTF) following allegations of the misappropriation of its entire internally generated revenue (IGR) amounting to N2.5 billion in 2023. The Committee’s Chairman, James Faleke, issued the directive during an interactive session on the 2024-2026 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper. The allegations suggest that the head of the fund may have misused the generated revenue.

Key Points:

  1. Misappropriation Allegations: The NLTF is under investigation for allegedly misappropriating its entire internally generated revenue of N2.5 billion in 2023. Lawmakers raised concerns during an interactive session on the fiscal strategy paper, accusing the head of the fund of financial misconduct.
  2. Directive from Committee Chairman: Committee Chairman James Faleke ordered a status enquiry into the NLTF’s financial activities. He instructed the Fiscal Responsibility Commission and the Office of the Accountant General to conduct probes into the fund and submit their reports to the Committee.
  3. Financial Submission by NLTF: Bello Maigari, the Executive Secretary/CEO of the NLTF, revealed that the fund generated N2,492,996,588.13 in 2023, and the entire sum had been expended on various projects. The revenue was generated through statutory remittances collected from licensees and permit holders.
  4. Committee’s Response: Faleke expressed skepticism about the complete expenditure of all revenue generated within a year, stating that it seemed unlikely. He emphasized that the NLTF, being a government-funded agency, is obligated by law to remit 100% of its IGR.
  5. Status Enquiry and Potential Consequences: The Committee announced a status enquiry, intending to bring in an external auditor to scrutinize the NLTF’s accounts, income, and expenses from inception to date. Faleke warned of potential consequences, including a requirement to refund any misused funds and other applicable punishments if guilt is established.

Summary: The House of Representatives Committee on Finance has initiated a status enquiry into the National Lottery Trust Fund, responding to allegations of misappropriating its entire internally generated revenue in 2023. The Committee’s directive, prompted by concerns raised during a fiscal strategy session, includes probes by the Fiscal Responsibility Commission and the Office of the Accountant General. The NLTF, established for the execution of good cause projects in Nigeria, is now under scrutiny for potential financial misconduct, with the outcome of the status enquiry expected to have significant consequences for the fund’s leadership if wrongdoing is established.

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