The Federal Government has inaugurated a 12-man ministerial task force to recover unremitted lottery funds from operators and permit holders, from 2015 to 2020. This was even as it said that Nigeria can generate over 20 billion per annum from the lottery subsector.
The members of the task force included the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, William Alo; Director General National Lottery Regulatory Commission, Lanre Gbajabiamila; Executive Secretary, National Lottery Trust Fund, Bello Maigari; Okechukwu Odunna, Director of Enforcement; Stella Maduka, Okunade Sarah, Simon Tyunku Jude Ughwujabo and representatives of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), and the Nigeria Police.
While inaugurating the Committee yesterday, in Abuja, Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, George Akume, urged them to be at their best in ensuring that they recover every kobo belonging to government.
He said: “It is clear that historic revenues collections from lottery and gaming transactions have underperformed resulting in significant losses to government.
Despite my earlier appeal for increased effort by operators to pay what they owe, statutory returns have continued to be poor or non existent.”
Meanwhile, the Director General, National Lottery Regulatory Commission, Lanre Gbajabiamila, has said that with the setting up of a central monitoring system, Nigeria could make N20 billion per annum, as it would be difficult for operators to cheat government.
He added that the country currently generates over N1 billion annually unlike before when it was making about N400 to N500 million. He said: “I have been in office for the last 2 years and things are shaping up than it was before, that is why we have gone pass the N1 billion mark. Before my time, we were making N400 million to N500 million.
But since inception, we have done well than what we were doing before. But we can do better.