IGP Mohammed Abubakar
The National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC) is seeking collaboration with the Police to guide against fraudulent activities in telecoms lotteries and promos.
The essence of the collaboration is to get Police support in eliminating fraudulent activities in telecoms lottery, which could lead to heavy loss of revenue on the part of government and the telecoms operators, if not checked.
Director-General, NLRC, Dr. Peter Igho, who led a delegation from NLRC on a courtesy visit to the office of the Lagos State Commissioner of Police in charge of Special Fraud Unit recently, projected that telecoms lotteries and promos in Nigeria could generate over N300 billion annually if the rules and regulations guiding lottery were obeyed.
He said telecoms lottery would generate huge sums of money for Nigeria, if the lottery activities remained free from fraudulent practices.
Igho explained that the aim of the visit was to strengthen partnership with the police towards ensuring that fraudulent activities in lottery business are addressed.
“Nigeria can earn huge revenue for good cause from lottery.
Unlike gambling that is illegal, and only benefits a few individuals, lottery all over the world is legitimate and has been a reliable source of revenue for many countries to implement social projects that benefit the people.
"All over the world, lottery has been used to raise money to promote good causes. For instance, 80 per cent of the money, being used to sponsor the ongoing Olympics Games in London, came from lottery. In Britain alone, over 22 billion Pounds has been raised in 14 years from lottery and it has been used to promote education, support religious activities, and many more," he said.
He, however, stated that Nigeria was yet to enjoy the full benefits from ongoing lotteries in the country because many people do it fraudulently and without transparency and honesty.
According to Igho, a survey carried out by the Commission had shown that Nigerian telecoms revolutions had opened a new vista for organisations to engage in lottery, backed by the Nigeria Lottery Act, (NLA 2005), which gives NLRC the power to transparency in lottery regulation.
He said only people with credible characters should run lottery business in Nigeria.
He said it was surprising how companies had left their primary business to focus on running promos and lotteries to make money, rather than doing so in a mutually-beneficial arrangement as stipulated by the law.
Stating the provision of the NLA 2005, Igho said, "Statutorily, in any lottery project, 50 per cent of the money realised should go to those that participated in it, 30 per cent for the company running the lottery and 20 per cent to the NLRC Trust Fund, where such fund can now be given out on request by Nigerians or any other institution to promote good cause."