National, Lagos Lottery Boards No Longer at Loggerhead, Says Gbajabiamila

Lanre Gbajabiamila

Segun James

Director-General of the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC), Mr. Lanre Gbajabiamila, has said the commission was no longer at daggers drawn with Lagos State Lottery Commission (LSLC) over the control and regulation of the business in the country.

This was coming as the National Lottery Trust Fund (NLTF) said it has generated over N9.5 billion since it was created, funds which were used for sports development in primary and secondary schools in the country.

Gbajabiamila disclosed this in Lagos at the ministerial retreat for the establishment of a four-year strategic plan for the Federal Ministry of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs.

The regulatory chief added that because the regulation of lottery business now involved multi-agencies, including the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN); the National Communication Commission (NCC), the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the telecommunication companies among others, the control of the business has grown beyond the control of state governments.

Gbajabiamila, who acknowledged the fact LSLC came into existence before the federal agency, explained that because the business goes beyond the boundaries of the state, it could not be allowed to manage business beyond its mandate.

Meanwhile, the Executive Secretary of the National Lottery Trust Fund, Dr. Bello Maigari, has disclosed that from its inception, the fund has generated over N9.5 billion.

Maigari added that this has been used mainly for sports intervention programmes in both primary and secondary schools across the country, noting that over 2,500 schools have benefitted from the intervention.

However, the Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, Senator George Akume, has said the process of actualising the vision of President Muhammadu Buhari to lift over 100 million Nigerians out of poverty has commenced.

According to him, “I am confident that the retreat will address relevant and topical issues that would enable participants to gain valuable insights into the perspectives, policies and strategies that will shape the growth and development of the ministry towards contributing massively to Mr. President’s and of course the present administration’s Next Level Agenda.

“It is a fact that the recreation of the Federal Ministry of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs is a confirmation of the present administration’s commitment to improve governance and ease access of government to the people at the grassroots. It is on record that the ministry is charged with several responsibilities among which are first, monitoring, verification and authorising all payments of constituency projects; second, evaluating the implementation of federal executive council policies, programmes and projects by other ministries, departments and agencies and report back to the president in council; and third, conducting, coordinating, and promoting good and harmonious relationships among the three tiers and arms of government and relevant international bodies.’’

Akume, represented by his Permanent Secretary, Engineer Festus Daudu, explained that the Federal Ministry of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs was recreated to engender development and to boost government activities across various sectors, noting that there’s a need to create a policy direction in the course of carrying out its function.

“It is in this regard that we are all gathered here today to fashion out the path towards the actualisation of the ministry’s laudable and enriching mandates. The need for a comprehensive policy and strategic direction to craft a road-map for the implementation of government policies programmes and projects, therefore, cannot be overstated.

“In the light of the new focus of the ministry, there is a dire need to define a definite action strategy to support the numerous on-going national programmes of the Next Level Agenda of this administration. The potential of the ministry as a tool for socio-economic development is not in doubt. Our collective will and determination are therefore required at this time to pave the way for sustained growth and development,” he said.

The Permanent Secretary said with the calibre of people present at the retreat, its outcome would certainly go a long way in actualising the ministry’s mandate towards moving the country to the next level in line with Mr. President’s agenda.

He said: “We shall continuously need the support and cooperation of all of you and those of other Nigerian sat all times in this regard.

“We will like to put on record here that, our choice of Lagos, to host this retreat is not by mistake but for so many positive attributes that the state is known for including the convenience of holding any event here being the nations old capital city. We are well aware of the historical significance and legacy of Lagos as a Centre of Excellence. Holding the event here will no doubt ensure a quicker realisation of our aims and objectives and the fulfilment of our vision, mission and commitment to ensure that we make a difference in actualising the mandate of the ministry.”