By Michael Olugbode
A member of the Presidency National Lottery Regulatory Commission Governing Board, Abubakar Rajab, has called for the probe of the Lanre Gbajabiamila’s led management for intentional diversion of funds from the Treasury Single Account (TSA), among other fraud allegations.
Rajab, who spoke with journalists in Abuja yesterday, lamented that the management of Gbajabiamila has spent over N26 billion in four years from Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), and called on the federal government to initiate an immediate fiscal audit of the National Lottery Commission.
According to him, the Lottery Regulatory Commission as one of the revenue generating agencies of the federal government has operated as a liability generation agency rather than making income for the government.
He alleged that: “The director-general has always spent from the commission’s IGR which ideally should not even be accessible if properly remitted in the first instance. This expenditure on the IGR over the years has run into billions of naira, funds that should have been remitted to the government coffers for the good of all.
“In 2017, over N500, 000,000 was spent from the commission’s IGR. In 2018, over N960,000,000 was spent from the commission’s IGR without appropriation against N73,000,000 appropriated for 2018 as administrative expenses.”
He added that: “In 2019, over N1,000, 000, 000 was spent from the commission’s IGR without appropriation as against N75,000,000 appropriated for 2019 as administrative expenses. In 2020, over N1, 000, 000,000 was spent from the commission’s IGR.”
Rajab noted that lottery companies with branches in other African countries are generating revenue to boosts their respective countries, but that has not been the case in Nigeria, lamenting that: “Unfortunately, Nigeria with a population of over 200 million barely makes only N2 billion annually.
“Senegal with a population of 12 million generates 200 billion CFA (about N125 billion) annually, while Ivory Coast, with 25 million population generates 500 billion CFA (about N312 billion) annually. Burkina Faso with a population of 20 million also generates 900 billion CFA (about N562billion) annually.”