Against the backdrop of the current instability in the nation’s oil revenue, the federal government has said that it will do everything humanly possible to revitalise the lottery industry given the enormous revenue potentialities it holds for the country.
This was disclosed by the permanent secretary in charge of Special Duties in the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF), Chief Williams Alo, at the official launch and donation of Medical First Aid Kits to public secondary schools in Nigeria by the National Lottery Trust Fund (NLTF) in Abuja, yesterday.
Alo, who was the special guest of honour at the event, noted that from the earliest times in human civilisation, wealth generated from lottery had been used to transform societies through the provision of infrastructure and other socio-economic services.
“Given its stability, reliability and predictability as a source of revenue, one can easily appreciate the enormous promise that lottery holds for a country like Nigeria, with a population of over 170 million people and the largest economy in Africa. Accordingly, government will do everything humanly possible to revitalise this industry that holds great promise for Nigeria in raising enormous revenues.
“By today’s commissioning ceremony, the National Lottery Trust Fund has proved to Nigerians that lottery is working and it is now ready to rise up to its statutory mandate, and consequently, Nigerians should get ready for a new dimension of the federal government’s Change Agenda.
“With the current instability in our oil revenue due to several factors, including global conflicts, world economic downturn, and the discovery of oil in erstwhile oil-importing countries, the need to grow other non-oil sources of revenue cannot be overemphasised. Lottery is one of such alternative revenue sources that this government has identified, hence will make it more productive and sustainable,” Alo said.
He added that as the sector becomes firmly established, it is expected that lottery revenue would be included in the strategic plan of the nation.
The permanent secretary also revealed that the federal government is currently in the process of reviewing the provisions of the National Lottery Act 2005 in order to remove its “inefficiencies” and at the same time strengthen the capacities of both the National Lottery Regulatory Commission and NLTF, which were created by the existing law, to perform their functions effectively.
Alo called on the lottery operators to be alive to their responsibilities or risk having their licences withdrawn.
“Government is interested in maximising the returns obtainable from lottery for good causes, and consequently enjoins all players and stakeholders to support it in bringing the needed benefits for the Nigerian people.
“Accordingly, persons and organisations licensed to engage in national lottery business must therefore sit up and be seen to perform or have their licences revoked,” he warned.
On his part, the acting executive secretary/CEO of the fund, Bello Maigari, said the NLTF would maintain its focus and vision as a catalyst for social transformation.
LEADERSHIP Friday reports that nine public secondary schools in Abuja are beneficiaries of the customised First Aid Kits while NLTF zonal offices would distribute the rest nationwide.