Most Nigerians may be forgiven for having no idea about the activities or contributions of the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC). They haven’t been very loud about it and it doesn’t appeal to everyone in any case.
At the 2015 Lottery Achievers Award, to mark the 10th year anniversary of lottery regulation in Nigeria, the Director-General of the National Lottery Regulations Commission (NLRC), Mr. Adolphus Ekpe said the commission has remitted over N5 billion to the National Lottery Trust Fund (NLTF) in the past 10 years of its operation for execution of people oriented projects, revealing to the audience that the figure was made possible despite the daunting challenges and misconceptions about the Commission.
‘‘So far, over N5 billion has been remitted to the NLTF for the execution of good causes projects. This was possible, though with stark reality of educating the people about what lottery truly represents. The general public was hardly aware of the existence of the National Lottery Regulatory Commission or its sister agency, the National Lottery Trust Fund in 2005. Even after five years, public perception of lottery was negative and viewed as a venture not for decent members of the society, as it was equated more with gambling,’’ said Ekpe.
Confronted with this stark reality, the DG disclosed that the Commission embarked on aggressive nationwide enlightenment, sensitization and rebranding campaigns to change the negative perception of lottery across the country, which is considered as a viable revenue source to the economy.
‘‘We are happy to note that all the enlightenment efforts have helped in changing the perception of the general public today towards lottery business as a tool for national development,’’ he explained.
In addition, the NLRC DG also stated that the Commission has recorded other milestones in the area of job creation by increasing its work force from 11 in 2005 to 1500 in 2015 in line with government’s employment agenda. He also stated that the Commission had expanded into 14 states across the country and further granted 20 licenses to different indigenous firms with a mandate to run the business of national lottery in Nigeria.
To accomplish effective and efficient monitoring and regulation of all lottery activities, the NLRC boss said the Commission had signed a memorandum of understanding with other government agencies such as the Nigerian Police, EFCC and NCC to combat illegal lottery operators.
For the NLRC to realize its full potential as a viable source of revenue generation that can impact the GDP significantly, he said the Commission had concluded plans to commence the automation of the monitoring and regulation of lottery in Nigeria, become the highest revenue generating agency in the country, secure enhanced salary package for its staff and move into its own office complex. This he said is part of 4-point agenda of the Commission aimed at taking national lottery to enviable level.
The National Lottery Regulatory Commission is the body that regulates lottery activities in Nigeria. The commission was established through the National Lottery Act of 2005. Ekpe Adolphus Joe is the Director General of the Commission. One of its licensees is the very popular Baba Ijebu Lotto.