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The House of representatives committee on Governmental Affairs on Monday 21st May 2017, set up an investigative hearing of defaulting licensed lottery operators in their statutory obligation to the Federal Government.

The committee in a leadership spirit summon the courage and patriotism in investigating the activities of defaulting operators and other stakeholders in the National Interest in order to bring to an end over a decade-long of gross under remittance of lottery proceeds to the Federal Government.

Nassnewsng recalls that the National Lottery Trust is an agency of the Federal Government established under section 35 of the National Lottery Act, 2005 to take custody of a certain percentage of all national lottery operators in Nigeria, and utilize same in the execution of good cause projects across the country for the benefit of the Nigeria people. Section 40 of the act lists the good cause projects covered by this mandate to include , ‘ projects for the advancement, upliftment and promotion of sport development, education, social services, public welfare and relief, and management of natural disasters in Nigeria.” For this purpose, it is required by section 24(3) of the act that every person or company licensed to carry on the business of a national lottery in Nigeria.”shall pay to the Trust Fund within a period of not more than 90 days after the determination of the result of each lottery, an amount of 20 per cent of the proceeds of the lottery for the first 5 years of the licence, 25 per cent of the subsequent 5 years and thereafter 27.5 percent.”

Absence of good regulatory framework that enables market entry underpinned by competition, lack of commitment to enforcement of compliance to relevant provisions of the law, have largely been responsible for the current state of affairs in the industry. The global lottery industry is estimated to worth over $270 billion, with returns to good causes well above $100 billion. Lottery has moved from an activity associated with sin and vice, to a popular form of entertainment and a reputable business regulated by governments globally in an attempt to facilitate economic development and growth, promote stable employment and employment opportunities, help find charities, and furnish a growing source of non-taxed revenues.

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