The National Lottery Authority (NLA) has described as baseless claims of mismanagement at the authority.
A group known as the Concerned Lotto Agents Association of Ghana (CLAAG) accused NLA of mismanagment and had appealed to the government to conduct an inquiry into the current operations of the authority.
It said that NLA demanded a whopping sum of GHc1 million from private lotto operators as registration and licensing fees in order to regularise ‘Banker to Banker’, adding that, “most of these operators have indeed paid the said fees since April 2018 and are yet to be licensed.
“We believe that the NLA management, if not checked and probed, will dent the image of the government given the anger and frustration of the operators, agents and writers whose livelihood is under threat,” a statement from CLAAG stated.
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But NLA insists such claims are without merit.
NLA in a statement said: “The National Lottery Authority wishes to state categorically that, there is absolutely no mismanagement at the Authority as alleged by alien CLAAG. All the allegations raised by CLAAG against the Authority are baseless and without merit.”
NLA in the statement also said it does not recognise CLAAG as a stakeholder or a partner.
The NLA explained that the only organisation recognised by the National Lotto Act, 2006 (ACT 722) is the Association of Lotto marketing companies.
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The Lottery Authority also stated that CLAAG has no working authority with the National Lottery Authority.
“First and foremost, it is very important to state that, the CLAAG and its leadership is not legally recognized by the National Lottery Authority. The only body which is legally recognized by the National Lotto Act, 2006 (Act 722) and Lottery Registration, 2008(L.I. 1948) is the Lotto Marketing Companies, in this case, the Association of lotto marketing companies,” the statement added.
Below is the NLA’s response to CLAAG
1. License Fees of One Million Ghana Cedis
One of the nightmares of the Authority is illegal Lottery and that the NLA supported by Association of Lotto Marketing Companies many times caused the arrest and prosecution of the illegal lotto operators, agents and writers. However, due to resource constraints, political pressure and interferences there were no appropriate sanctions meted out to the illegal lotto operators, agents and writers. Also most of the illegal lotto operators and agents were operating with license provided by the Veterans Administration Ghana under Act 844 which empowered the Veterans to engage in raffles or Lottery to the realization of economic and financial empowerment to the Veterans.
The National Lottery Authority with the blessing of the Ministry of Finance adopted a more innovative and pragmatic approach to address illegal lottery operations in Ghana through registration, validation and granting of license to Banker to Banker Lotto Operators, Agents and Writers who are able to satisfy all the requirements of the National Lottery Authority.
Payment of the required license Fee is the first step of registration. In order to do due diligence on the documents submitted by Applicants, the Authority in close collaboration with the Security Agencies are doing a thorough background checks on all the Applicants in compliance with the National Lotto Act 722 and Lottery Regulations(L.I. 1948) and other relevant Statutory Laws of Ghana.
The thorough background checks on Applicants will help the Authority to deal with the issues of character and criminal records of applicants, foreigners, money laundering and other important security matters.
The License Fees of one Million Ghana Cedis was agreed by both the Board of NLA and Private Lotto Operators and Agents. The One Million Ghana Cedis License Fees was never a self-imposition by the Authority.
The responsible Private Lotto Operators and Agents such as Ghana National Chamber of Banker to Banker Lotto Operators and Agents (GNCLBBLOA), Ghana Lotto Operators Association (GLOA), Licensed Lotto Operators and Agents Association (LLOAA) and several others have gladly paid their license fee awaiting validation of their documents before finally a license will be issued to them under NLA-VAG Collaboration.
2. VAG Lottery
In order to have a uniform regulation and supervision, the National Lottery Authority at some point wanted to push for the repealing of the VAG Act 844 and Gaming Act 721 so that all forms of lottery and games of chance would be under the National Lottery Authority. The Gaming Commission of Ghana established under the Gaming Act 721 is under the Ministry of Interior whereas the Veterans Administration Ghana established under the VAG Act 844 is under the Ministry of Defence.
However, the Ministry of Defence in agreement with the Board of National Lottery Authority and Veterans Administration Ghana decided to collaborate beneficially to both Institutions instead of repealing the Act 844.
In accordance with the agreement between the NLA and VAG supported by Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Finance and Economic Management Team of Government, the National Lottery Authority will very soon start the operations of the NLA-VAG Lottery to the benefit of Government, Veterans, NLA, Lotto Marketing Companies, Private Lotto Operators/Agents and potential customers.
The National Lottery Authority recently held a meeting with the Private Lotto Operators and Agents who have paid their respective License Fees on 15th March 2019 to discuss the final modalities towards the successful implementation of the VAG Lottery. The meeting was very successful and all parties at the meeting agreed to the roadmap for VAG Lottery Operations.
Due to the NLA-VAG collaboration, the Veterans are now experiencing tremendous improvements in their lives including refurbishment of the Headquarters of Veterans Administration Ghana.
Therefore the accusations by CLAAG against NLA is absolutely false and baseless.
3. E-kiosk Project
As part of efforts to modernize the operations of lottery business in Ghana and ensure successful cushioning of the business interest of Government, Private Sector, Lotto Marketing Companies and other Stakeholders, the National Lottery Authority through a Public-Private Partnership has introduced the E-Kiosks Concept in the country aimed at transforming the lottery business to generate substantial revenue for Government as well as to create jobs.
The E-Kiosk Project which is a Private Sector led initiative in Partnership with NLA has ABSOLUTELY NO COST TO GOVERNMENT.
The successful implementation of the E-Kiosk Project will help to:
1. Expand the operations, capacity and business interest of the Authority in terms of coverage and spread across the country.
2. Increase the revenue generation of the Authority on behalf of Government for development and socio-economic transformation of the country in line with the Economic Policy of Government.
3. Create sustainable jobs especially for the graduates in line with the vision of President Akufo-Addo and Government.
4. Support the revenue collection of the Ghana Revenue Authority.
5. Increase the capacity and reach out the potential of the Banking Industry to Customers/Clients and prospective customers.
6. Improve the delivery services of the Ghana Post Company Limited.
7. Enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of Mobile Money Services and payments of Utility Bills.
8. Increase commission that the Authority pays to Lotto Marketing Companies.
9. Usher the Country into a Cash-lite Society.
10. Promote the digitalization and digitization of the Economy.
11. Fight against lottery stigmatization.
12. Bring an end to illegal Lottery operations.
It is very important to state that, the E-Kiosk Concept would help Government to expand the Economy, increase the capacity for revenue generation and collection , and create sustainable jobs. And that, the E-kiosk has absolutely no financial burden to taxpayers and Government.
The allegation by CLAAG to the effect that, NLA is demanding GHC 15, 000 and GHC 20, 000 from Lotto Marketing Companies for the E-kiosk is absolutely false . The National Lottery Authority with the help of collaborators are arranging for a much cheaper and convenient payment modalities for the Lotto Marketing Companies.
Also the National Lottery Authority in collaboration with the Ministry of Local Government and MMDAS are locating Safe Sites for the Lotto Marketing Companies to help them in positioning their E-kiosks across the Country.
In a nutshell, the E-Kiosk Concept is a Private Sector driven initiative with no financial burden to Government and taxpayers.
Therefore, all the allegations by CLAAG against the National Lottery Authority are absolutely meaningless, and the supposed threat of demonstrations against the Authority by CLAAG is absolutely baseless.
The National Lottery Authority is focused on delivering the vision of Government. NLA will never allow itself to be blackmailed by the empty threats of demonstration by CLAAG.
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