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Final warning was weekend handed down to all lottery operators in Nigeria to defray all debts owed to the Federal Government or face stiff sanctions which may include revocation of licenses, as well as arrests and prosecution on or before December 31st.
The Director-General, National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC), Lanre Gbajabiamila, who addressed a meeting of the Commission and lottery operators, said after the deadline, “Those who had failed to comply fully with the terms and conditions of their licenses and operating Permits may be eased out of business.”
“All operators owing the federal government within the lottery industry would be made to cough out all they owe.” adding that the NLRC could not be found wanting in discharging its mandate, especially in the aspect of revenue generation.
While agreeing that NLRC had been lavishly magnanimous showing unprecedented understanding with the operators, regarding their operational challenges, Gbajabiamila insisted that the Commission, in turn, will not lose sight of its mandate nor the operators their obligations to the government.
According to him, “Commission has been magnanimous enough to understand with operators, over time, but operators need to understand that they have obligations to the government. The commission is under pressure to prove itself against the backdrop of the feeling of underperformance by our supervising agencies, it will not be business as usual, henceforth; erring operators may have their licenses/ permits revoked” he stated.
Gbajabiamila gave further indication that beginning from 2020, the Commission would seek to strengthen its regulatory efforts by way of including forensic audit of all operators financial transactions, spot checks, data transmission to Central Monitoring System, monthly vetting of operational record books, and other provisions of the Terms and Conditions of their licenses and permits.
Also addressing lottery operators, Legal Adviser to the Commission, Tanko Ashang explained that he was seconded to the commission to further advance the mandate of the Attorney General of the Federation and would not hesitate to prosecute defaulters who fell short from the Terms and Conditions of their licenses and or permits.
However, in their collective response, the lottery operators decried multiple taxation coming from states, who hide under the issue of jurisdictional rivalry between the federal and state governments.
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