By Uthman Salami
The Director General, National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC), Mr. Lanre Gbajabiamila, has disclosed the Commision’s readiness to launch the Nigerian National Game before the end of 2021.
Gbajabiamila stated this at the maiden edition of the National Gaming Conference 2021 held in Lagos yesterday, themed; “Repositioning The Gaming Industry For Better Performance And Enhanced Revenue Generation For Stakeholders in the 21st Century.”
According to him, “In line with global practice and the vision to promote the principles of, for Nigerian, by Nigerian for national development, the Commision has set in motion plans to launch the Nigerian National game before the of 2021.”
He said the game will be conducted by the Commission via the sales and distributions, only by licensed National operators and broadcast across National Televisions weekly.
Gbajabiamila added that “The Commision is committed for transparent gaming driven by responsible gaming, professionalism, building technology for social and economic development as well as to meet the diversed needs of the stakeholders in the gaming industry and government officials.”
About the proposed National lottery Bill, which has currently passed the second reading at the House of Representative, Gbajabiamila said the amendment of this law will further provide the “legislative and regulative framework that best serves the industry.”
He said, “It is a common knowledge that the industry has evolved and adopted technology to optimize operations so much that the extant laws do not reflect the reality of the present day in the Nigerian gaming industry.”
He, therefore, expressed optimism that before the end of the year, the National Gaming Bill will be passed into law.
We believe this new law will lay to rest contentious matters and surface to accommodate current and future technology advancement and changes within the industry.
The law will further boost the faith of stakeholders and the publics in integrity, transparency and accountability to reduce preference for foreign games.
He revealed that the “Conference has been in the making for a few years, but COVID-19 and other crucial matters cause delays and setbacks in organising the events.”
He, however, promised that the event would not be a one-off event.
While speaking about the Central Monitoring System, the Minister of special duties and Intergovernmental affairs, Senator George Akume, said the lottery industry is becoming fast growing one, noting that countries all over are using it as a veritable source of revenue.
Akume said, “We can do even a lot more because of our population and commitment to games. Nigerians are so wonderful when it comes to this. If we had the Central Monitoring System, we will be able to know how much each operator is generating. It is very difficult to know how much they generate now.”
The Minister added that, “This game will generate enough money for government to sustain some of the projects we have at hand. Now we have 100 million people who are living below the poverty line. How do you leave them out in the face of dwindling oil resources?”