Sen. Akume Inaugurates Task Force On Recovery Of Unremitted Lottery Funds
By Amaechi Agbo
The Honourable Minister of Special Duties and Inter-governmental Affairs, Senator George Akume Tuesday inaugurated an 11-member task force committee for the recovery of unpaid revenues from lottery operators and permit holders in Nigeria, Best Choice News can report.
Inaugurating the committee at the Minister’s Conference Room in Abuja, the minister lamented that despite the obvious revenue strength of the lottery sector, the accruable returns to the federal government reserves have been very poor.
While giving the committee headed by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, William Alo the mandate to recover all unremitted funds to the federal government’s coffers within two months, Senator Akume charged them to beam their searchlight on the sector from 2015 till date.
“Today I am inaugurating a special Ministerial Committee to be Chaired by the Permanent Secretary on the Recovery of Unpaid revenue from lottery operators and permit holders in Nigeria from 2015.
“The terms of reference is expressly stated in the appointment letters forwarded to the designated task force members and it is expected that the task force shall complete its work within the next 2 months.
“Since my assumption at the Ministry, I have had ample opportunity to consult with industry stakeholders. I have been less than satisfied with my findings.
“It is clear that historic revenues collections from lottery and gaming transactions have underperformed resulting in significant losses to government.
“Despite my earlier appeal for increased effort by operators to pay what they owe, statutory returns continue to be poor or nonexistent. Given our current economic climate, definitive measures must be taken.
“In this regard, I hereby inaugurate this Ministerial Task Force and charge them to determine what funds are owed to government from 2015 to 2020 and facilitate their immediate recovery of such funds to government coffers,” the minister said
Members of the task force committee drawn from the ministry and lottery agencies include: William Alo, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Special Duties and Inter-governmental Affairs (FMSDIGA), Chairman; Lanre Gbajabiamila, Director-General, National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC); Bello Maigari, Executive Secretary, National Lottery Trust Fund (NLTF); Okechukwu Odunna, Director Enforcement, NRLC and Stella Maduka, Director parastatal, FMSDIGA
Others are; Simon Tyungu, Deputy Director, Office of the Honourable Minister; representatives of CBN, EFCC and the Nigeria Police Force as well as Jude Ughwujabo, Technical Assistant to the minister on lottery matters.