The sum of N7.7 billion unremitted to the National Lottery Trust Fund by the National Lottery Regulatory Agency caused controversies among the two sister agencies during the House Committee investigation on Monday.
As both agencies gave conflicting reasons why licensed operators evaded payment of yearly licensed fees to the tune of N700 million in the last eleven years, the House Committee Chairman, Hon. Hussaini Suleiman Kangiwa accused the Director General of National Lottery Regulatory Commission, Lanre Gbajabiamila of compromise.
Armed with evidences and the Act which set up the Commission, Chairman of the Committee confronted the Director General.
“The licensed operators were supposed to be remitting N700 million annually, but from what we have here only N7 billion was remitted in the last eleven years.”
Responding, Gbajabiamila cited loophole in the regulatory act as responsible for the lack of payments by licensed operators.
He further absolved himself of any blame.
“Hon. Chairman, members of the Committee, contrary to what you said, I have not compromised. I was head of Lagos State Lottery Commission and within 10 years, I generated N10 billion.”
Acting Secretary of the National Lottery Trust Fund, Bello Maigari insisted that licensed operators were taking advantage of loopholes of the regulatory Commission to evade yearly remittances.
He emphasised that the sum of N700 million ought to have been remitted annually as licensed fees by operators in the industry.
The affected licensed lottery operators who were in attendance witnessed counterclaims by the agencies, but were asked to reappear at an adjourned date for further interrogation.