Nigeria to acquire central monitoring system for gambling

The Nigerian government aims to pass National Gaming Bill 2021 this year.
The Nigerian government aims to pass National Gaming Bill 2021 this year.

The Federal Government will acquire a central monitoring system for better performance and revenue generation, Minister Akume has said.

Nigeria.- The Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, George Akume, has said that the Nigerian government will soon acquire a central monitoring system for gambling in the country.

Speaking at the first National Gaming Conference organised by the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC), Akume said the system would improve the commission’s performance and revenue generation.

The theme of this week’s two-day conference in Lagos was “Repositioning the gaming industry for better performance and enhanced revenue generation for stakeholders in the 21st century”.

As reported by the Daily Nigerian, Akume told the conference that the central monitoring system would allow the commission and its sister agency, the National Lottery Trust Fund, to improve the performance of their regulatory functions and provision of funds to good causes.

He said: “The CMS is desperately desirable to enable the government to block leakages being experienced in the gaming industry as well as eliminate discrepancies often observed from the books of some operators.

“This will undoubtedly entrench transparency and accountability in the industry, thereby making things a lot easier for all stakeholders”.

Gaming to help Nigerian economy

Akume said the Nigerian gaming industry could play a key role in funding the government’s poverty alleviation programmes.

He said: “As we may all be aware, the Lottery Commission was created in 2005 through the Act of the National Assembly to enable the government to properly organise the operation of Lottery business in Nigeria.

“Several stakeholders have made efforts to generate revenue for the government through lottery, however, it is sad to note that lottery revenues continue to fall short of industry potentials due to conflict of interests.”

Akume said reports indicated that Nigeria’s gaming industry, including international stakeholders, grossed more than N250bn (€513m) in 2019 but that revenues to the government did not exceed N1bn.

Lanre Gbajabiamila, director-general of NLRC, told the conference that the commission would work with industry stakeholders and government officials on the amendment of existing lottery laws. He said the amendment would provide a legislative and regulatory framework that would serve the industry.

He said: “It is common knowledge that the industry has evolved and adopted technology to optimise so much that the extant laws do not reflect the reality or trend of the Nigerian gaming industry.

“We are optimistic that before the end of the year, the National Gaming Bill 2021 will be passed into law.”

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