MINA Blog- The Federal Government of Nigeria in partnership with Elrae Technologies Company on Monday launched the first ever National Game, meant to enhance revenue generation to sustain the country’s economy.
The event which attracted lottery stakeholders from the country as well as representatives from other African countries like Mali, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Niger Republic, is to add value to lottery sector and national development.
The Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, Sen. George Akume, said the idea of the initiative had been planned since the enactment of the National Lottery Act in 2005 and the establishment of the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC).
Akume said with the re-establishment of the ministry and his appointment as minister, he and other stakeholders recognized the need to implement the Nigeria National Game (NNG).
“The most important benefits of the national game is that it translates to significant employment opportunities in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s directives to all MDAs to initiate programmes that generate employment to our teeming youths.
” Most concerning is the proliferation of unregulated foreign games in Nigeria and export of revenues due to heavy patronage by Nigerians.
“It is apparent that Nigeria needs its own national lottery brand, ” he said.
According to him, stakeholders in the sector agreed that a national game would reposition the domestic lottery industry, better secure Nigerian players, enhance operational performance and deliver greater revenues to the government.
He added that countries like Iceland with a population of about 1.5 million people and America, established a university solely built and run with proceeds of gaming.
Also speaking, the Director-General NLRC, Mr Lanre Gbajabiamila, said the project, though had taken long time to manifest, would bring great impact to the national economy.
“As you know we have a population of over two hundred million, our operators, our agents, players are participating in foreign games, so why can’t we have our own, ” he said.
Also speaking, Mr Samuel Awuku, Director-General of the National Lottery Authority (NLA) Ghana expressed confidence in the game and readiness to assist Nigeria to achieve its best.
“As pace-setters of the initiative in the sub-region, we at the National Lottery Authority Ghana are ever ready to lend you all the support you need.
“NLA will celebrate its 60th anniversary this year with a number of activities to commemorate the event. The event will also deliberate on finding solutions to issues confronting the lottery industries in Africa as well as promoting best practices, ” he said.
While launching the game, Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker, House of Representatives, commended Sen. Akume and stakeholders for the initiative.
He said lottery game was an avenue where government could raise vast sum of money for good courses to improve communities through infrastructure development.
The NLRC said it’s pragmatic approach to the proposed National Game, was to help the country generate up to N1 billion monthly.
It also disclosed that the proposed National Game was designed to compete with the popular Ghana Game that has over the years helped proven to be an economic growth catalyst.