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Unremitted N100bn: FG orders EFFC to go after lottery operators

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  • recovers N833m from lottery operators

The Federal Government has ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission [EFCC] to go after some lottery operators over their failure to remit N100bn in taxes to its coffers.

The Executive Secretary, National Lottery Trust Fund [NLTF], Bello Maigari, revealed this during his presentation at a stakeholders meeting
with the House of Representatives Committee on Inter-Governmental Affairs in Abuja on Tuesday.

According to him, the EFCC had recovered N833m as revenue from lottery operators who refused to remit due taxes to its coffers.

Maigari said the country’s current lottery market size estimated at over N2tn while the Fund had received a total of N11.2bn from inception in 2005 to date.

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He decried that the FG is losing “colossal revenues running into billions of naira annually” from the lottery and gaming industry.

He said,

“Our in-house assessment revealed that over N100bn is being held illegally by lottery operators and betting companies as outstanding liabilities yet to be remitted to the Trust Fund. Our recent constructive and collaborative efforts with the EFCC and the National Lottery Regulatory Commission are beginning to yield positive results.

“At least, for now, we can confidently affirm that lottery operators and gaming companies have short-changed government of billions of revenues and it is only fair if these defaulting entities are prosecuted for gross misconduct and economic sabotage to the nation.

“Current engagement with the EFCC yielded so far about N833m but we were informed that more funds are being recovered by the commission. Our records also show that of the N7.8bn remitted to the Trust Fund by the core licensees, about N6.5bn representing about 84 per cent of these proceeds were contributed by Premier Lotto Limited.

“It is very important to highlight the performance of this company, even though they are expected to do better than that. At least, they were able to make consistent returns over the years; otherwise, the situation would have been more drastic and different.

“Comparatively other operators like R & S Lotto with N700m, Winners Golden Chance Limited with N409m, Gab Lotto with N32m and Western Lotto Nigeria Limited with N67m, have also made contribution to the Trust Fund base on their market shares and total sales turnover.”

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