The Ghana Lotto Operators Association (GLOA), says the Acting Director-General of the National Lottery Authority (NLA), Ernest Mote, is a failure to the lotto industry and should be removed from office with immediate effect.
The Association, alleged that the Acting Director-General is being used by some people in positions of trust to scuttle the resolution of the 30-year-old impasse between the Private Lotto Operators and the National Lottery Authority.
The move is to enable a company known as, KGL Technology Limited to take over the operations of NLA and run it as a monopoly.
Speaking at a news conference in Accra, Publicist of GLOA and Lawyer for the Association, Dr. Ato Konduah, warned that interference with the licenses of private lotto operators by government officials can result in huge judgement debts to the state.
Dr. Konduah, therefore, urged President Akufo-Addo, to save Ghanaian Lotto businesses to protect the livelihoods of millions.
But the NLA in a counter statement sent out late yesterday said that "the resolution of a 30-year-old impasse between Private Lotto Operators and NLA is at the brink of collapse due to reckless and irresponsible conduct of some members of Ghana Lotto Operators Association (GLOA) and its allied group known as Concerned Lotto Agents Association of Ghana (CLAAG)".
It insisted that "KGL not taking over of NLA", adding the NLA "would like to state categorically that, there is no policy for KGL Technology Limited to take over from NLA. The Minister of Finance, Hon. Ken Ofori-Atta, also confirmed this during his vetting at the Appointments Committee of Parliament".
Below is statement read at the press conference Ghana Lotto Operators Association (GLOA) "Resolution Of 30-Year Old Impasse Between Private Lotto Operators And Nla" At The Brink Of Collapse
The Ghana Lotto Operators Association (GLOA) has viewed with concern, the clandestine attempt by the Acting Director General of NLA Mr. Ernest Mote and the Public relation officer Razak Kojo Opoku, acting in concert with some officials at the presidency to scuttle the "resolution of the 30-year old impasse between the Private Lotto Operators and National Lottery Authority to enable a company known and described as KGL Technology ltd to take over the operations of NLA and run same as a monopoly.
KGL Taking-over of NLA
This unholy scheme uncovered by GLOA is supported by the evidence of a deliberate media attack, misinformation and crude regulatory conduct by the Acting Director General of NLA, Ernest Mote, who is shamelessly being used by appointees at the Presidency to collapse the business of some Private Lotto Operators including Alpha Lotto Limited. In the last four (4) weeks. Ernest Mote, the Acting Director General without any board mandate is orchestrating the collapse of all NLA-licensed lotto operators, to create a new monopoly for KGL, he has caused a number of media publications that lack credibility, to be issued from its Public Relations Unit.
Sometime in February, 2019, a company known and described as KEED was licensed to operate "Lucky 3" online games and was issued with short code*959#. The company illegally started operating NLA 5/90 online without any authorization from NLA. The then Director General Hon. Osei Ameyaw wrote of NCA to pull down *959# for illegal sale of NLA 5/90 online. There was also a lot of media publication emanating from the Public Relations Department of NLA signed by Razak Kojo Opoku on the illegality of the use of short code *959# by KEED to operate NLA 5/90 online. Soon thereafter a company known and described as KGL was surreptitiously introduced to NLA by Alex Dadey with the backing of Government appointees in the Presidency to the then Director General of NLA, Osei Ameyaw as a company to operate NLA 5/90 online .
The then Director General Hon. Osei Ameyaw resisted and even wrote to the Minister of Finance on the illegality of the transaction and adviced against it. The Presidency brought pressure to bear on the former Director General of NLA who was nearing the end of his contract. He succumbed to the pressure leading to a penalty fine of GH¢10 Million against KGL the new company who had hitherto had no dealings with NLA for illegally operating NLA 5/90 online.
Question, what was the penalty against a company who had no dealings with NLA for?
This was a ruse to make KGL seem as though it was the same company known as KEED where in fact and indeed they were two separate juristic companies. This new company KGL Technologies then continued to use the short code *959#.
The use of the same short code *959# by two different companies KEED company Ltd and KGL Technology Ltd raised series of questions that ought to be answered by the Director General of NCA as well as the Director-General of NLA. This inherent inconsistency is a clear manifestation of "righting the wrong". But discerning Ghanaians shall see through this.
It must be noted, that KGL has no track-record of running any lottery operations anywhere in the world, but through greed, blackmail and chicanery by appointees at the Presidency, KGL has a license to operate online lotto on behalf of NLA, and touted as a partner to restructure the operations of NLA, when KGL is indeed indebted to NLA This transition from a licensed operator to a strategic partner reveals one the biggest conflict of interest cases in recent times. How can a licensed, but indebted operator of NLA, become a financier to bail-out NLA? The real truth about this farce is that, KGL still indebted to NLA in excess of GH¢20 Million Cedis for year 2020.
How can a debtor-licensee owing a State Authority such as NLA, neglect its debt and be pretending to be bailing-out NLA? This is a fluke orchestrated to fool Ghanaians and create the excuse to hand-over NLA to KGL. NLA's financial challenges are a direct result of KGL using its online platform to sell NLA 5/90 numbers, to deny the NLA lotto marketing companies the needed revenue, which otherwise would have come from NLA kiosks manned by the Lotto Marketing Companies (LMCs). If KGL had paid its 2020 debt of GH¢20 Million Cedis to NLA, that would have helped NLA to pay outstanding winnings, and its numerous indebtedness to media companies in Ghana.
GLOA has uncovered the big public deception of using a appointees of the President as a cover, and in the name of restructuring, to create a monopoly over online lotto for KGL, to the disadvantage of the state and other lotto operators. This is why these known Government appointees are hell-bent on preventing other licensed NLA lotto operators from operating online lottery, contrary to licenses issued to them. The seven (7) private sector operators are licensed to operate VAG 5/90 games, so why is KGL worried operating its licensed NLA 5/90 games? We cannot accept our licenses being withdrawn just because KGL will have competition from other lotto operators! KGL must be ready to operate in a free market economy, not in a new monopoly.
What the public doesn't know is that KGL's operations are intended to benefit a few appointees, but does not support any meaningful employment generation. It rather defeats the NPP Government's agenda to create jobs for NPP grassroots members who still remain unemployed across all the cities and districts of Ghana. The desire for money by greedy Government appointees, is teaching many voters a lesson to change their preferences at the next election, to stop the "monkey dey work baboon dey chop" syndrome.
The mention of restructuring of NLA in the 2021 budget, and through uninformed schemes by the Acting Director General of NLA-Ernest Mote, are all fake attempts to surrender NLA to KGL, by using information already in the public domain, to psychologically manipulate Ghanaians to buy-into the deception to hive-off NLA to KGL without the public noticing. This deceptive scheme is part of a grand state-capture agenda by some appointees, intended to control the nation's wealth, by capturing all sectors of our economy including mining, oil and gas, insurance, banking, telecoms and now lottery, through very cunning means to render the state vulnerable to the whims and caprices of those appointees. This ploy must be condemned by all well-meaning Ghanaians as it reveals the hidden intentions of appointees using "government power" to profit where they have not sown. These "take-over" schemes are being executed through public institutions with companies like KGL supported by appointees.
Attacks on Private Lotto Operators
The illegal NLA attacks on Alpha Lotto (our member) for instance is an attempt to prevent competition, and create a monopoly for KGL, the special purpose vehicle (SPV) to capture the lottery sector. From the initial lies peddled against Alpha Lotto of not having a license, to not licensed to operate online lotto, to not permitted to operate its own lotto, to not authorized to use USSD Short Code, and finally suspension of license and applications for review of existing licenses, are all subtle schemes to create an exclusive online lotto for KGL. The appointees at the Presidency are carrying out this atrocious scheme through NLA Public Relations Unit under Razak Kojo Opoku, a surrogate of KGL, being used to blackmail licensed operators, by issuing false statements in the media to back KGL's usurpation of NLA operations, and to destabilize private sector operators' businesses.
Razak Kojo Opoku is a discredited "black sheep" of the political opposition, who has become a "dove" in NPP, was used to blackmail the former Director-General - Osei Ameyaw to gain employment at NLA. He is to date, the only employee with two simultaneous contracts of employment, the first has a salary of with GH¢ 2,300.00, and the second has a salary of GH¢7,000.00 Cedis. Though his contract of employment has expired, he continues to draw salaries from NLA, reflecting the decadence in the administration at NLA superintended over by an acting Director General-Ernest Mote, who hasn't yet figured out how to bring the needed changes the NLA, but doing the bidding of KGL supported by appointees at the Presidency.
Razak Kojo Opoku remains an illegal employee of NLA who must be made to refund all salaries drawn against NLA, since the expiration of his contract of employment. He is a mole planted by some Presidency appointees to ensure that KGL's take-over becomes a reality, hence his uncontrolled, uneducated publications in media to run-down, and demonize private sector lotto operators, by touting KGL as the saviour of NLA, when KGL is actually indebted to NLA in excess of GH¢20Million Cedis. What a farce!
Revocation of License
Sound bites of Razak Kojo Opoku currently trending on online media platforms reveal the diabolic intentions of NLA and KGL, designed to collapse private lotto operators.
He has been heard to state that under his watch, all private lotto operators business's shall be collapsed and their licences would not be renewed after its expiration. He further stated that he wants the private lotto operators out of business in the shortest possible time so that KGL who he perceives have heavier financial might, shall be the only operator on the field.
This demonic and diabolic intent of Razak Kojo Opoku should be condemned by the Presidency and he should be removed immediately from the public sector. He does not share in the Presidents vision of private sector growth.
This sound bites of Razak Kojo Opoku feeds into the broader narrative of calculated acts by the acting Director General, Ernest Mote, himself and KGL to extinguish the private lotto operators, bring NLA to its knees and to create a conducive environment for an eventual take over by KGL.
The revealed contrived media statements from the Public Relations Unit of NLA, purporting to revoke the licenses of private operators is unconscionable, illegal, and will be resisted fiercely by private operators. The ignorance with which NLA is issuing statements in the media, is very much unlike a regulator worthy of its name! From not having documents, to not knowing what happened, the new Acting Director-General has demonstrated enough ignorance to be removed to save the tinstitution from total collapse, as these multitude of illegalities will bleed NLA to death in any court litigation.
Ernest Mote is compromised to KGL, and deserves no mercy, as his actions are actuated by malice and clearly intended to collapse private sector lotto businesses. This daylight robbery of taking huge licensing fees supported by GH¢5Million Cedis Bank Guarantees by NLA, and the intended capricious cancellation of licenses in the name of regulation, will not be allowed to stand.
Granting of Licenses
The granting of private sector lotto licenses was duly approved by the Board of NLA. The Board caused the newspaper advert to be made in 2018 inviting private operators, and the Board also met operators to set the license fees of GH¢ 1 Million Cedis and Bank Guarantee of GH¢5 Million Cedis! The Board had 2 representatives-Mr. Osei Ameyaw and Mr. Yentumi (Ministry of Finance Rep) who fully participated in all the negotiations with operators from October to December 2019, and finally superintended over the issuing of licenses to operators at the public event captured by the media. So why is NLA saying licences were issued without Board approval? This deliberate misinformation exposes the bad faith which has become the stock-in-trade of the compromised Acting Director General-Ernest Mote, and his vile attempt to destroy private lotto companies. GLOA still has the fully signed minutes of the negotiations.
NPP Government Must Act
President Akufo-Addo has a fiduciary duty to save Ghanaian Lotto businesses, in his bid to protect the public purse. The President must immediately remove the Acting Director General-Ernest Mote for being a failure just after 3 weeks at post, and implement urgent measures to recover the GH¢20 Million Cedis owed to NLA by KGL to resuscitate NLA, and stop his appointees from interfering with the licenses of the private sector operators to risk huge judgment debts to the state. The President has a duty to prevent the unemployment of over 2 million families. The President is hereby advised not to rely on the advice of some of his close appointees who are behind KGL.
The Akufo-Addo Government is being asked to immediately cause an investigation into KGL's lotto activities, and also investigate the vile attempts carefully conceived and orchestrated to collapse NLA to allow KGL to takeover lottery in Ghana for its selfish interests, and create a new monopoly over online lottery in Ghana. GLOA will use its strength and resources to canvass the support of the Ghanaian Lotto public to resist the illegal schemes of appointees at the Presidency, and expose their shady deals.
This NPP Government has been supported with lotto funds, and the President must discipline its appointees, in order to protect NLA and all lotto businesses, in protecting the public purse! From the foregoing, we serve two (2) weeks' notice to the President, to resolve all the private sector lotto our issues, failing which we will advise ourselves and our supporters, to take the necessary action. We are voters who have the right to protect our livelihoods, and this right will be pursued no matter the consequences!