Sammi Awuku Taking NLA Games International ..Goes into Talks With Nigerian Operators

Samuel Awuku, Director General of the National Lottery Authority (NLA) Samuel Awuku, Director General of the National Lottery Authority (NLA)

Nigeria and Ghana, may soon have a dividend game akin to the PowerBall and Mega Millions Games in the United States, which is to be promoted and played in both countries.

Samuel Awuku, the Director – General, (D-G) of the National Lottery Authority (NLA) disclosed this when he briefed the media on his return from a recent trip he took to Nigeria where he held talks with operators in Lagos and Abuja.

On Tuesday September 7, 2021, the Director-General, Mr Awuku, accompanied by the Director of Operations, George GyamfiOsew and the Director of Legal Affairs, Juliana Afumwaa Bruce, visited Nigeria to ascertain how the lottery game is faring in that country.

The visit was to also improve the sub-regional visibility of NLA, increase the revenue base of the Authority and to re-emphasize the status of NLA as the biggest player in the lottery industry in West Africa.

During MrAwuku's visit to Nigeria, he held separate meetings in Lagos and Abuja with the Licensed Lotto Operators of Nigeria, Western Lotto Limited, and Nigeria's National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC).

The discussions focused on areas of mutual interest and benefits both countries can derive through collaboration to develop the lottery industry. Of particular interest was on how Ghana could benefit through paid royalties from the use of its Draw numbers by the Nigerian Lottery Industry. As a means of promoting interest and generating revenue, a dividend game common to both countries would be introduced.

"We are looking forward to developing a lottery game which is similar to the PowerBall and Mega Millions that will be attractive and patronized by both countries as it pertains in Europe and North America", he added.

The NLRC of Nigeria assured the D-G of NLA that it is committed to work with the National Lottery Authority and would ensure that royalties due Ghana are honored.

In November 2019, Western Lotto signed an agreement with NLA to collect revenue on behalf of the Authority in Nigeria. Unfortunately, Western Lotto has been unable to collect any monies almost two years after the signing of the agreement.

Touching on the agreement between NLA and Western Lotto Limited, the NLA boss bemoaned the failure of the enforcement of the agreement on the part of the latter. "It is clear the agreement has not worked because it does not have the support of the majority of the lotto operators and the regulatory commission".

This is due to some contentious issues that emerged among the Nigerian lotto operators, which led to a legal tussle and caught the attention of the National Assembly. MrAwuku noted that NLA would work closely with the NLRC to resolve the impasse.

He note,d however, that there is the need for a paradigm shift in future negotiations and partnerships, and assured the Commission that issues of concern would be presented to NLA's Board of Directors when it is inaugurated to determine the way forward.

Meanwhile, MrAwuku is currently on a similar trip to Cote D'Ivoire to ascertain how the two countries can collaborate to improve the lottery industry in both countries.