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Licensed Lottery operators decry, multiple regulations, taxation

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Licensed Lottery operators decry, multiple regulations, taxation

Chairman of the Nigerian Licensed Lottery Operators Forum Chima Onwuka has lamented that the challenge of multiple regulations has become the bane of the lottery business in Nigeria.
He said the industry is burdened with multiple taxation which has necessitated the need for a complete law.

He spoke yesterday when the House committee on Governmental Affairs inaugurated a technical committee for the review of the 2017 lottery act as ammended.
“Let’s look at the taxation part of it, we pay State tax, local Government and at the Federal level we also pay tax. We also pay a percentage of our entire take which goes to the federal Coffers.
He said there is the Lottery fund which is 20%, annual subscription and the one they call good causes.
He said the innauguration of the technical committee is basically to review the 2017 lottery act as amended to incorporate the new realities the operators are going through and to remove some of the incessant conflict operators are having with Government regulators for proper means of regulation.
“The committee has set up a technical committee to review it and make sure that everybody; both the regulator and operators interests can be protected as well as government.”
“For a long time the law did not represent the fact that we are a fixed odd country not a jackpot country, most of the games in this country are fixed odds that is one area we want to look at.
“We also want the law to recognize the fact that every operator that goes into the market invest billions of Naira in the business and there has to be a gestation period.
“There have to be a way the Government can partner through a joint account just like they have with oil companies which they call the JB fund.
“It might not be money but let the Government come out openly to say a particular operator is licensed to be backed up instead of everyday, EFCC calling operators thieves.
He said the law would also clear the air on the issue of who has the authority to regulate, whether it is Federal or the State.
‘For now when you pay to the Federal you also pay to the State.’

On the value of lottery to Government, he challenged the Government to check with the National Bureau of Statistics to know the number of people the lottery industry is employing.
“Anywhere government can create employment it is encouraged, if lottery and its accessory businesses can employ about one million people directly and indirectly that is contributing a lot to the Government.
“The Government is also generating a lot of revenues, go to the website of the lottery trust fund and see how much what operators have paid to the Government in billions and check out what they have paid to Government in terms of tax to FIRS. Check out also what they have paid to State Governments.”
He said, late last from the lottery fund of what they regulate Lagos State lottery fund was able to give the Lagos State security fund N1b.
He said it is because Lagos State as of today has one of the best laws and environment for lottery.
Onwuka however observed that the conflict of who is to regulate and who not to regulate still persists.
Chairman House committee on Governmental Affairs Honorable Akin Alabi said they oversee the gambling industry in Nigeria
“The meeting is about amending the National Lottery Act, which is a law that regulate the gambling industry in Nigeria. “It is an act that a lot of practitioners in the industry from the operators to the regulators feel it is inadequate, not robust enough.
“They feel it is outdated, and obsolete and it is not harnessing the power and the potentials in the industry. So we are forming a technical committee to review the act to come up with a bill that will be more comprehensive, robust and up to date to guard the industry.”
“Everybody knows the potentials of the lottery gaming industry in Nigeria but a lot of people don’t actually know the real deal, the real number, some people are just brandishing numbers up and down. “There is potential for tax revenues for the Government and potentials for the investors to make money back, there is potential to created direct jobs, employment.
He said without adequate law guiding the lottery industry there is going to be a lot of trial and error ‘but with a robust law we will be able to harness all the potentials.’

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Group Promises Affordable Mass Housing For Ubarn Poor

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Group Promises Affordable Mass Housing For Ubarn Poor

Association for the Support of Urban Poor (FEDUP) has promised to deliver affordable housing for its members.
A new board was constituted after the last management was accused of embezzling over N200m for which the matter is in court.

Secretary of the association Mr. Yusuf Edego said the association is building confidence and credibility after the mismanagement that affected its clients.

He stated this yesterday in Abuja during a press briefing to let the public know the association’s effort in giving the group a new image.

Edego said with what the new management team has put on ground they believe their members and the general public will have confidence in the new team to deliver affordable housing for them.

“By a persons impact, performance, character and sincerity as well as walking the talk, with time people will see that the project is a reality”

He said the major problem as a people is lack of sincerity and that once people see that a person is sincere they will trust him to deliver.

“The major problem bedevilling the country is integrity. Many people especially in property development, more than 60% collect money from people and the public generally yet there is nothing on ground to show for it.
“That is why we removed the former executive members and then came up with elected people of integrity.
“Our chairman is a paramount ruler of impeccable integrity. I am a legal practitioner I have my law firm at Jennifer plaza Central area.
“So you have people with verifiable address. We are people that people can enquire and link up with our character.  “They know that for our records we are people of integrity and we are sure that by God’s grace they will not be disappointed”

On how he thinks people will have confidence in the association after the dent on its integrity he said it is the reason for the press conference. “Before we came we have one or two projects on ground that are verifiable that has been executed by the new executive.
“We have acquired twelve hectares at Kurudu that you can verify which you can buy and build your own house.
“Also the public can go to FCDA at the SDD department and meet the director that FEDUP claim they are in partnership with them to build about 167 housing units at Kuje.
“They are verifiable. Then the issue of 30 hectares we just acquired is still in process.
“We have the Family homes Fund which is an agency established by the Federal Government for provision of Social Houses for Nigerians so we are partnering with them by the grace of God they have agreed to sponsor the 30 hectares for the general Public

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African economic congress opens portal to select credible entrepreneurs

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African economic congress opens portal to select credible entrepreneurs

The African Economic Congress (AEC) has opened a portal to select credible entrepreneurs through its African Startup Challenge.

Mrs Nancy Illoh-Nnaji, Chief Executive Officer of the congress made this known in a statement in Abuja on Thursday.

Illoh-Nnaji explained that African Start-up Challenge was an entrepreneurship sustenance body of the Economic Congress tasked with discussing business development issues relating to
startups and small enterprises.

She said the start-up was introduced to build jobs and boost livelihoods in Africa and it also sought to infuse a culture of creativity and foster innovations.

According to her, the expected outcome
of the competition is to select winning ideas that can lead to new products,
programmes, projects and processes.

She added that this development would also help to engage young entrepreneurs eager to tackle the challenges they faced as well as global challenges through “smart solutions” that transform the economy of Africa and the world.

She said the annual competition would highlight Innovation, Technology and Originality in African Entrepreneurs.

The AEC boss noted that application had opened on October 4, and would close Oct 21, urging interested applicants to draft a short summary of startup ideas,
detailing plans on profitability and apply through startup@aecongress.org.

Meanwhile, Illoh-Nnaji disclosed that
more than 1,000 participants from all over Africa would be at African Economic Congress (AEC) from November 2 to 4 which would be held through televised virtual congress.

It will be recalled that, AEC held its maiden congress in 2019 in Abuja, Nigeria with participants drawn across the Africa continent. (NAN)

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Buhari reviews fertilizer price downwards

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Buhari reviews fertilizer price downwards

The price of fertiliser has been reviewed downwards from N5,500 to N5,000 per bag as ordered by President muhammadu Buhari.

This is inline with the Buhari administration policy of encouraging the populace to return to the farms.

The Food Security Council made the disclosure while briefing reporters at the end of the body’s meeting presided over by the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, yesterday in Abuja.
Vice Chairman of the council and Kebbi State Governor, Atiku Bagudu,
said the decision followed nomaliasation of production of the commodity since the reopening of Indorama plant in Rivers State shut after the COVID-19 pandemic claimed some lives.
Governor Abubakar Badaru of Jigawa State, who represents the North West in the council, said the council observed that the bulk purchase for palliatives was one of the factors that trigged increase in prices of foods nationwide.
He therefore, expressed confidence that the situation would normalise after the harvest season.

Badaru made the observation while addressing the media alongside his Plateau counterpart and representative of North central, Simon Lalong, the Jigawa chief executive said the trio of Coalition Against Covid-19 (CACOVID), federal and state governments were involved in the mass buying as part of measures to mitigate the adverse effects of the disease.

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