…Says N300bn annual revenue possible
By Zika Bobby
Director General of the National Lottery Regulation Commission (NLRC), Adolphus Ekpe, has called for collaboration between the state and federal governments to harness the full revenue potential of the gaming industry.
Speaking in Lagos at the flag off of NaijaBillionaire N1 billionaire jackpot, Ekpe said the enforcement tussle between the two tiers of government has led to multiple taxation and licensing of operators, which also results in excessive operation cost for operators.
Ekpe said the gaming industry has the potential to generate about N300 billion to the Federal Government coffers annually, but the ongoing rivalry between the two major stakeholders led to a revenue of less than N7 billion in 2016. He said the commission was out to recalibrate the Nigerian gaming industry to equitable benefit of all stakeholders across the country, with a determination to end the era of conflicts and dispute on licensing and permits.
To achieve this, he said NLRC has set out to guarantee smooth operation of federal licensees in every state of the federation to check multiple licensing and taxation. “We are out to ensure all states benefit equitably from proceeds of national lottery operations by national licensees; to ensure that due process and rule of law is followed in conflict resolution; and create channels of communication and cooperation between state agencies and the Federal Government agency,” he said.
Chairman, NaijaBillionaire Limited, Adedotun Sulaiman, said the company comes with a national colour and global standard, designed by Nigerians for Nigerians.
“Our mission is to reinvent the entire African gaming industry with a focus on gaming experience that enriches lives and adds value to businesses in the environment through integrity and transparency. Our jackpot of N1 billion is unprecedented and would transform the lives of Nigerians,” he said.
Director, NaijaBillionaire Limited, Lai Labode, said the billionaire jackpot is designed to touch the lives of at least one million Nigerians directly every year, adding that the vision of the company perfectly fits with what NLRC wants to achieve by putting Nigeria on the global stage.
“We are going to pay 5 per cent withholding tax to the states on every game played. We therefore encourage the states to open accounts with us so they can get their dues. We have also established the NaijaBillionaire empowerment fund that will ensure we produce benevolent billionaires. The winner will empower 500 people from his home state with 5 per cent of the N1 billion. The jackpot would move from state to state,” he said.