Paul Osuyi, Asaba
Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, has charged the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC) and other stakeholders in the industry, to take steps to sanitise lottery business in Nigeria in order to boost the economy and increase the nation’s revenue.
Ngige, who handed down the charge, in Asaba, Delta State, said that lottery business has reduced the rate of youth unemployment and boost family income, but expressed concerns about sharp practices by some operators.
Speaking at the maiden quadrennial conference of the National Union of Lottery Agents and Employees (NULAE), the Minister, who was represented by the Deputy Director of Factories, Mr. Chukwujindu Oliogu, described lottery as good means of growing the economy.
In a lecture titled: ‘The Role of Trade Union in Enhancing Lottery Potential as Revenue Generation for the Nation’ by the Director General of NLRC, Mr. Lanre Gbajabiamila, he referred to the lottery agency as a body which has contributed immensely to the growth of the society in developed countries.
According to Gbajabiamila, whose lecture was read by Mr. Obi Iregbu, NULAE is moving the country to diversify the economy from the oil sector, maintaining that it has helped to increase revenue drive as this cannot be achieved without the Labour Union which is indispensable as it seeks to help encourage unemployed youths in the country.
He enjoined the NULAE to partner with sister agencies to put an end to illegal lottery operators scattered around the country, stating that this would in turn help to build the credibility of the lottery industry with lasting ideas to better the economy.
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State also said his administration is making conscious efforts to strengthen the lottery board in the state.
According to the governor, “Lottery business provides essential amount in running a country, we are losing a lot of revenue without lottery businesses. We will do our best to strengthen the lottery board in Asaba.
Represented by his Special Adviser on Labour, Mike Okeme, the governor emphasised that Unions like the Nigeria Labour Congress, Trade Union Congress and United Labour Congress must unite and help to checkmate government’s excesses.