By Bose Adebayo
LAGOS â€” Director-General, National Lottery Regulatory Commission, Mr Peter Igho, has said he would use his newly acquired position to ensure transparency and legitimacy in lottery business all over the federation.
In his media tour to Vanguardâ€™s corporate office in Lagos, yesterday, he lamented the gross decline in lottery business and called on journalists and corporate organisations to use every energy in them to revive the sector.
The former Executive Director, Marketing, Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) said lottery was not gambling but an avenue to generate money to build the countryâ€™s welfare.
In his words, â€œ I retired from NTA in March last year when I was 60 years and I was called back a year later to the Lottery Commission. I was screened at the National Assembly where they went through my CV and said ‘having spent many years in broadcasting service, why do they want to waste your time away in lottery.’
Since then, I felt the need to tell people what lottery is all about. Lottery is an avenue to raise money for good use,â€ he said.
Igho who assumed office about three months ago said Nigeria should learn from other countries of the world who have used proceeds from lottery to acquire a lot of innovations.
â€œAll over the world, lottery money has been used to achieve a lot, for instance, the great wall of China, the British Museum, Havard University and a host of others were built with lottery money.
In the United Kingdom, aboutÂ Â£800 million has gone into Olympics while about $21 billion has been used to achieve a lot of things in the United States. Here in Nigeria, our study of the market has shown that Nigeria cannot be an exception, we can achieve a lot through lottery,” he explained.
Fielding questions from Vanguardâ€™s Editor-in Chief and General Manager, Publications, Mr. Gbenga Adefaye, on criteria for licencing, Igho said: â€œThe major trauma in the business is lack of credibility, there is a negative perception which we are out to fight.
â€œThere are ways of monitoring to ensure compliance and proper integrity. To make sure lottery is a credible business, we want to ensure that people donâ€™t just grab the money from the public and disappear,” he said.