By Adeola Badru

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila and the Minister of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Senator George Akume, yesterday, led other top government officials in Nigeria to launch the Nigerian National Game.

The event which took place at Congress Hall, Transcorp Hilton, in Abuja had in attendance, the Director General of National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC), Mr. Lanre Gbajabiamila, officials of the lottery commission of some african countries among whom are those from Ghana, Cote d’ivoire and Niger Republic and other dignitaries.

In a statement made available to Vanguard, the launch of NNG was done by the NLRC in partnership with Elrae Technologies so as to boost jobs and wealth creation.

The Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, while speaking, urged NLRC to ensure the integrity of the game, while also warning against irresponsible gaming and addiction.

Akume, while speaking at the launch and unveiling of logo, said all over the whole wide world, devices like the Nigeria National Game (NNG) have been deployed and optimally harnessed to generate much-needed revenue for the sustenance of economic growth and development and that Nigeria must not be an exception.

Akume noted that the idea of a National Game has been an evasive aspiration since the enactment of the National Lottery Act in 2005 and the establishment of the National Lottery Regulatory Commission.

He said with the re-establishment in 2019 of the Federal Ministry of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs and his appointment to lead the Ministry by President Muhammadu Buhari, the ministry recognized the urgent need to quickly implement the Nigeria National Game and harness the potential benefits.

He added that the Nigeria National Game would help tackle the proliferation of foreign games and repatriation of revenues while repositioning the domestic lottery industry, better secure Nigerian players, enhance operational performance and deliver greater revenue to the government.

Akume said: “The most important benefit of the National Game is that it translates to significant employment opportunities in line with Mr President’s directives to all MDAs to initiate programmes that generate employment for our teeming youths.”

“For example, we learnt that the Chinese used proceeds from gaming to building the Great Wall of China to deter foreign invaders. Today, the Great Wall of China is a tourist attraction and a national asset.”

“As we all are aware, Nigeria is currently exploring other means to widen and strengthen its revenue streams in order to fund its annual budgets rather than resort to borrowing. Hence the compelling need for the Federal Government to look beyond Oil and Gas, taxation etc. to sustain the Nigerian economy.”

NLRC DG, Mr. Lanre Gbajabiamla in his remarks reiterated that the launch of NNG was to establish the commision’s commitment to drive the expansion of the sector and give more Nigerians access to an indigenous platform that can change their life’s story.

He said: “The National Game Nigeria is peculiar and different from existing games Nigerians and some african countries are accustomed to, the National Lottery Nigeria will be essentially the 6/49 and Jackpot Games.”

“The Game will be driven by technology through USSD and other digital platforms.”

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