December 21, 2023

NLRC denies involvement in N6.3bn scam

NLRC denies involvement in N6.3bn scam

Lanre Gbajabiamila

By Johnbosco Agbakwuru, Abuja

The National Lottery Regulatory Commission, NLRC, has denied the allegation that it generated N6.3 billion in 2022 but remitted nothing to the government coffers.

The Director-General of NLRC, Mr. Lanre Gbajabiamila, in a statement in Abuja, described the allegation as a deliberate dissemination of misinformation that threatens the reputation and trustworthiness of the Nigerian lottery sector and the credibility of the commission itself.

The statement read: “The National Lottery Regulatory Commission, NLRC, has become aware of a misleading report circulating on social media regarding a video from the National Assembly Committee on Finance interrogating an agency. 

“This report falsely alleges that the Commission ‘Generated N6.3 billion in 2022 but remitted Zero Naira, with a deficit of N252 million while fully funded by the Federal Government.’ 

“It is imperative to clarify that this report does not pertain to the NLRC. 

“This deliberate dissemination of misinformation threatens the reputation and trustworthiness of the Nigerian lottery sector and the credibility of the NLRC itself. 

“Our bedrock of trust and credibility, which we have painstakingly built over the years, is eroded by these deliberate attempts to mislead, and we are deeply troubled by this. 

“Let me be unequivocal in stating that the NLRC disassociates itself from the recent false claims erroneously or deliberately linking us to alleged fund misappropriation by the Nigerian Lottery Trust Fund (NLTF). 

“The House of Representatives Committee on Finance quizzed the NLTF on the mentioned day. 

“However, confusion arose when the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) and Channels Television mistakenly referenced the NLRC instead of the intended entity, the NLTF, in their reports. 

“Both media agencies promptly issued an apology to the NLRC for this error. Unfortunately, some individuals with malicious intent are taking advantage of this mistake to involve the Commission in an unrelated matter. 

“Furthermore, we must clarify that the trillions of Naira the NLTF is purportedly asserting as the Nigerian lottery industry valuation are unfounded and merely sensationalist, seeking attention rather than truth.”

Continuing, Gbajabiamila said, “The assertion becomes even more ridiculous when juxtaposed with the current GDP. 

“Moreover, the NLTF is neither the regulator nor custodian of lottery figures in Nigeria. The much-needed Central Monitoring System (CMS), which the NLRC will deploy to monitor all lottery activities in the country and provide an accurate figure of the worth and revenue generation, has not taken off yet. 

“So, it will be misleading to project and brandish unverified numbers in this regard. These baseless assertions distort reality and cast an unwarranted shadow on the NLRC’s unwavering commitment to transparency and fairness. 

“Such misleading information demands decisive action to rectify the damaging narratives that threaten the very integrity of our industry. 

“In light of this, the NLRC will rebuff any attempts of entanglement in matters outside its purview.

“Therefore, this statement aims to unequivocally set the record straight that the NLRC was not the agency scrutinised by the NASS Committee on Finance.”