The Director-General of the National Lottery Authority (NLA), Mr Sammi Awuku, has called for closer working relations between the authority and the Nigeria Licensed Lottery Operators.
That, he explained, was necessary because Nigeria depended and used Ghana's draw numbers for its industry because of its integrity and reliability.
Mr Awuku stated this when a delegation from the Nigeria Licensed Lotto Operators paid a courtesy call on the management of the NLA in Accra. The visit was to improve the already existing relationship between the two institutions.
“It is interesting to know that Nigeria uses Ghana’s draw numbers. That is because of the integrity and credibility of our system. But inasmuch as Nigeria is benefiting from NLA, we hope that the working relationship will also yield something beneficial to us here in Ghana,” he said.
Mr Awuku also made references to Ivory Coast and Sierra-Leon as other countries that depended on Ghana’s draw numbers and expressed Ghana’s commitment to the ECOWAS project.
He said few of Ghana's numbers had been in contention in Nigeria but expressed the hope that those matters would be resolved.
He urged Nigerian delegation to emulate the NLA decision in investing some of its proceeds from gaming into charity, support for sports development and the development of other sectors.
Mr Awuku also dispelled the claims that spiritualists could conjure lottery numbers for people to win, adding that those engaged in such ventures were fake because “we don’t conjure numbers, it is purely a game of chance.”
He announced that very soon the NLA would go stronger on anybody operating without licence, cautioning that : “That also goes to those using our numbers outside Ghana. All private lotto operators must also ensure that they obtain licence to do so,” he warned.
The Chairman of Nigeria Licensed Lotto Operators, Mr Chima Onwuka, noted that their visit to Ghana was to rekindle the relationship that had existed between lotto operators in Nigeria and the NLA in Ghana.
He also noted that the development of lottery was hinged on integrity and the commitment Ghana had attached to integrity in building its lottery system had made it imperative for Nigeria to learn more from Ghana.
Mr Onwuka said their engagement with the NLA would also be to fashion ways the Nigeria Lottery Operators could pay royalties to Ghana in the use of its draw numbers.