Lottery commission laments effects of media attacks, litigation

Adolphus Joe Ekpe
SPONSORED media attacks and unjustified litigation have been listed as major threats to the survival of a robust lottery industry in Nigeria, the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC) said yesterday.
NLRC Director-General, Adolphus Joe Ekpe said these situations were hampering the business of the sector yesterday while delivering his opening remarks at the 2015 National Lottery and Sales Promotion Symposium held in Abuja.
The National Lottery Regulatory Act of 2005 established the Commission to among other things, regulate all lottery related businesses in Nigeria without fear or favour.
“Like I said, a company (names withheld) went to court that they manufacture sachet detergents to restrain the Commission from stopping them in running a promotional sales that has lottery contents, the matter was thrown out by Justice Buba.”
Speaking on why the theme of the Symposium- Reaching Higher-The Greatest Consumer Prize was chosen, Ekpe said that the debate has become necessary in view of bringing together stakeholders in the industry to brainstorm on ways to preposition the industry for the benefit of the nation.
Ekpe explained further: ‘’We are here to clarify several issues on the workings of lottery, our topic today is an important one in the sense that manufactures and those who provide services, use it as a marketing strategy and in the process, they produce lottery contents into consumer Sales promotion, but they claim that they are not lottery companies and they should not be regulated.”
According to the NLRC Director-General “The Commission is trying to explain consumer sales promotion with lottery content and consumer sales promotion without lottery content, this has become necessary so that people that are participating will know an those who are coming out with skills like that will equally know that these or that have no lottery contents.”
Ekpe spoke further: ‘’On litigation, let’s say that somebody is manufacturing product A and decides to say, buy my product and you stand a chance to win a car, the person has introduced lottery to the marketing or that consumer sales promotion, but the person says no, am not a lottery company, so I should not be regulated by the lottery commission, the next thing you see is that person writing in the newspapers that I am a manufacturer and not a lottery company they want to frustrate me. ”
“So, some of them go ahead in a gang-up under one association, a company or group; that they are not lottery companies but they are asking people to participate in scheme that have price and has the chance of winning even though not all participants wins,’’ Ekpe lamented.
The NLRC helmsman said notwithstanding the above challenges, the commission is winning the war on a daily basis.
Also speaking, the Deputy-Director/Legal Department of the Commission and facilitator of the symposium, Okechukwu Odinna, noted that the commission is using the gathering to create awareness, educate the public on the issues concerning consumer participation in lottery as well as sales promotion regulations as stipulated by the act establishing the commission.
“This symposium is also an avenue to talk with our stakeholders in the industry on how best we can move it forward for the benefit of all.”

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