The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on regulation of lottery activities on telecommunications platforms.
The two commissions reviewed the existing MoU to accommodate trends in the industry to streamline the strategies needed to ensure the implementation of the MoU.
It was revised that the NCC would withdraw their approval whenever NLRC withdraws its permit from service providers for lottery, considering the fact that NCC gives approval only when permit has been obtained from NLRC.
The Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission, Professor Umar Garba Danbatta said that lotteries all over the world are electronically driven, and there is no better infrastructure that is amenable to the conduct of lotteries in Nigeria than the telecommunications infrastructure.
Professor Danbatta said that “Bringing any additional service on the infrastructure adds additional burden to the networks, therefore, the Commission is concerned that any additional service added to the networks could or may degrade quality of service.
“That is why the NCC has to be involved to ensure that telecom operators who will be participating in hosting the lottery services have the capacity to do so whereas the National Lottery Regulatory Commission will ensure the credibility of the process by making sure that whatever prices promised those who will participate in the lotteries are given to them.”
He reiterated that proceeds of lotteries would go to the price winners and some would go to charity and there will also be tax benefits to government as well as to NLRC and NCC.
The Acting Director General of the NLRC, Lanre Gbajabiamila stated that the NLRC needed to sign the MoU since the lottery and gaming industry is merged with the telecommunications industry.
Gbajabiamila said, “lotteries have been in retail shops, but now, it has advanced to telecommunications platforms whereby Value Added Services (VAS) providers and telecoms service providers use the telecommunications platforms to do lotteries and gaming, hence we needed to have this collaboration and MoU signed”.