Nigeria to remove 18 licences from lottery operators

By Manuel Marti
The House of Representatives of Nigeria has this week announced its intentions to withdraw the licences of 18 lottery operators over default payments in taxes and fees to the government.

The Committee on Government Affairs, Chaired by Representative Suleiman Hussaini Kangiwa (APC, Kebbi), threatened on Wednesday to remove their licences if operators do not meet their financial obligations to the government.

It also requested operators to provide their approved licences, evidence of all taxes paid to the commission during 2000-2017, evidence of remittances to the lottery fund and valid office and business addresses.

In a meeting with the management of the Nigeria Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC) and some of the operators, Hussaini Kangiwa said he would not accept the current situation and would issue an arrest warrant against these operators.

“We’re very much aware of the 21 licensed operators in Nigeria, but only two or three remitting something to the government. It’s very unfortunate. Nigerians and this committee are disappointed in you, because after getting licence and money, you don’t give the government anything”, he added.

Meanwhile, the Director General of the NLRC, Lanre Gbajabiamila, questioned operators about their challenges and why they have been avoiding payments. Consequently, local lottery operators raised their concerns over multiple taxations between the federal and state governments.
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