The National Lottery Regulatory Commission, NLRC, has said it sealed the premises of Nigeria Breweries Plc because of its refusal to pay the Federal Government revenue to the tune of N326 million in line with the National Lottery Act, 2005.
According to the commission, Nigerian Breweries Plc had conducted promotional lotteries valued at about N1.3 billion and failed to regularise such promo lotteries as required by the National Lottery Act, 2005.
This was disclosed by the Director-General of the commission, Mr. Lanre Gbajabiamila, adding that Nigerian Breweries denied the federal government N326 million revenues and continue to rebuff attempts to get it complied with the law.
He said the commission had statutory responsibilities “to enforce provisions of the National Lottery Act, 2005 and ensure the federal government is not short-changed in the transactions. The commission acted within its mandate.”
According to him, the commission would continue the clamp down on all illegal lottery operators anywhere they be found within the shores of Nigeria within the ambit of the National Lottery Act, 2005 and the National Lottery Regulation, 2007.
Gbajabiamila also described as unwarranted attack, the statement of the Director General of Nigeria Employees Consultative Association (NECA), Mr. Olusegun Oshinowo in respect of the enforcement exercise against Nigerian Breweries Plc, insisting that the commission “will not be distracted in its bid to rid the country of all illegal lottery and promotional activities whether in the manufacturing, financial, telecommunication or any other sector.
“The action of the commission in closing down illegal lottery operations should not be misconstrued, because lottery activities are governed by law. Anybody or organisation that violates that law will be made to face the consequences of such violations.”
Gbajabiamila further noted that the commission “will not join issues with Oshinowo who prefers to hide under the guise of NECA to unleash economic sabotage on the federal government, instead of encouraging its members to comply with the law.
“The interest of the lottery commission is to ensure that organisations who wish to carry out lottery operations comply with the provisions of the National Lottery Act and not carry out such lotteries without due regards to the law.”
He however said the premises of the breweries have been temporarily reopened while the commission and the management of the company continues to interface.