The Federal Government has been losing billions to illegal lottery operators practicing on different platforms across the country.
The Director General of the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC), Mr. Lanre Gbajabiamila, who raised the alarm in Abuja on Wednesday, warned that anyone caught operating illegal lottery scheme will face the law.
Gbajabiamila, who spoke on the sidelines of a two-day training programme for staff of the NLRC and other stakeholders, said his Commission had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the National Communication Commission (NCC) to check the activities of the illegal operators.
According to him, with the measures being put in place by the NLRC and the NCC, it would be difficult for illegal operators to defraud unsuspecting members of the public without being apprehended.
Gbajabiamila said: “We are committed to enforcing the laws and ensuring that the operators comply with the regulations.
“We still carried out some enforcement last week and we will continue to do that.
“We are actually after the online operators because many of them are operating illegally.
“We have signed a MoU with the National Communications Commission to knock out any illegal operator that is not registered with the NLRC.
“The NCC has been mandated to shut the illegal operators down on our behalf.
“The Federal Government is losing billions of naira to the illegal operators.
“We are sanitising the industry because it will be unfair to allow the ponzi scheme scammers to continue to defraud Nigerians.
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“If we allow the scammers to continue, it will affect the operators. Our zonal offices across the country have been fully equipped to monitor the activities of the illegal operators”.
Gbajabiamila said lottery has advanced in terms of technology, to the extent that it could be done on mobile phones anywhere rather than going to any retail centre to play it.
Stating that lottery has continued to grow in the country, the NLRC boss said the economic impact of lottery cannot be over emphasised.