Ahead of its planned National Gaming Conference, slated for July, the Management of the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC) has expressed its readiness to collaborate with the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) on all areas of mutual interest in fostering increased revenue generation for the Federal Government.
Its Director-General, Mr. Lanre Gbajabiamila stated this when he led the management of the Commission on a courtesy visit to the Executive Chairman of FIRS, Alhaji Muhammad Nami.
“The scope of operations has grown, just as the entire industry is witnessing an astronomical growth. We seek out sister Federal Government agencies relevant in our actualising our mandate for concrete collaborations. We already have ties with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) as well as with anti-graft agencies, such as the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The FIRS will not be isolated as we need your agency for a working synergy of mutual benefit to our respective organisations,” the DG said.
Gbajabiamila who explained the workings of the NLRC to the management of the FIRS also identified issues of double regulation and double taxation as areas of challenges for the operators of lottery business in Nigeria. He said lottery operators contribute percentage of their earnings to lottery good causes in while also paying taxes to both federal and state governments.
He added that it was important for the FIRS to participate in the National Gaming Conference with a view to creating better understanding of these issues. He said NLRC would undertake elaborate public awareness campaign aimed to offer proper guidance to lottery operators and other stakeholders.
Responding, Alhaji Nami expressed delight at the visit. He pledged the support of the FIRS towards a successful National Gaming Conference. Alh. Nami who said taxes were the primary source of revenue to governments all over the world, added that between 60 and 70 per cent of all the funds shared monthly by the Federal Allocation Accounts Committee (FAAC) among the three tiers of government in Nigeria is generated by the FIRS.
He said: “We are not taking the visit lightly as it will assist us to meet our target. We are always interested in meeting our critical partners in progress and together we will be able to block all revenue leakages in the country. The visit is very important and appreciated.”
The chairman formally accepted the invitation for the FIRS participation in the National Gaming Conference, and expressed their willingness to continue in other areas of collaborations with the NLRC initiated even before he assumed office.