- operators have 6-month ultimatum to quit
- agreement allows GHS120,000 monthly compensation from NLA for 5 years
The Veterans Administration of Ghana (VAG) has signed a memorandum of understanding with the National Lottery Authority (NLA), ceding its mandate to the latter
Per the agreement, VAG will no longer issue licenses to lotto operators in a move to enable the NLA assume overall control over lotto licensing and regulations in the country.
VAG has, therefore, given a six-month grace period to all operators under its umbrella, to quit operations and rather register with the NLA.
The National Lotto Act 2006 provided for the establishment of the NLA to regulate, supervise, conduct and manage national lotto and related matters.
However, the VAG Act, (Act 844, 2012), also mandates the Veterans Administration to hold lottery and gaming activities to lotto operators while issuing licenses to them.
The two acts, has for a long period created some kind of tussle between the two organizations as VAG, due to its inadequate capacity to conduct and supervise lottery, handed its license to third parties; a situation which has allowed illegal ‘banker to banker’ operations.
“The agreement is for the NLA to assume responsibility of lotteries nationwide and to make VAG cede its rights to the authority. In so doing, the NLA will be the sole licensing agent for lotteries in the country,” NLA’s Director General, Kofi Osei Ameyaw told the Goldstreet Business.
The MoU will run for five years, with prospects for renewal, and with the NLA, expected to offer GHS120, 000 each month to support activities of the veterans for ceding their license.
“That money will be committed as long as the agreement lasts so that the veterans can always have some resources for their upkeep,” Kofi Osei Ameyaw said.
NLA’s Board Chair, Togbe Francis Nyonyo, said the agreement also allows the authority to give four wheel drive vehicles to all of VAG’s board members for every seven years.
The authority will also invest over GHS10 million into VAG’s sports stadium project at Burma Camp in Accra, with members also expected to form part of a taskforce to clamp down on recalcitrant illegal lotto operators.
Presenting a cheque for GHS220, 000 to the veterans at the ceremony, NLA’s DG explained that the authority has decided to offer extra GHS100, 000 as part of its corporate social responsibility to the veterans.
Ag. Executive Secretary of VAG, Captain Edmund Duah, expressed optimism towards the agreement and described it as workable.
“Today marks a new beginning in the administration of lottery and we hope that the NLA will leverage on our support to streamline activities in the lotto industry”, he said.
Currently, there are about 19,000 veterans in Ghana.
By Wisdom Jonny-Nuekpe