At least 18 lottery operators have caught the ire of the Nigerian congress for failing to meet their financial obligations to the government.
The Daily Post reported that a frustrated Rep. Suleiman Hussaini Kangiwa, chair of the House committee on governmental affairs, is done waiting for these lottery operators to pay their tax duties and government fees and has warned them that their licenses will be revoked.
Kangiwa also threatened to issue arrest warrants against the erring lottery operators during a meeting with them and the management of the Nigeria Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC).
“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,” Kangiwa said. “Nigerians and this committee are disappointed in you, because after getting license and money, you don’t give the government anything.”
Lanre Gbajabiamila, acting Director General of the NLRC, told the panel that the agency had constantly reminded the licensees of their duties. Gbajabiamila said he met with operators to know the reasons why they were behind their tax payments.
Operators complained that multiple taxation between the federal and states governments and low revenues continue to burden them.
The Committee has asked all operators to provide them with the following: approved licenses; evidence of all fees paid to the commission from 2000-2017; evidence of remittances to the lottery fund for the same period; valid office and business addresses; nature and the type businesses they do, among other information.
Earlier this month, the National Union of Lottery Agent Employees said the increasing acceptance of the lottery among Nigerians indicated that the industry was one of the major contributors to the state economy.