Be transparent, ensure responsible gaming – Akufo-Addo charges NLA
President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has charged the Board of Directors and the management of the National Lottery Authority (NLA), to ensure responsible gaming in the country and to strive to be transparent with all Ghanaians who patronize their games and services.
As a revenue generating institution, President Akufo-Addo, says the NLA has a responsibility to exercise the highest form of transparency and integrity in the conduct of its draws if the organization is to continue to enjoy the confidence the Ghanaian people have reposed in it.
The President made the call when he addressed the staff, management and guests of the NLA, at their 60th anniversary celebration on Friday 9 December 2022, at the Forecourt of the office complex of the NLA in Accra.
“I commend the NLA for its sustained efforts at maintaining this national endevour especially for the sense of commitment to fulfilling the obligation embedded in the National Lotto Act to take care of the needy, the aged, orphans and the destitute.
“Giving back to society through your good causes foundation compliments the efforts of government in the development of our country and it is worthy of emulation by others,” President Akufo-Addo said.
“As an institution tasked with revenue generation, I will implore you to ensure that you exercise the highest form of transparency and integrity in the conduct of your draws to uphold the confidence that the public continues to have in you.
“The onus to achieve this does not only lie in your ability to generate revenue for government and give back to society, but more importantly, in ensuring that the Ghanaians who play your lottery games receive a true reflection of the daily results published,” Akufo-Addo added.
The NLA’s ability to ensure responsible and transparent gaming, according to President Akufo-Addo, “is the surest way for their promise of enriching lives through games” to hold true meaning.
“I urge you also to implement stringent policies on responsible gaming, chiefly, to prevent minors and under-aged persons from patronizing your games and to help sanitize the lottery and betting space.
“The Ghanaian people are expectant of reforms that will help you live up to your vision of becoming the organization of choice and blueprint for lottery in Africa,” President Akufo-Addo admonished.
CSR / Good causes
Touching on the corporate social responsibility (CSR) of the NLA, President Akufo-Addo, urged the NLA to follow strictly, the high standards of the World Lottery Association (WLA) on CSR and supporting good causes.
“Proceeds from lotteries the world over are known to support good causes in society. According to the World Lottery Association earnings have funded more than 1.5 million scholarships and grants.
“The WLA global data compendium has also indicated that total revenues for WLA member lotteries amounted to 284 billion United States dollars in 2020, whiles in the same year, the total of funds returned to society came to 74.9 billion United States dollars,” President Akufo-Addo stated.
These statistics, according to President Akufo-Addo, clearly defines the focus of the global body, WLA, and that the NLA cannot afford but to emulate same in Ghana.
The President further emphasized the NLA has no reason to fail because, “right here in Africa, Cote d’Ivoire has blazed the trail in line with the standards set by WLA and the NLA ought to be inspired by the Loterie Nationale de Cote d’Ivoire (LONACI) of Cote d’Ivoire.”
The Director General of the NLA Sammy Awuku, in his address, welcomed the charge of the President and indicated that with the support of the Board of Directors, management and staff of the NLA, they will strive to achieve more successes beyond all that has been done the last two years.
Mr Awuku commended the staff of NLA for their discipline and punctuality to work. He assured then that he will continue to lead the NLA to the best of his ability to ensure that together, they achieve the stated objectives of the NLA.
“We are excited about this new phase and of what the future holds as we forge ahead in our journey. We believe there will be bigger hurdles to cross and while we acknowledge the work that lies ahead, we remain resolute with a renewed commitment to do much better for out cherished patrons,” Sammy Awuku stated.
President of the World Lottery Association (WLA) Rebecca Paul, who travelled to Ghana to support the 60th anniversary celebration of the NLA, ahead of the celebration, paid a courtesy call on President Akufo-Addo at the Jubilee House.
In her remarks, she stated that WLA is ready to support all the efforts Ghana is currently making to stop illegal gaming activities in the country. According to Ms Paul, the WLA has two dominant objectives and they are; giving back to good courses in the countries where they have representation by way of membership and fighting all forms of illegal gaming and lottery activities.
“Part of what World Lottery Association does is to help setup standards that our members meet and certainly, one of the most important is the corporate social responsibility (CSR) standards which you (Ghana) are applying for and working towards.
“One of the things that is most threatening to lottery that gives back to good courses are those illegal folks who do nothing. They don’t pay any taxes, they don’t give any money to good causes and they don’t follow the same rules and standards that those of us who are government sanctioned follow,” the WLA President, Rebecca Paul said.
“We are working with all the lotteries across Africa, [including Ghana] on those two initiatives [CSR and responsible gaming] which are two of our most important and we are just elated to be her in Ghana,” the WLA president added.