The Director General of the National Lottery Authority (NLA), Sammi Awuku, says his primary focus and top-most priority at the NLA is to raise revenue for the state through the execution of his mandate at the Authority.
Addressing a sensitisation seminar organized by the NLA for senior journalists in the country in Accra on 20 November 2021, Awuku said his political link with the governing party, the New Patriotic Party (NPP), is known to all and he is not willing to be apologetic about it.
Awuku, however, indicated that during working hours at the NLA, he is not there to pursue politics but to raise revenue for the state and to make the NLA profitable.
“I keep telling my colleagues that we don’t have to be friends to work together, but we have to get to that destination and they all agree.
“I also keep telling management that honestly speaking, I may not trust everyone in the room, but I believe everyone has the potential to help all of us deliver and at the staff durbar, I have said and I maintain that I knew that they had their own concepts when I was posted to them at the NLA.
“So I took the bull by the horn that I am not there to pretend to them that I am neutral, I am not,” Awuku said.
“However, if I perform at the NLA, there are some people who will not share the same political orientation with me but based on my relationship and how I deliver, they can even be tempted to vote for my party,” he added.
Review of KGL Agreement
In answer to a question posed by Elvis Darko, the Editor of The Finder newspaper, during the question and answer session at the seminar, on why the NLA entered into the existing contract with KGL that saw them pay GHc 20 million in 2020 and GHc 25 million cedis in 2021, Mr Awuku acknowledged that the existing contract largely tilts in favour of KGL and is currently under review.
He further noted that the NLA is looking at securing a minimum of GHc 45 million cedis in the year 2022.
“Whereas they are looking at making gains as a commercial entity, they also owe it as a responsibility towards the NLA to give her what is due. We are making a case for an additional 3 million cedis on top of the GHC 45 million, plus GHc 2 million cedis commitment towards ‘good causes’ (the Corporate Social Responsibility wing of the NLA).”
“Anything below that, I have expressed it to management and to the board that they will have to sign it on their own,” the NLA boss said.
Draw Balls / Machine
Commenting on how draw balls are loaded into the draw machine, Mr Awuku noted that Ghana is the only country that spends several minutes loading its draw ball one after the other. According to him, in other jurisdictions, all draw balls are loaded at a go and it does not compromise the game of chance in anyway.
Going forward, he noted that Ghana will adopt the approach of loading draw balls at a go like is done in Ivory Coast and other jurisdictions.
Ghana’s draw machine Mr Awuku, disclosed was purchased in 1973, making it the oldest draw machine in operation in the world. He added that the draw machine has outlived its usefulness and the NLA has started the process of acquiring five new state-of-the-art draw machines to boost the work of the NLA.
“We have commenced the process, we will be securing about five new draw machines so that these ones would be state of the art and modern and it will eliminate the human contact,” Awuku said.
Live NLA Draws
The NLA boss also hinted that the Authority has made some changes to its draw outlook on television particularly for its 5/90 national weekly draw. GTV has traditionally been the station that telecasts the draw, however, he noted that the Authority has signed a new agreement with a new station to broadcast the live draws of the NLA forthwith.
National Lottery Authority
The NLA, where Awuku is serving, is a public service institution designed to provide a corporate platform that encourages creativity, innovation and best management practice.
The Authority was first established as the Department of National Lotteries in 1958, with a mandate to organize prize raffles for the public. In 1960 the Lotto and Betting Act (Act 94) was passed into law to launch a lottery in Ghana with the aim of raising revenue to support national development.
Over the past 50 years, the NLA has evolved into an autonomous public service institution with a legal monopoly over the organization of lotteries in Ghana. It is one of the single most important contributors to government revenue and avenues to employment.
In 2006 the passage of the National Lotto Act (Act 722) gave birth to the National Lottery Authority.