The federal government said weekend that it was planning to strengthen the operational capacity of the National Lottery Commission and the National Lottery Trust Fund (NLTF) by reviewing the 2005 Act which established it in the next few months, in order to reduce the country's total dependence on oil.
The move is part of efforts to make lottery the second revenue generator to oil, create jobs, and more importantly, cushion poverty in the country.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, disclosed this at the official launch of the new corporate logo of the NLTF in Abuja. He noted that with falling oil revenue and global economic recession, the present administration concluded plans to diversify and refocus attention to the lotto industry to ensure that it delivers on its huge potential to transform the economy make the sector more profitable.
The SGF, who was represented by the permanent secretary, Ministry of Special Duties, Henry Akpan, warned lottery operators and licence holders to deliver on their mandates or have their licences revoked.
He also refuted allegations that Nigerians had not benefitted from lottery funds, saying that the funds had been deployed for the execution of good cause projects, sport, education and health, adding that with anticipated high revenue from games, revenue from lottery will henceforth form part of the nation's national planning cycle.
Earlier in his remark, NLTF executive secretary, Habu Gumel, stated that the new logo of NLTF was in line with the transformation agenda of present administration.
He expressed optimism that with the new outlook, the trust fund will be more visible in its intervention areas for that cut across grassroots sports, health care, education and emergency relief.
Gumel therefore enjoined stakeholders to show greater commitment to the cause by remitting funds appropriately to the NLTF to enable it deliver on mandate.
He explained that the fund was set up as a last resort, where government share of proceeds from lottery is used to execute projects for good causes, especially when budgetary provisions are lacking.