Lottery over the years has contributed to national growth and development. Established in 1962 as the Department of National Lotteries, Ghana’s first present invited a young man, Mr Brennan, from Malta to help setup up the DNL which now operates as the National Lottery Authority(NLA) after Act 722 was enacted in 2006. NLA remains the leader in the lottery business in the sense that it has the legal mandate to regulate the industry and also operate the lottery in the country.
In addition to this autonomous role, the main objective of the NLA is to raise revenue to run its affairs and to pay whatever is left to the government to support developmental needs or projects in the country. Against this background, NLA undoubtedly is a national asset, but this feat did not come with ease. The NLA brand was built with solid integrity as its core value while other values such as respect, excellence, accountability, leadership, and teamwork equally complemented the success story.
The NLA has its spread across the sixteen regions in Ghana and continues to expand its tentacles to every nook and cranny. The expansion project is duly on course under the current leadership of Mr Samuel Awuku, the Director General of the authority.
Some successes and gains have been made by NLA, particularly under the current administration headed by Mr Awuku. To mention but a few include unity among staff, payment of huge backlog of unpaid wins, discipline and punctuality at work, the introduction of new games, and fight against illegal lotto operators, among others. As part of social responsibility. The Good Causes Foundation has been established with the mandate to carry out or reach out to the needy and the destitute in society. It basically operates in four areas namely; education, health, sports, and culture. In the past, what existed was commonly referred to as Special Projects.
The NLA boss believes that the authority through the foundation will to give back to society by offering assistance to the vulnerable, people with disability, and the poor in the country. Under Mr Awuku, NLA has been readmitted into African Lottery Association and World Lottery Association, where the authority is expected to restore to its former status as a respected body in the global lottery business.
As with all public organisations, the NLA as a state parastatal faces some challenges, but which are surmountable, the Director-General admits. The foremost challenge is the illegal lotto operators.
The operation of these people is giving the NLA boss a sleepless night as their continued activities affect the revenue generation of the authority. They do not pay a licence to operate and take some part of the market of the lotto business. Another problem is the lotto fraudsters, who use the name of NLA to swindle innocent people and lovers of the game. The authority loses revenue and at the same time creates a bad image for its brand. The link to this is social media scammers. They use Facebook and WhatsApp to trap unsuspecting individuals to promise them winning numbers, which they claim emanate from the strong room of NLA. No such room exists though.
On Thursday, September 29, 2022, the NLA will officially launch how it intends to celebrate the sixtieth anniversary of its existence as far as the lottery business is concerned. Media people, celebrities, government officials, stakeholders, former director generals, traditional chiefs etc are expected to attend the launch.
Mr Awuku will use the occasion to announce the programme of activities lined up for the celebration from September to December 2022. The climax of the anniversary is scheduled for December 9, when all director generals of the lottery within the African continent will converge in Accra to participate in the African Lottery Association Conference and support the anniversary celebration.
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