ICPC LISTS THE NATIONAL LOTTERY TRUST FUND AS SECOND BEST AMONG MDAs FOR ZERO TOLERANCE TO CORRUPTION

The National Lottery Trust Fund (NLTF),a parastatal under the Federal Ministry of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs has been listed by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) as the 2nd best among government Ministries,Departments and Agencies (MDAs) that has so far complied with the principles of zero tolerance against corruption and compliance with the ethics of due process in the management of the National Lottery Fund.

The ICPC ranking of the National Lottery Trust Fund was granted at the occasion of the 2nd Annual National Summit on “DIMINISHING CORRUPTION IN PUBLIC SECTOR “ with the theme:TOGETHER AGAINST CORRUPTION” held on the 28th day of September,2020 at the National Headquarters of the ICPC,Abuja.

The second National Summit on Diminishing Corruption in Public Service also marked the commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of the ICPC.

It will be recalled that the NLTF as a parastatal under the Ministry of Special Duties and Inter-Governmentsl Affairs was created under the National Lottery Act 2005. It however, formally commenced operations on 23rd November, 2006.

Since its inception, Section 40 of the Act empowers the agency to apply the proceeds of the lottery so collected under section 35 to the funding of projects considered and approved by the President, Commander-in-Chief, Federal Republic of Nigeria(Upon the recommendations of the Board of Trustees) to be in the interest of the Nigerian community and such projects shall include but not limited to projects for the advancement, upliftment and promotion of sports development,education, social services, public welfare,relief and management of natural disasters among others. The essence of the creation of the Trust Fund was in order to expedite the National development goals of the country by promoting a clear passage of funding from the lottery in order to facilitate great and life changing projects that can also be sustainable so as to create lasting impact on the lives of the people and their communities.

The Trust Fund among other things are geared towards investing so much money as raised from lotteries in order to supplement the determination of the government to provide basic health care facilities, goods and quality education system, ecological projects,helping internally displaced people to gain settlement as well as the provision of world class sporting facilities.The National Lottery Trust Fund is authorized to get a constitutional 20% upon all lottery proceeds and when the funds are received,they are channeled to the necessary authorities for proper utilization.

According to the motto of the Lottery Trust Fund which says that they are the ‘Drivers for Social Transformation’ the agency is perceived to follow and track sustainable social investments in a comprehensive,complete,unique and combined approach that is fully grounded and rooted in the development agenda of Nigeria in order to systematically supplement the efforts of the leadership of the country in making sure that the lives and wellbeing of all Nigerians are greatly improved as a result of the great investment of funds gotten from lottery into project that respond to and meet the needs of the people

The Lottery Trust Fund Nigeria is accountable to the President of Nigeria,His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari,GCFR through the Honourable Minister of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs,Senator George Akume,fnim; with the Dr. Bello Maigari serving as its Executive Sectetary and in charge of the day to day administration and management of the fund.

In his reaction to the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission’s 84.45% top ranking of the Lottery Trust Fund,the Honourable Minister of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs,Senator Dr. George Akume,fnim applauded the sincere assessment and transparency indexing of the NLTF by ICPC which has further affirmed the commitment,dedication and sincerity of purpose of the Lottery Trust Fund and the Ministry of Special Duties in entrenching due process, accountability, transparency and probity in the management and administration of public funds, just in line with Mr. President’s Agenda of fighting corruption and lifting over 100 million Nigerians out of poverty.

Senator George Akume also reiterated the commitment of the Ministry of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs in achieving more and keeping to the set standards of the National Lottery Trust Fund and the ICPC for the purposes of good governance and service delivery to Nigeria.

Similarly, the Executive Secretary of the NLTF,Dr. Bello Maigari attributed the zero tolerance posture of the agency to the commitment and dedication of the staff and management in strictly keeping to the operational framework, guidelines and procedures of the agency, bearing in mind the anti-corruption agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari,GCFR.

Dr. Bello Maigari further assured Nigerians of his resolve to attain the 1st top position on the zero tolerance to corruption assessment index in by ICPc in subsequent years. The Executive Secretary, further commended President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR for given him the opportunity to serve, promising to sustainably uphold the confidence reposed in him by Mr. President to continually deliver on the objectives, mandates and functions of the NLTF. Dr. Maigari also expressed his deep appreciations to the supervising Minister of the NLTF, Senator Dr. George Akume, fnim for his pragmatic initiatives, strategies and programmes in boosting and improving the effectiveness of the NLFR, with specific reference to the introduction of the central monitoring system of all lottery accruables to the NLTF among others.

Meanwhile, in a related dimension, the Justice Pen Alliance(JPA) a non governmental and transparency assessment body has listed the Honourable Minister of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Senator Dr. George Akume,fnim and the Executive Secretary of the National Lottery Trust Fund, Mallam Bello Maigari to be fully inducted into the Integrity Hall of Fame (IHF) for their commitment and sustainability of Mr. President’s anti-corruption agenda in leadership and public service.

It will be recalled that the National Lottery Trust Fund under the second term of President Muhammadu Buhari,with Senator George Akume,fnim as the supervising Minister of the agency has so far improved on the financial management of the agency in line the anti-corruption agenda of Mr. President and in line with the following responsibilities:

1. Improving the revenue generation capacity of organization through aggressive recovery of outstanding debts owed the Trust Fund by lottery operators and licensees

2. Establishment of an ongoing central revenue collection and monitoring system in order to stem the tide of revenue leakages and tax evasion in the sector

3. Establishment of a central audit system in line the promoting transparency, accountability, financial prudence and probity in the lottery sector

3. Fulfillment of the statutory mandates of the Trust Fund through special interventions in the health, sports, educational and national emergencies.

Dr. Aondona Mkor writes as the Media and Public Affairs Consultant/Special Adviser to the Honourable Minister of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs; 11th October, 2020

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