The Nigerian government aims to boost revenue from the online gaming and betting industry, considering the huge number of active online bettors in the country, totalling over 65 million. These individuals collectively spend an average of $15 daily on different online gaming activities. In line with this, the Federal government has taken a step towards achieving this goal by presenting equipment to hospitals through the Lottery trust fund. In order to enhance its financial resources, the government has unveiled a proposition to potentially implement a fresh taxation system within the realm of the betting industry.
During an interview with reporters, Zaphaniah Jisalo, the Minister responsible for Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, made this revelation. He shared this information during the official inauguration event where medical equipment was being presented to specific healthcare establishments in Nigeria. The event was organized and sponsored by the National Lottery Trust Fund (NLTF). Fifteen healthcare institutions across the nation’s six geo-political zones have been bestowed with an array of cutting-edge equipment. This generous donation comprises an assortment of advanced facilities including digital X-ray machines, colour-ultrasound machines, suction machines, kidney dialysis machines, hydraulic beds, wheelchairs, blood banks, and a plethora of other state-of-the-art resources.
14 million online bets and transactions are carried out every day.
More so, the minister proudly proclaimed that he, as the overseer, had positioned NLTF as the leading force in spearheading the crucial element of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda. Africa’s online betting industry thrives as Nigeria emerges as a dominant force, engulfing an astonishing 200 million individuals within its gambling fervour. Consisting of over 50% of the continent’s online betting populace, Nigeria claims the lion’s share in this domain, according to reliable sources. In Nigeria, a staggering number of 14 million online bets and transactions are carried out on a daily basis.
When questioned about the possibility of the Federal Government implementing taxes on online betting companies, the minister responded by promising Nigerians that the government has ambitious plans for the coming year. Assuring that increased revenue is on the horizon, the minister emphasized that they are fully focused on generating income during this crucial period, with the President actively addressing economic matters. Thus, taking this into account, the government will indeed take action in this direction. Jisalo expressed his strong support to the NLTF, urging them to persist in their commendable efforts to uplift the health sector.
Funds sourced from the lottery sector were utilized to improve healthcare.
He believed that such efforts had the potential to eliminate the need for overseas medical tourism once and for all. He voiced his insistence on the need for a thorough monitoring and assessment of the procedure to accurately track the usage of the facility. This is crucial in order to ensure that the intended project outcomes envisioned for the program are effectively achieved for the betterment of the Nigerian people. The funds sourced from the lottery and gaming industry were utilized for the development of healthcare institutions, as highlighted by Bello Maigari, the NLTF’s Executive Secretary. These intervention projects were both initiated and funded through the aforementioned proceeds.
Also, the establishment of the National Lottery Trust Fund occurred as a result of the Nigerian Federal Government’s enactment of the National Lottery Act in 2005, specifically Section 35. The primary objective of this agency is to effectively aid in the accomplishment of the country’s development ambitions. This is achieved by promoting and ensuring unhindered access to lottery funding for projects that serve a meaningful purpose, fostering positive change and sustainability. The ultimate goal is to deliver long-lasting benefits to individuals and communities alike.
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On November 2, 2005, the Trust Fund kicked off its activities by officially starting operations and appointing its first Board of Trustees, who were inaugurated on the same day. The Trust Fund, being a strong proponent of lotteries and their potential as an alternate financial resource, is dedicated to investing a substantial amount of money acquired through lotteries. These funds will serve to enhance the government’s initiatives in various projects. These include the development of vital healthcare facilities, the provision of educational resources, the renovation of educational infrastructure, ecological initiatives, the rehabilitation of displaced individuals, and the establishment of top-notch sports facilities.