MEMBERS of the Concerned Lotto Agents Association of Ghana (CLAAG) are set to break their long silence over what they describe as the “deliberate attempt by the National Lottery Authority (NLA) to render them jobless.”
Consequently, they have warned that they will stage a massive nationwide demonstration to make public their grievances.
According to them, the “unfair treatment and gross disrespect” meted out to private lotto writers, agents and operators by NLA under the influence of the Veteran Association of Ghana (VAG) was having a great toll on their commercial lotto operating business, thereby making life difficult for many lotto agents and writers in the country.
Following this development, executives and members of the CLAAG have resolved to embark on a massive demonstration in all the ten regions to drum home their demands for the government to allow private participation in the lotto industry.
According to them, they have duly notified the Ghana Police Service (GPS) of their intended demonstration, adding that the only thing that will bar them from their intended action was to get the government to work towards restoring the livelihoods of their members.
“A lot of private lotto agents and writers voted for change in the 2016 general election because we treasured the promises of job creation and especially the private participation in lotto.”
“It is with deep regret that we the members of the association have arrived at a decision to stage a protest to register our displeasure against the government because we think that it is the only way to put pressure on the government to find a solution to resolve the impasse in Ghana’s lotto Industry,” they stressed..
Addressing a press conference in Accra yesterday, the Executive Secretary of CLAAG, Mr Kwaku Duah-Tawiah, said that they were seeking for an amendment of the National Lottery Act 722 of 2006 to allow private participation in the lotto industry
He stated that there were over one million people engaged in private lotto nationwide and the unemployment situation in Ghana was not hidden from any one.
He noted that whilst the various governments have championed the provision of jobs for the teeming population they have not matched their words with actions.
In order to promote some jobs for the majority of Ghanaians, he pointed out that the then government of the late President, Prof John Evans Fiifi Atta Mills, came up with the Veteran Association of Ghana (VAG) Act 844, and the VAG under the Act, allowed private lotto operators some space, and that singular action helped to mitigate the unemployment situation in the country.
Sadly, according to him, under the current administration despite the pre-election promise by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to regulate the National Lottery Authority (NLA) and allow private sector space, the government with the support of its regulator were using some bizarre tactics to ensure that private participation in lotto business was completely extinct.
First, Mr Duah-Tawiah stated that the government through the NLA has registered the private lotto operations and charged huge amount of monies but nothing happened.
The association, he stressed, has vehemently opposed the registration of the private lotto operators, but succumbed because they were at the receiving end.
“Again, the NLA had teamed up with Veteran Association of Ghana convincing the NLA to cede the private lotto operators working with VAG as an attempt to stifle them,” he said.
Story: Freeman KORYEKPOR AWLESU