President and Founder of Concern Voters Movement (CVM), Razak Kojo Opoku, has commended Director-General, Mr Kofi Osei-Ameyaw, and the newly constituted board of National Lottery Authority (NLA) for reforming the authority.
He said within few months, the new management and board of NLA have succeeded in implementing a number of reforms and innovations that deserve commendation.
Mr Opoku made the commendation when he granted an interview to Weekend Today yesterday in Accra.
One of these reforms, he mentioned, is the abolishment of the 7.5 per cent income tax on the commission of the Lotto Marketing Companies.
“With the removal of the 7.5 per cent income tax, Lotto Marketing Companies [LMCs] would now enjoy 25 per cent commission, and this will significantly improve the conditions of service for the LMC.
Mr Opoku went on to state that the yet-to-be implemented restoration of 25% commission will equally compete fairly with the 30 to 35 per cent commission of the Banker-to-Banker Lottery, bearing in mind the reliability and dependability of NLA as a government institution.
He said government in the 2018 Budget had also removed the 5 per cent Withholding Tax on Lotto Prizes through the efforts of Mr Osei-Ameyaw, and the new NLA board, adding that “this laudable initiative will increase patronage from the LMCs.”
On the passage into law of the National Lottery Act, 2006 (Act 722) and Lottery Regulation, 2008 (L.I. 1948), the CVM president indicated that this was the first time since 2006 that the board and management of NLA have decided to ‘Register and Licence’ Lotto Operators, Agents, Sub-Agents and Writers of Banker-to-Banker Lottery under Public-Private Partnership.
This, he said, was to make them operate legitimately and pay their taxes to government in order to increase revenue mobilisation for government through lottery as well as create jobs for people who are interested in private lottery.
He continued that this initiative would also help government to join forces with licenced banker-to-banker lotto operators to identify and fight against money laundering and recalcitrant operators, including foreigners who are doing banker-to-banker lottery in the country.
According to Mr Opoku, with few months of being office Mr Osei-Ameyaw and the NLA board has paid over GH¢26 million into the Consolidated Fund, compared to the GH¢16 million paid into for the whole 2016.
To this end, he said that the implementation of the NLA owned self-regulated, self-monitored and self-controlled platform as part of measures of maximising revenue for the government as well as cementing the 25 per cent commission to the LMCs would be launched soon.
“The over 30,000 modernised lotto kiosks known as E-Kiosk, introduced by Kofi Osei-Ameyaw and the Board of NLA shall be a multi-purpose centre for the staking of lotto and serves as the receiving point for the payment of light bills, water bills, GRA revenue collections as well as banking transactions.”
He said as part of the NLA efforts in fulfilling the vision of President Akufo-Addo’s government, Mr Osei-Ameyaw and the board of NLA will create over 100,000 jobs for Ghanaians through initiatives such as “Recruitment of District Managers and Supporting Staff to manage the 216 NLA District Offices; Recruitment of over 60,000 Employees to work in the NLA E-Kiosks and Recruitment of over 30,000 Security Personnel to provide security for the NLA E-Kiosks across the Country.”
Mr Opoku therefore, used the opportunity to praise the NLA under the leadership of Mr Osei-Ameyaw for working ‘diligently’ to change the face of lottery business in Ghana.
Story: Kwamena Ananse