The Federal Government has revealed it plans to acquire a central monitoring system (CMS) for the country’s gaming industry for better performance and enhanced revenue generation.
The Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, Sen. George Akume, made this known at the opening of the maiden National Gaming Conference organised by the National Lottery Regulatory Commission(NLRC) on Wednesday in Lagos.
The theme of the two-day conference was “Repositioning the gaming industry for better performance and enhanced revenue generation for stakeholders in the 21st century”.
Akume said the acquisition of the CMS, which was already captured in the 2021 Appropriation Act, would enable the Commission and its sister agency, the National Lottery Trust Fund, to perform maximally in their regulatory functions and provision of lottery good causes to Nigeria.
“The CMS is desperately desirable to enable the government to block leakages being experienced in the gaming industry as well as eliminate discrepancies often observed from the books of some operators.
“This will undoubtedly entrench transparency and accountability in the industry, thereby making things a lot easier for all stakeholders,” the minister said.
Speaking on the Nigerian economy, Akume noted that the COVID-19 crisis further exacerbated the economic slowdown which arose the urgent need for government to widen and strengthen its revenue streams.
“The federal government, as a matter of urgency, began to look beyond oil and gas for revenue generation to sustain the Nigerian economy.
“We all know that poverty is a primary cause of youth unemployment, civil agitation and insecurity, hence significant funds are needed to confront these problems,” Akume said.
The Minister noted that the Nigerian gaming industry was well-positioned to play a key role in funding the government’s poverty alleviation programmes and other public good causes.
According to him, reports indicate that Nigeria’s gaming industry, including international stakeholders, in 2019 grossed more than N250 billion, noting that revenues to the government did not exceed N1 billion that same year.
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