Akufo-Addo commends NLA for its ‘Good Causes’ project
President Akufo-Addo has applauded the National Lottery Authority (NLA) for its sustained efforts at maintaining its institution as a national treasure over the past 60 years, and particularly, for the authority’s sense of commitment to fulfilling its obligation embedded in the National Lotto Act, 2006 (Act 722), to take care of the needy, the aged, orphans and the destitute.
The President was speaking at the Grand Durbar of NLA’s 60th Anniversary Celebration when he addressed the management, staff, leadership, and guests from the World Lottery Association and African Lotteries Association at the forecourt of the office complex of the NLA in Accra.
The NLA has over the years, supported communities, individuals, hospitals, schools, security services, leprosaria, mental institutions, youth, and sports organizations amongst others.
They have been beneficiaries of medical aid, medical outreaches, medical equipment like incubators, toilet facilities, mechanised boreholes across the country, refurbished schools, a smart lab, recreational centers, and several donations of cash, food items, and other supplies amongst many others through its Good Causes Foundation. The Foundation operates four pillars, namely, Education, Health, Youth and Sports Development, and Arts and Culture.
“Giving back to society through your Good Causes Foundation complements the efforts of government in the development of our country and it is worthy of emulation by others,” President Akufo-Addo said.
Elaborating further on the corporate social responsibility (CSR) of the NLA, President Akufo-Addo, urged the NLA to follow strictly, the high standards of the World Lottery Association (WLA) on CSR and Good Causes.
“Proceeds from lotteries the world over are known to support good causes in society. According to the World Lottery Association earnings have funded more than 1.5 million scholarships and grants.
“The WLA global data compendium has indicated that total revenues for WLA member lotteries amounted to 284 billion United States dollars in 2020, whiles in the same year, the total of funds returned to society came to 74.9 billion United States dollars” President Akufo-Addo stated.
These statistics, according to President Akufo-Addo, clearly define the focus of the global body, WLA, and that the NLA although doing well, should step up its efforts.
The President further emphasised the NLA should be up to the challenge as right here in Africa, Cote d’Ivoire has blazed the trail in line with the standards set by WLA and the NLA ought to be inspired by the Loterie Nationale de Cote d’Ivoire (LONACI) of Cote d’Ivoire.
The President also charged the Board of Directors and the Management of NLA to ensure Responsible Gaming in the country and to endeavour to be transparent with all Ghanaians who patronize their games and services.
As a revenue generating institution, President Akufo-Addo, said the NLA has a responsibility to continue to exercise the highest form of transparency and integrity in the conduct of its draws if the organization is to continue to enjoy the confidence the Ghanaian people have reposed in them.
“As an institution tasked with revenue generation, I will implore you to ensure that you exercise the highest form of transparency and integrity in the conduct of your draws to uphold the confidence that the public continues to have in you.
“The onus to achieve this does not only lie in your ability to generate revenue for the government and give back to society but more importantly, in ensuring that the Ghanaians who play your lottery games receive a true reflection of the daily results published”, the president added.
The NLA’s ability to ensure responsible and transparent gaming according to President Akufo-Addo is the surest way for their “promise of enriching lives through games” to hold true meaning.
“I urge you also to implement stringent policies on responsible gaming, chiefly, to prevent minus and under-age persons from patronizing your games and to help sanitize the lottery and betting space. The Ghanaian people are expectant of reforms that will help you live up to your vision of becoming the organization of choice and blueprint print for lottery in Africa”, President Akufo-Addo admonished.
The President of the World Lottery Association (WLA), Rebecca Paul, who traveled to Ghana to support the 60th-anniversary celebration of the NLA, ahead of the celebration, paid a courtesy call on President Akufo-Addo at the Jubilee House.
In her remarks, she stated that WLA is ready to support all the efforts Ghana is currently making to stop illegal gaming activities in the country.
According to Madam Paul, the WLA has two dominant objectives and they are giving back to good courses in the countries where they have representation by way of membership and fighting all forms of illegal gaming and lottery activities.
“Part of what the World Lottery Association does is to help set up standards that our members meet and certainly, one of the most important is the corporate social responsibility (CSR) standards which you (Ghana) are applying for and working towards. One of the things that are most threatening to lottery that gives back to good courses are those illegal folks who do nothing. They don’t pay any taxes, they don’t give any money to good causes and they don’t follow the same rules and standards that those of us who are government-sanctioned follow” the WLA President, Rebecca Paul said.
“We are working with all the lotteries across Africa, [including Ghana] on those two initiatives [CSR and responsible gaming] which are two of our most important and we are just elated to be here in Ghana” the WLA president added.
The Board Chairman of NLA, Torgbui Francis Nnonyo, in his address, welcomed the charge of the President and indicated that the NLA will work hard to be a leader in the subregion.
“The Board of NLA, together with management will ensure the growth of this organization, and we are even more determined to ensure that NLA’s flag flies high among its peers and lives up to its vision to become the organization of choice on the African continent”.
The Director-General of NLA, Samuel Awuku said the authority was more resolute than ever to take up the challenges that lie ahead.
“We are excited about this new phase and of what the future holds as we forge ahead in our journey. We believe there will be bigger hurdles to cross and while we acknowledge the work that lies ahead, we remain resolute with a renewed commitment to do much better for our cherished patrons.” Sammy Awuku stated.
He also commended the management, staff and other stakeholders for contributing to the success story of NLA.
“As is typical of every great institution, it has not been all roses on our journey, but the NLA keeps innovating to bring out the best of the institution and its stakeholders. The dedicated service and tireless sacrifices borne by Management and Staff, our loyal Lotto Marketing Companies and Retailers as well as the policies and reforms, taken by successive Boards and Director-Generals have molded this foremost organization”.
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