Business News of Thursday, 27 July 2017
In an effort to improve the lottery business and boost revenue generated by the sector, as well as increase commissions of its agents, the National Lottery Authority (NLA) is set to introduce a number of value-added services to its operations.
The authority has announced plans of introducing its agents and stakeholders in the lottery industry to technology and innovation in order to improve upon their services whilst creating more job opportunities in the country.
To this effect, the Director General, Mr. Kofi Osei-Ameyaw, said the authority has put in place certain measures to modernise the operations of its agents.
Speaking at a stakeholder forum to dialogue on issues and challenges agents are facing in the lottery business, Mr. Osei-Ameyaw disclosed that the NLA is poised to procure some thirty thousand (30,000) modern lotto kiosks to be distributed across the country by November or December, 2017.
These modernised kiosks, furnished with POS machines, according to him, will serve as one-stop-points where different transactions such as; payment of utility bills, DSTV bills, mobile money and other services being offered by banks.
He noted, “We’ll introduce technology in the sector by introducing operators to the POS system. The POS system is going to open up the lotteries business because we’ll do value additional businesses by partnering banks and do banking activities on the POS system.”
Mr. Osei-Ameyaw said, he is optimistic the new kiosks will bring great improvement in the lottery sector and also help increase revenue generation which is needed for national development as well as enhancing the lives of lotto operators by increasing the current 20 to 25 per cent commission it pays them.
He added that the POS machines will reduce the stress involved in paying winners through instant payment either in cash or cashless services.
At the meeting in Accra involving lotto writers and agents, some issues affecting the welfare of the stakeholders were identified. Key among these is the “unfair” 35 per cent commission being enjoyed by banker-to-banker operators compared to the “meagre” one given to the licensed operators.
To address this, Mr. Osei-Ameyaw reiterated the NLA’s commitment in enhancing the welfare of its agents.
He said all the new strategies being introduced by the NLA, including partnership with the private sector are meant to up revenue generation which will bring a change in the business and lives of all parties involved as commissions are increased.
He said the authority is in talks with the Ministry of Finance to scrap certain lotto taxes in order to regularise banker-to-banker operators and to create an equal playing ground for sector players.
“Once we partner with the private operators, we’re sure to increase revenue, we’ll then move to neighbouring countries so we extract revenue from them as well for the development agenda as well as increasing commissions,” he emphasised.