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Director-General of the National Lottery Authority (NLA,) Samuel Awuku, has disclosed the Authority has contributed over GH¢250 million to the Consolidated Fund in the past ten years.

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The Authority, he said, has also supported institutions, groups, and individuals with cash donations, medical equipment, and infrastructure in the areas of health, education, sports, and the promotion of cultural activities.

He stated that reports from the World Lottery Association, which constitute roughly half of the total number of worldwide lotteries indicate over US$76 billion were collected for good causes in 2015.

Mr. Sammy Awuku disclosed this at the relaunch of the NLA Caritas Lottery Platform on Wednesday 20th October 2021 in Accra.

The Platform, he said, was established in November 2012 to enable corporate bodies, organizations, commercial and financial institutions, and well-meaning Ghanaians to run their business promotions through lottery schemes in collaboration with NLA.

Revenue generated by the Authority from the Caritas Lottery Platform, he said, is used mainly for social responsibility projects to support the less privileged in society as mandated by law.

He disclosed that the establishment of the Platform has helped most organizations particularly financial institutions, enhance their product sales, improve deposit mobilization and enhance a savings culture and also helped sanitize the consumer promo space, which was saddled with fraudulent activities.

“The Caritas Lottery Platform hinges on Section 2(3) of the National Lotto Act 2006 (Act 722) which stipulates that; “There shall be conducted as part of the operation of National Lotto, a lottery with the object of providing care and protection for the physically and mentally afflicted, the needy, the aged, orphans and destitute children.”

“Revenue generated by NLA from the Caritas Lottery Platform is hence used mainly for social responsibility projects to support the less privileged in society as mandated by law,” he said.

Mr. Awuku averred that the NLA is still resolute to provide better care for the needy and support the underprivileged despite the fact that it has positively affected society in the past through support and donations.

The objective, he said, is what has culminated into the birth of the Good Causes Foundation previously known as Special Projects.

According to him, the Good Causes Foundation is aimed to develop, implement and maintain a structure and Action Plan based on four main pillars- Education, Health, Youth and Sports Development, and Culture.

He said, “Education will focus on awarding educational support to brilliant but needy students. We will also support educational institutions with the necessary logistics and sponsor programs and projects that meet the objectives of the Foundation.”

“In the area of health, the foundation will focus on infrastructure support, training of mental health workers, provide hospital supplies and embark on nationwide medical outreaches on specific ailments.”

“Youth and Sports Development will cover capacity building for the youth and will support sporting activities with special focus on the development of lesser-known sports.  It will also assist SMEs owned by young people with the technical and skill support they may need to be innovative.  Special attention will also be given to persons with disability and special needs who may want to go into entrepreneurship.”

“On Culture, our final pillar, the foundation will support projects that seek to safeguard and protect Ghanaian cultural events and educational programs,” he added.

He indicated that all proceeds from the Caritas Lottery Platform will go directly into the Good Causes Foundation, which is not a profit-making venture, with the aim of impacting and making Ghanaian society better.

The Chief of Staff, Hon. Akosua Frema Opare yesterday called on corporate Ghana to use the Caritas Lottery platform for their raffles, promotion, and game of chance. This in her view will help the NLA to fund its NLA Good Causes foundation.

NLA under the new board and management has resolved to relaunch the Caritas Lottery platform to regulate consumer promotions and other raffle-related activities of Corporate Ghana and all businesses. This will boost the confidence of citizens who partake in the lottery while raising revenue to support the physically or mentally afflicted, the needy, the aged, orphans, destitute children, and other good causes. The authority takes a lot of inspiration from its sister bodies across the world where revenue generated from lotteries is invested in areas like education, sports, health, arts, and culture.

She made the comment at Alisa Hotel when the NLA relaunched its Caritas platform and Good Causes foundation at a color event which was well attended by CEO`s, MD`s and marketing executives from Corporate Ghana.

She added “Fellow Ghanaians, to ensure effective and efficient use of revenue to be generated from the Caritas Lottery platform, NLA is setting up its Good causes foundation, the authority believes that in taking the path of investing in visible good causes society, it will also help de-stigmatize lottery in the minds of average Ghanaians regarding the role lottery plays in our modern-day society.

Madam Chief of Staff used the occasion to invite Corporate Ghana to partner with the NLA`s Good Causes foundation. The Chairman of Keed Ghana Limited (KGL) pledged to contribute 2million cedis annually to support the foundation.

The Minister of State in charge of finance, Hon.  Charles Adu-Boahene, the deputy Minister of finance, Hon Osei Asare, Deputy Attorney General, Hon Diana Asonaba Dapaah Esq., Director-General LONACI, Mr. Dramaner Coulibahy, His Eminence Togbui Francis Nyonyo and other board members of the NLA graced the occasion.

The Chief of Staff, Frema Osei Opare, stated that the Caritas Lottery Platform, despite its introduction has not had the impact that its promulgators had in mind. She has said that from the assessment of the National Lottery Authority (NLA), this suboptimal performance is attributed to lack of attention or firmly put, the neglect of the platform over the years.

“This situation gave individuals and corporate bodies, who through no fault of theirs, the room to organize raffles, draws and lottery without reference to NLA,” The Chief of Staff has stated.

She has stated that the NLA under its new Board and Management, have resolved to relaunch the Caritas Lottery Platform to regulate consumer promotions and other raffle related acts of Corporate Ghana and all businesses.

“This will help boost the confidence of citizens who partake in lottery while raising revenue to support the physically or mentally afflicted, the needy, the aged, orphans, destitute children and other good causes. The Authority takes a lot of inspiration from its sister bodies across the world where revenue generated from lotteries are invested in areas like Education, Sports, Health, Arts and Culture. In the United States for instance, revenue generated from lotteries in various states are allocated to, inter alia, scholarships, police and fire service development, prison construction, construction of parks, construction of educational facilities and rent relief. This practice is no different in the United Kingdom, Australia and Mauritius,” she said.

Madam Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, the Chief of Staff said this during the welcoming of the relaunch of NLA Caritas Lottery Platform and the launch of the NLA Good Causes Foundation at Alisa Hotel on 20th October, 2021.

Present at the ceremony was the Director-General of LONACI, Mr. Dramane Coulibaly, who travelled from La Cote D’Ivoire.

The NLA Caritas Lottery Platform was introduced into the stables of NLA in November 2012. Its main purpose is to collaborate with Corporate Ghana and all well-meaning Ghanaian businesses and individuals that wish to use elements of Lottery or Raffle Draws in running Consumer Promotions and other activities. The NLA, under Act 722 is the only body with the mandate to regulate and conduct lottery in Ghana and without such a platform it would be illegal for corporate Ghana and individuals to, on their own engage in any Raffle Draws or Lotteries.

The Chief of Staff stated that to ensure effective and efficient use of revenue to be generated from the Caritas Lottery Platform, NLA is setting up its Good Causes Foundation. The Authority believes that in taking the path of investing in visible good causes in society, it will also help de-stigmatize lottery in the minds of average Ghanaians regarding the role lottery plays in our modern-day society.

“As a government, we rely heavily on our agencies as vehicles in establishing and maintaining healthy relationships with industry players. The Banking and Finance sector, Insurance sector, Fast Moving Consumer Goods, Oil Marketing and all other sectors have since the inception of this great country contributed immensely to our development. These industries have in recent times supported, without hesitation, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s vision of a Ghana Beyond Aid,” he stated.

 

She said that the NLA has resolved to revitalize its relationship with Corporate Ghana particularly in the area of raffles, draws and lottery. The NLA Caritas Lottery Platform is being showcased to all companies and individuals who wish to engage in any form of lottery as the designated platform for engaging in legal lottery.

“This has become imperative especially in this pandemic period where companies and individuals seek to increase their brand awareness, sales and revenue through promotions and draws.

“In addition, the NLA is also inviting Corporate Ghana to be a partner to the Authority’s Good Causes Foundation. The authority invites business and all well-meaning Ghanaians to dedicate portions of their revenue to support the NLA Good Causes Foundation in addressing socio-economic challenges of our motherland Ghana. This will reinforce what Corporate Ghana is already doing in terms of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to improve the living standards of our citizenry.

“The NLA Caritas Lottery Platform is here to stay and we believe that moving forward it will be a strong pillar for raising revenue to assist the underprivileged in our society. Let historians looking back at our time note our genuine intentions and if we fail, at least our children and generations unborn will say that we justified our brief moment here on earth,” she said.

On his part, Hon. Godfred Odame, the Attorney-General stated that the National Lotto Act, 2006 (Act 722) provides for a system of regulation and operation of lottery in Ghana. He stated that at the heart of this is Section 2(3) which mandates the NLA, as part of its operations to conduct a lottery with the object of providing care and protection for the physically or mentally afflicted, the needy, the aged, orphans and destitute children.

He stated that additionally, Section 2(4) of the National Lotto Act, 2006 (Act 722) mandates the NLA to collaborate, partner or form joint ventures with any person, society, association or corporate entity to operate a game of chance in accordance with existing laws.

“In order to fulfill its mandate as enshrined in Section 2 (3 & 4), the NLA is tonight relaunching its Caritas Lottery Platform with the intention of investing the proceeds in good causes nationwide.

“On the part of this Government, we plan to strongly support NLA by ensuring compliance with the regulations governing such business promotions that are rolled out onto the market by corporate Ghana from time to time. It is only through these measures that together, we can generate the needed revenues to help achieve the purpose for which the NLA Good Causes Foundation is being launched today,” he said.

On her part, Honourable Abena Osei-Asare, the Deputy Minister of Finance, stated that the purpose for establishing the Caritas Lottery Platform in 2012, was to afford corporate Ghana and other well-meaning Ghanaian businesses the opportunity of engaging in collaborations to conduct raffles, draws and lotteries for promotion of their businesses. NLA on its part, applies its share of proceeds from these collaborations to social responsibility programs that care for the less privileged and needy in our society, in accordance with provisions of the National Lotto Act, 2006 (Act 722).

She said that as a statutory entity solely mandated to regulate, operationalise, manage and distribute lotteries of all forms, NLA is to offer support and partner the business community to not only achieve their business goals but also give back to society, through lottery schemes. Tonight, reflecting on what we have done together as partners over the last few years, have we been able to make any positive impact in the lives of the less privileged and poor in society?

“Ladies and Gentlemen, the rebranding of Caritas Platform, which is a Latin word for Love and Compassion, with the intent to dedicate generated revenues to support NLA Good Causes Foundation is a laudable initiative that must be commended and supported by all well-meaning Ghanaians. Interestingly, when we look at the things that really draw us closer as a people—sport, education, the arts, and charities-they often fall at the back of the queue for attention—health, education, social security, defense often times are way ahead. And NLA’s Good Causes Foundation will surely support each of these areas—sports, the arts and charities. Also, to those lucky with life, we have special task to give back to society and thus launching NLA’s Good Causes Foundation places us on the path of being each others keeper in this trying times of Covid-19 where our collective progress requires the 3Ts’ of Tact, Tenacity and Time.

“To this end, I commend all previous Board of Directors, Management, Staff of NLA and stakeholders of NLA for advancing the cause of our forebears who introduced the Game in 1962, to create moments of Hope and Happiness through exciting lottery games to generate revenue for National Development and make all Stakeholders ultimate Winners.

“This government has made support for charities a key pillar to help the less privilleged in our society. The task for us is not to reinvent the wheel but to follow best practices in our neighboring countries and the developed world where Lottery funds go to support good causes. What will make the NLA’s Good Causes Foundation unique will be its ability to make a difference by dedicating generated revenue from its Caritas Lottery platform to support the needy and less privileged in our communities. When we work together, we can achieve incredible things. I therefore entreat corporate Ghana to support this noble cause by collaborating with the mandated statutory body, the NLA on its Caritas Lottery platform to run these business promotions because of its immense contribution to the state.

“On behalf of Government and the Ministry of Finance, I would like to thank the Chairman and Members of the Board of NLA, staff of NLA and major stakeholders who have been with us through it all,” she said.

The Board Chairman of NLA, Togbui Francis Albert Nyonyo, on behalf of the Board of Directors and Management of the National Lottery Authority, (NLA) welcomed the Relaunch of the Caritas Lottery Platform and the launch of the Good Causes Foundation. We could not be happier.

He noted that on the assumption of office, they were tasked by the Minister of Finance to block all revenue leakages, improve revenue generation and deal with the activities of illegal operators.

“I am happy to announce that we have taken steps to address these issues. In order to streamline the sector, we have completed the Pre-Qualification phase for licensing of all Operators of Private Lotto (OPL) for the 2021/2022 Licensing year. We are currently at the next stage where all operators of Private Lottery who submitted their duly completed Pre-Qualification Forms NLA have up to October 29 2021, to pick up their Licensing Application Forms and Payment Terms.

“Effective November 1, 2021, NLA will in collaboration with our security services, clamp down on all unlicensed private lotto operators.  We believe this will bring the needed revenue to help government’s developmental and revenue mobilization agenda.

“NLA is in discussions with our counterparts in the sub region to produce games common to the citizenry in partner countries to whip up excitement and generate revenue. To be abreast of the times, we also intend to go digital with all our games in the coming years to give our customers the ease and comfort of playing.

“The Relaunch of the Caritas Lottery Platform and the launch of our Good Causes Foundation therefore ties in with our resolve to generate revenue and increasingly give back to the vulnerable and underprivileged in society.

“NLA has taken cognizance of the times as most companies are now recovering from the setbacks of the COVID19 pandemic.  The Board of Directors as a sign of goodwill has therefore directed that management take immediate steps to reduce drastically the fixed fees and commissions charged on promotions and promotional activities.  We believe these measures would enable more engagement and further strengthen the bond between NLA and corporate Ghana,” he said.

He implored all to support NLA in theirr quest to give more to the vulnerable in society through the Caritas Lottery Platform and Good Causes Foundation.

(You can follow stories in the Daily Searchlight on www.thedailysearchlight.com or Daily Searchlight on our Facebook home page. Write to us on searchlightnews@yahoo.co.uk).

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