“To participate, simply dial *000*1#. The more entries you send, the more your chances of winning. Draw opens…” You know the drill right?. Yes. We see these lottery programs  on national TV, on mobile phones via text messages, websites and so on. You may even have participated in some of them yourself, especially if you’ve ever wanted to be a millionaire or maybe winning an airplane isn’t such a bad idea. Well, some persons have some misgivings about such programs and they generally countenance them as scam. So lets take a look at what the law has to say on this topic. Shall we?
The legal framework for all national lottery programs in Nigeria is the National Lottery Act 2005. To fully carry out the provisions of the Act, s.1(1) established the National Lottery Regulatory Commission to “regulate the operation and business of the national lottery in Nigeria” – See Section 7 of the Act. You might be guessing at this point that the commission
looks out for the interest of all participants in a lottery scheme. Good news is, you are right! In fact, section 17 makes it the responsibility of the commission to make recommendations to the President as to the suitability of individuals or corporate bodies for the grant of  lottery licenses.
So, before a license is granted to any person or body corporate to carry out any lottery scheme,  such a licensee must be a fit and proper person, have requisite knowledge and experience in handling the business, be capable of mobilizing funds to ensure the viability of the business, make an undertaking that the process will be transparent, corruption-free and that the interest of all participants, stakeholders and the general public would be protected – See generally section 19 of the Act.
What we’ve done this week is to scratch the surface. I’m quite sure that some persons are already having second thoughts about sending those USSD codes in order to participate in one of those lottery schemes. “You know, its not such a bad idea!” I hear you. Wouldn’t it be just great to explore this further? Let’s make it a date next week.

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Nigerian Law Today

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  • thanks for protecting Nigerians? let me ask "should someone who want to go into such business need to pay any money to FG?

  • Sorry for the delay. You asked if intending licensees will be required to pay fees to the Federal Government. The answer is yes. This is because section 19 (1) of the National Lottery Act 2005 gives the President powers to grant licences to operators after meeting certain requirements. One of such requirements is the percentage of the net proceeds payable to the Trust Fund established under section 35 of the Act and the frequency of such payment in respect of all individual lotteries operated under the license. This requirement is stated in section 19(2)(a)as follows:

    Any license granted under subsection (1) of this section may be subject to such terms and conditions as the President may, from time to time, determine and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, such conditions shall include –

    (a) the percentage of the net proceeds payable to the Trust Fund established under section 35 of this Act and the frequency of such payment in respect of all individual lotteries operated pursuant to the license.

    Apart from fees, other requirements are as follows:

    The President may grant license to any person or body corporate to operate a national lottery or any lottery, by whatever name called, if the President is satisfied that the applicant –

    (a) is a fit and proper person to manage the business or any part of the business of a national lottery;

    (b) has the relevant knowledge, expertise and experience to manage the business or any part of the business of operating a national lottery;

    (c) is capable of mobilizing sufficient financial resources to ensure financial viability of the business of operating a national lottery; and

    (d) has made an undertaking to conduct the business of a national lottery with all due property, corruption free, accountability, transparency and protection of the interests of participating stakeholders and the public.

    We hope you found our reply useful. Thanks for visiting Nigerian Law Today.

  • Australian Lotto Results, thanks for your observation. Yes, Nigeria has one of the highest scam rates in the world, but the country has started cleaning up this mess. The few Nigerians who give the country a bad name in the international community now have new laws to face. For instance, Nigeria's new Cybercrime (Prevention, Prohitbition, etc) Act 2015 has been enacted to clean up Nigeria's cyberspace. Please watch out for my blog on this Act in my next post this week.