The Ghana Lotto Operators Association (GLOA) has called on President John Dramani Mahama to complete the process on modalities for the restoration of private sector operators in the Lotto business in Ghana.
Addressing a press conference in Accra on Tuesday, Mr. Seth Asante Amoani, Secretary of GLOA, claimed the process was started by former President John Evans Atta Mills but was abrogated due to his sudden demise.
In March 19, 2008, President John Evans Atta-mills promised to amend Act 722 to allow private sector participation in lotto at Takoradi during the 2008 electioneering campaign.
ï¿½Again the late President Atta-Mils reiterated this point on February 17, 2009 when he met Executives of GLOA at the Castle to understand our concerns and subsequently facilitated meetings between GLOA and the Minister of Finance, Dr. Kwabena Duffuor, and again between GLOA and ex-Attorney-General, Mrs. Betty Mould-Iddrisu. The late President Atta-Millsï¿½ solemn promise could not be fulfilled due to his untimely deathï¿½,ï¿½ the statement partly read.
According to Amoani, their request to restore private sector participation in lotto stems from the fact that the private sector still possesses the capacity to generate long-term employment across the length and breadth of the country.
According to him, when private sector participation in the lotto industry is restored, it will help in job creation as well as improve the standard of living of Ghanaians.
He added that the previous governmentï¿½s ban on private sector participation in lotto was intended to weaken the NDCï¿½s financial support-base and decimate NDC votes in the 2008 elections.
GLOA has over the years employed about 500,000 people across all the districts of Ghana. It has contributed to national income through VAT, corporate tax, income tax/PAYE, SSNIT, as well as contributed to the welfare of retired servicemen and women in the Ghana Legion. With over 500,000 employees scattered all over Ghana.
The Secretary of GLOA disclosed that if each lotto writer pays a minimum annual registration fee of GHï¿½100.00, the State is likely to receive an annual revenue of GHï¿½50 million Cedis from registration alone, not to mention the big operators and agents whose annual taxes constitute multiples of what the receivers/writers pay. It is estimated that GLOAï¿½s contribution to tax per annum will bring some additional GHï¿½22.6 million Cedis.
ï¿½the 2012 elections is about livelihoods and jobs, therefore we petition H.E. John Dramani Mahama to redeem the promise of late President Atta-mills who took steps to invite GLOA to the Castle on February 17, 2009 to understand GLOAï¿½s issues at first hand, and to facilitate the restoration of private sector participation in lottery under section 2(4) of Act 722...The past government through its cronies still at the National Lotto Authority (NLA) wanted to create millionaires for the 2008 election. Therefore can the NDC government fail to support its legion of successful businessmen and women for the same purpose? We should not forget that GLOA single-handedly encouraged its 500,000 employees and their families to vote for the NDC leading to victory, with the hope that the NDC Government will redeem its pledge by reviewing relevant provisions of the National Lotto Act to restore the participation of GLOA in the Lotto business,ï¿½ he added.
GLOA also made the following proposals for the NDC government to consider:
1. That the NDC Government immediately considers the restoration and inclusion of GLOA as operators in the Lotto Industry in Ghana as provided for under section 2(4) of Act 722.
2. That government takes a critical view of the contributions of the 500,000 strong employees and their families toward national development and electoral victory for NDC in 2012.
3. That H.E. President Mahama should re-organize and streamline the operations of the National Lottery Authority (NLA) as the regulator for all lotto operators in the country (including GLOA), to break the current monopoly of NLA.
4. That the NLA should be the sole licensing authority and regulator of all operators both State and private, and not the sole operator of lotto in Ghana.
5. That we assure the NDC Government of our co-operation to promote private sector revenue generation from the lotto business
6. That we pledge to work with any Government Committee to register our members for their participation in the lotto industry.
7. That our members promise to open their books for proper accounting and auditing purposes, as a means to determine their qualification for re-registration, and for taxes and statutory contributions if the need arises.
8. That the NDC Government reverses the injustices and abuses perpetrated against private Ghanaian businesses, through the arbitrary use of legislation and state institutions by the past government, and restore the faith of Ghanaian businessmen and women.
Source: Rebecca Addo-Tetteh/Peacefmonline.com/Ghana
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