The National Lottery Authority (NLA), has signed an agreement with the Veteran Administration of Ghana (VAG) to bring to their control, all private lotto operators, who hitherto were licensed by the Administration.
With the agreement, private lotto operators, will have no authority to work under the old system, unless they register with the NLA which now wields the power to license operators for lotto business across the country.
The short ceremony which was attended by Board Members of both VAG and NLA, begins a new and strong relationship between the two bodies.
Under the new dispensation, private lotto operators, have six months to register with the NLA for license, since the law and power that VAG welded through an Act of Parliament, has been handed over to the regulator for a period of five years subject to renewal.
Director General of the NLA, Kofi Osei Ameyaw, said the agreement would ensure both bodies benefit. This brings to an end the era where the two frequented court for one issue or the other.
Mr Osei Ameway said, the agreement would also end, the periodic seizure of equipments of lotto operators who operated illegally without recourse to VAG laws, as henceforth, all operators will be expected to register for license.
He said, the work of old service men, is very important to the nation, reason they are collaborating with the Administration, to efficiently work to rake in the needed revenue due them, so that they can greatly benefit from it.
Executive Director of VAG, Rtd Gen. Capt. Edmond Ben Duah, described the agreement as “A new dawn and a bright future” for the retired army officers adding, “The lives of ex-service men are going to change for the better”.
Capt. Duah said, it was gratifying to see the signing of the agreement, especially during his time and thanked the Minister of Defense; Dominic Nitiwul, for ensuring this agreement was reached. According to him, the agreement gives him confidence and also indicates a clear future.
He hoped the new agreement will lead to further collaborations which will be beneficial to his colleague ex-service men.
Board Chairman of NLA, Torgbui Nyonyo, said the regulator was going to put measures in place so that, the old system, where certain individuals manipulated the system and short-changed VAG members to enrich themselves, becomes a thing of the past.
He said, the agreement has come to stay, noting it was counterproductive the period where the industry had multiplicity of laws regulating the same industry.
The Board Chairman said, NLA is for every Ghanaian and assured it was working to increase its workforce by hundred thousand by “Taking lottery service to the doorsteps of the people”.
NLA presented a cheque of 220, 000.00 comprising monthly GHc120, 000.00 contribution to the Administration and GHc100, 000.00 for their healthcare as part of the agreement.
He announced the NLA was also allocating some GHc10 million to rebuild the Military stadium beginning with a sod cutting ceremony at the Burma Camp in Accra.
Board Chairman of VAG, Rtd Maj. Gen. Yaacha, expressed deep concern over how in the past similar agreement failed to materialize.
Veterans, he lamented were cheated as far back as the 1970’s adding “That marriage is broken and today, we are entering into a new one. This agreement will serve us well”.
He said, the new agreement was not a winner takes all project, but rather one that would benefit both parties.
The retired army officer said veterans who are 19 thousand, have not had it easy over the years, but was hopeful with the passion and zeal shown by the Authority, the agreement will bring benefit to all members.
“The things we need are numerous some being healthcare, accommodation, transportation, among others”, he said.
The agreement has come very timorously, noting the agreement was reached with fate and so it will stand the test of time.