By Gifty Arthur
The National Lottery Authority (NLA), has introduced what it terms E-Kiosks, to change the face of lotto business in the country and also transform and generate more revenue for the government for development.
The project, seeks to modernize the operations and management of the lottery industry through the replacement of wooden lotto Kiosks and the metal containers with modernized Solar-powered E-kiosks.
Under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement, the E-Kiosks initiative, is expected to generate thousands of jobs for the youth.
The Herald is informed that, over Thirty Thousand (30,000) new jobs, will be created for the youth under this project alone.
The Authority, in collaboration with the Ministry of Local Government and Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs), will provide safe locations for the E-kiosks across the country.
According to a statement by the Head of Public Relations at the NLA, Razak Opoku, the authority was also arranging for cheaper and convenient payment modalities for the lotto marketing companies and other stakeholders.
In a related development, the Association of Lotto Marketing Companies (ALMC) which has embraced and applauded the NLA for the introduction of the E-Kiosks initiative, has petitioned President Akufo-Addo to help its members with a Stimulus Package to purchase the E-kiosks when it is finally rolled out.
The petition, which was also addressed to the Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta, board chairman and the Director General of the NLA, Kofi Osei-Ameyaw, signed by the Association’s General Secretary, Kofi Frimpong, was particularly concerned about the cost involved in purchasing the Solar-powered E-Kiosks, saying it was rather on the higher side..
“We find the cost of the Solar-powered E-kiosks to be beyond our means for which we think something must be done by Government to enable all our members to get on board to ensure that the E-kiosk Project becomes fully successful”.
Highlighting the contribution of the lottery business with respect to revenue generation, the Association asked government through the Finance Ministry to provide this stimulus to support it as it did in the past for other sectors including the banks.
Meanwhile, the Association failed to mention the cost of this E-Kiosks to it members even though earlier quotation of GH¢15,000 and GH¢20,000 have been debunked by the Authority.
Below is the full petition……
The Association of Lotto Marketing Companies (ALMC) which constitute the direct sales force and main backbone of the National Lottery Authority (NLA) has petitioned President Akufo-Addo, Vice-President Dr. Bawumia, the Ministry of Finance, the Board Chairman and Director-General of the National Lottery Authority (NLA) to assist members of the Association with a Stimulus Package to enable them acquire the laudable solar-powered E-kiosk Project introduced by the National Lottery Authority in Partnership with the Private Sector.
The National Lottery Authority (NLA) in partnership with the Private Sector is seeking to modernize the operations and management of the Lottery Industry through the replacement of the wooden lotto Kiosks and the metal containers with modernized Solar-powered E-kiosks.
The wooden lotto Kiosks and metal containers are not business friendly, and unable to reduce lottery stigmatization, thereby reducing sales and revenue generation.
The Solar-powered E-kiosks are equipped with facilities such as Solar Panels, V-Sat Internet-Connectivity, Money Safes, Fan, Android Point of Sale Terminals (POSTs) etc. In addition to the Sales of lotto, the Solar-powered E-kiosks will be used to provide Value Added Services such as Mobile Money Interoperability transactions, Banking, Remittances and collection of taxes for the Ghana Revenue Authority, payments of Electricity and Water Tariffs. The E-kiosk Project is designed to create over Thirty Thousand (30,000) new jobs for the youth of this country. The E-kiosk Project is also in consonance with Government’s Policy of digitalizing the Economy.
The leadership of the Association has received several petitions from our members over constant harassment and demolitions of their wooden lotto Kiosks and metal containers by the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies.
The Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies see the current lotto Kiosks and metal containers being used by our members as unsightly, which undermines their beautification efforts in the Assemblies. In most cases the Task Force of the Assemblies are unleashed on the lotto Kiosks and metal containers causing massive destruction to these Kiosks. This trend has indeed been disturbing NLA’S revenue generation efforts which in the end affect Government’s Revenue.
To this end, the Association of Lotto Marketing Companies has decided to embrace the Solar-powered E-kiosks, which is a very laudable initiative by the NLA aimed at providing solutions to the challenges of the Lottery Industry. However, we find the cost of the Solar-powered E-kiosks to be beyond our means for which we think something must be done by Government to enable all our members to get on board to ensure that the E-kiosk Project becomes fully successful.
The Solar Panels Component inherent in the project is in line with Government’s Renewable Energy Policy. The Point of Sale Terminals (POSTs) that are currently being used by our members to sell lotto are powered by electricity from the National Grid, whilst the Solar-powered E-kiosks will now be powered by Renewable Energy, precisely Solar Energy which is eco-friendly thus, lifting the burden of electricity consumption in our operations off the National Grid in this regard.
In the light of the foregoing, the Association is appealing for Government support for the provision of a *STIMULUS PACKAGE* as a *SUBSIDY* to cater for the Cost of the *Solar Panel Component* of the E-kiosks. This we believe will avoid a situation where the entire burden of the cost involved in the acquisition of the E-kiosks by our members will not fall on us in our quest to fully embrace the programme.
This petition is in line with the Government’s Policy of providing Stimulus Packages to struggling Companies who have the potential to achieve the desired growth to support the economy but are facing financial challenges.
We are fully aware of Government’s financial assistance to the struggling Banks as well as the various Industries that were struggling to survive.
It has to be emphasized that due to the relentless efforts of the Lotto Marketing Companies, the NLA has been a self-financing Government Institution since its establishment, notwithstanding the statutory provision which gives it the mandate to fall on the Consolidated Fund whenever it faces any financial challenges in its operations.
We are hopeful that, Government through the Ministry of Finance will grant us a Stimulus Package for the Solar-powered E-kiosks.
The petition was signed and delivered by Mr. Kofi Frimpong, General Secretary for and on behalf of the Association of Lotto Marketing Companies.