- US Visa Lottery 2023- Nigerians Barred from Participating.
Nigeria was the only African country that was not allowed to participate in the 2022 US visa lottery, and they are still one of the countries’ not eligible for the diversity Visa lottery 2023. According to the document on the United States’ website about the diversity immigrant visa programme, any native of Nigeria (those born in Nigeria to Nigerian born parents), will not be eligible to participate in the visa lottery.
Their explanation however, was that Nigeria as a nation has benefited immensely from the programme as more than 50,000 of its citizen have successfully immigrated to the US through this programme in the past 5 years.
Other African countries or people born outside of Nigeria or have parents that were born outside of Nigeria are eligible to participate in the Visa lottery.
BEWARE OF FRAUDS AND SCAMS!!!
- NLRC and Its Irregular Board Composition
The Board of National Lottery Regulatory Commission was constituted by the National Lottery Act of 2005 and according to the Act, “there shall be a governing body known as the NLRC Governing Board “the Board” which shall have overall control of the Commission.
The intriguing and controversial thing about the current Board of NLRC is that despite the provisions of the Act, that the 6 individual members of the Board must each come from the 6 geopolitical zone; this Board has no representative from the South and South east and in spite of the fact that this issue has been raised many times in the last 4 years, even at the National Assembly by concerned parties, it is yet to be remedied.
An irregular Board defeats the whole point, of the composition; which is federal UNITY.
- Acquisition of New Monitoring System
Procuring a central monitoring system for the lottery industry has been an on-going project that commenced with the Mr. Joe Ekpe leadership era. Then an agreement for a project called STRAMAP was set up with a Serbian lottery company to provide a monitoring system for the industry. MoUs were signed between the NLRC and the NCC as well as the EFCC
This project saw some of the gaming operators especially those offering SMS/Online gaming connecting to the system. The process worked to a large extent, though it had its own issues especially with compliance. Then a new leadership entered, which carried the project on for a while before opting to acquire new monitoring system.
In 2021, the Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs; Senator George Akume stated that the federal government is geared to procure new central monitoring system that will plug leakages being experienced in the gaming industry and in the process ensure transparency and accountability.
By end of 2021, the DG of the NLRC in an interview stated that the process of acquiring a new monitoring system is on course. What this indicates, is that the Government has kept to its promise of releasing funds for the procurement of a new central monitoring system.
The Industry and the lottery enthusiasts are sure to be waiting for this new system and ‘hopefully’ it will be all that it was advertised to be.
- ICE London Has Fixed A New Date
ICE London, one of the World’s leading gaming event, which was originally scheduled to take place between the 1st to the 3rd of February 2022, but was postponed due to the outbreak of the Omicron Covid virus; has now been rescheduled to hold during the 12 to the 14th of April, 2022 at the ExCel, London, UK
The Organisers of the event has confirmed that over 35,000 people from all over the world are expected to attend this year’s event.
You can register for the event at https://registration.gesevent.com
- Proposed National Gaming Bill
The National Lottery Act 2005, which was amended in 2017, is undergoing yet another amendment process. The 2017 amendment did not sit well with the regulator (s) especially the National Lottery Trust Fund as the amendment saw the percentage meant to be remitted to the government coffers for good causes by the operators, lowered from the prescribed 20%.
This adjustment to the original provisions of the Act, from all explanations given by concerned parties, was a welcome response to the operators’ pleas, that the type of game being played in the country, which is a fixed odd game contradicts largely with the type of game that pre-empted the calculations in the 2005 Act and thus the percentage expected to be remitted to the government, was not sustainable.
There have been calls by the Regulator (s), for the Act to be further amended since then. The new proposed bill which has gone through first readings at the upper and lower chambers, is up for public hearing at the National Assembly on the 9th and 10th of February, 2022.