SYSTEM NUMERIC, THE NLRC & THE LPAA BID/CONTRACT: WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED
In 2012, under the leadership of Peter Igho, at the National Lottery Regulatory Commission; a committee was formed and headed by a former Director of Enforcement. The role of the Committee was to initiate and supervise a bid for the procurement of a central monitoring system that will oversee all the activities of the lottery industry in Nigeria.
12 Companies was said to have participated in the bid for the contract, one of which was System Numeric, who came with a consultant. System Numeric is alleging that they won the bid and therefore should have been awarded the contract; NLRC through a review done by Bureau of public Procurement (BPP) is claiming that they didn’t win the bid.
It seemed that some issues arose during that time and the whole thing was jettisoned, as not much was heard or done about it since 2012, albeit an instituted legal action by System Numeric, that resolved nothing. The NLRC has even had 2 other Director Generals since then, with the project of a monitoring system on SMS based lottery awarded to another company.
Fast forward to 2022, the matter reared its head again and this time it was taken before the Senate. Maybe it was due to the fact that the Government has approved the procurement of new central monitoring system, that prompted System Numeric to resuscitate the matter again, but whatever be the case, there are more questions that need answers.
The main focus of the news in relation to this fiasco was that government lost N3 trillion due to this disagreement and some headlines even called it “the lottery contract scam”.
The question that needs to be answered to shed more light on this is how the bid for the platform was conducted and what was the process and procedure for choosing the winner?
How did the BPP review the whole process of the bid and what was the criteria and outcome of the review? Did System Numeric win the bid or not? Was it an official declaration or did someone else win according to the review conducted by BPP?
All these clarifications, will allow the public to have an informed knowledge of what actually happened and who is in the wrong; since it is being touted that the impasse has cost the nation a whooping N3 trillion and counting in lost revenue.
One also wonders how these trillions allegedly lost, would have been generated; considering the unresolved situations in the Nigerian gaming industry; multiple taxation, an environment that is not so enabling, state/federal war on regulation, the provisions of the Act on remittances that contradicts with the actual operation of games in the industry, the incessant meetings in the capital city to face one government agency or the other etc.
Now the Senate `is urgently giving the parties “2 weeks” to resolve an issue of he won/he didn’t, that happened in 2012 and which has been addressed by the Attorney General of the Federation & Minister of Justice and the House of Representatives and has had no resolution since then.
We watch as it unfolds…..