Lagos - Nigeria’s lottery market can generate over N350 billion for the Federal Government annually if properly harnessed, the Director General of the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC), Mr Peter Igho, said on Sunday.
Igho told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the amount was realisable if 50 per cent of the country’s productive class played a minimum of N200 in lottery weekly.
"The lottery market, if properly explored and prudently managed, can fetch a princely N350 billion annually to the coffers of the Federal Government for good causes.
"From the SMS lottery alone, we can generate about N150 billion annually,” said the NLRC boss.
Igho said that lottery money had been used by governments across the world to pursue and achieve national development in infrastructure, healthcare, scholarship as well as transportation and forestation development.
The director general noted that UK Lottery, through Camelot, contributed 750 million pounds to the successful hosting of the just concluded 2012 London Olympics.
He added that in a country like Niger Republic, proceeds of lottery were used to build boreholes while many of the lottery winners were sponsored to perform the holy pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.
"In Nigeria, these positive contributions will be felt in such areas as supporting good causes, reduction of unemployment and significant increase in the country's GDP, " he said.
He said that lottery activities had not gained acceptance in the country over the years, adding that the commission was working on ensuring its credibility and integrity in consonance with global ethnics and codes.
Igho said that if the sector could create about 8000 millionaires every week and about 200,000 direct and indirect employment when it properly gained acceptance.