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GLOA Calls On President Akufo-Addo To Save Private Lotto Sector From Collapse

Ghana Lotto Operators Association (GLOA) has called on the president, H.E Nana Akufo Addo as matter of urgency commence an investigation into KGL's Lotto activities and vile attempt orchestrated to collapse National Lottery Authority (NLA) to allow KGL to takeover lottery for its selfish interests and create a new monopoly over online lottery in Ghana.

Addressing a press conference in Accra on Tuesday, April 6, Dr Ato Condauh, Barrister-at-Law, Solicitor -Superior Court, Ghana said the dubious act was hatched by the Acting Director-General of NLA, Ernest Mote, and some appointees from the Akufo Addo government for their selfish gain.

"President Akufo-Addo has a fiduciary duty to save Ghanaian Lotto businesses, in his bid to protect the public purse. The President must immediately remove the Acting Director General-Ernest Mote for being a failure just after 3 weeks at the post, and implement urgent measures to recover the GH¢20 Million Cedis owed to NLA by KGL to resuscitate NLA, and stop his appointees from interfering with the licenses of the private sector operators to risk huge judgment debts to the state".

Dr Ato Conduah stated that, if this orchestrated act not stops and investigate immediately it will collapse the 30 years impasse between private lotto operators and NLA leading to over 2 million families unemployment.

According to him, KGL has no track record of running any lottery operations anywhere in the world, but through greed, blackmail and chicanery by appointees at the Presidency, KGL has a license to operate online lotto on behalf of NLA and touted as a partner to restructure the operations of NLA, when KGL is indeed indebted to NLA, this transition from a licensed operator to a strategic partner reveals one the biggest conflict of interest cases in recent times.

"How can a licensed, but the indebted operator of NLA, become a financier to bail out NLA? The real truth about this farce is that KGL still indebted to NLA in excess of GH¢20 Million Cedis for the year 2020. How can a debtor-licensee owing a State Authority such as NLA, neglect its debt and be pretending to be bailing out NLA?"

Emphasizing, "this is a fluke orchestrated to fool Ghanaians and create the excuse to hand over NLA to KGL. NLA’s financial challenges are a direct result of KGL using its online platform to sell NLA 5/90 numbers, to deny the NLA lotto marketing companies the needed revenue, which otherwise would have come from NLA kiosks manned by the Lotto Marketing Companies (LMCs). If KGL had paid its 2020 debt of GH¢20 Million Cedis to NLA, that would have helped NLA to pay outstanding winnings, and its numerous indebtedness to media companies in Ghana", he stated.

Background Somewhere in February 2019, a company known and described as KEED was licensed to operate “Lucky 3” online games and was issued with shortcode*959#. The company illegally started operating NLA 5/90 online without any authorization from NLA. The then Director-General Hon. Osei Ameyaw wrote to NCA to pull down *959# for the illegal sale of NLA 5/90 online. There was also a lot of media publication emanating from the Public Relations Department of NLA signed by Razak Kojo Opoku on the illegality of the use of shortcode *959# by KEED to operate NLA 5/90 online. Soon thereafter a company known and described as KGL was surreptitiously introduced to NLA by Alex Dadey with the backing of Government appointees in the Presidency to the then Director-General of NLA, Osei Ameyaw as a company to operate NLA 5/90 online.

The then Director-General Hon. Osei Ameyaw resisted and even wrote to the Minister of Finance on the illegality of the transaction and advised against it. The Presidency brought pressure to bear on the former Director-General of NLA who was nearing the end of his contract. He succumbed to the pressure leading to a penalty fine of GH¢10 Million against KGL the new company who had hitherto had no dealings with NLA for illegally operating NLA 5/90 online.

The question, what was the penalty against a company that had no dealings with NLA for? This was a ruse to make KGL seem as though it was the same company known as KEED where in fact and indeed they were two separate juristic companies. This new company KGL Technologies then continued to use the shortcode *959#.

The use of the same short code *959# by two different companies KEED company Ltd and KGL Technology Ltd raised series of questions that ought to be answered by the Director-General of NCA as well as the director-General of NLA.

This inherent inconsistency is a clear manifestation of “righting the wrong”. But discerning Ghanaians shall see through this.

Dr Ato Conduah further stated that the restructuring of NLA in the 2021 budget and through uniformed schemes by the Acting Director-General of NLA, Ernest Mote are all fake attempt to surrender NLA to KGL, by using information already in the public domain, to psychologically manipulate Ghanaians to buy into the deception to hive off NLA to KGL without the public noticing.

Speaking on the illegal NLA attacks on Alpha Lotto, he said is a clear attempt to prevent competition, and create a monopoly for KGL, the special purpose vehicle (SPV) to capture the lottery sector.

"From the initial lies peddled against Alpha Lotto of not having a license to not licensed to operate online lotto to not permitted to operate its own lotto, to not authorized to use USSD Short Code, and finally suspension of license and applications for review of existing licenses, are all subtle schemes to create an exclusive online lotto for KGL".

"Razak Kojo Opoku is a discredited “black sheep” of the political opposition, who has become a “dove” in NPP, was used to blackmail the former Director-General - Osei Ameyaw to gain employment at NLA. He is to date, the only employee with two simultaneous contracts of employment, the first has a salary of GH¢ 2,300.00, and the second has a salary of GH¢7,000.00 Cedis. Though his contract of employment has expired, he continues to draw salaries from NLA, reflecting the decadence in the administration at NLA superintended over by an acting Director General-Ernest Mote, who hasn’t yet figured out how to bring the needed changes to the NLA, but doing the bidding of KGL supported by appointees at the Presidency", he said.

Revocation of License Sound bites of Razak Kojo Opoku currently trending on online media platforms reveal the diabolic intentions of NLA and KGL, designed to collapse private lotto operators.

He has been heard to state that under his watch, all private lotto operators' business shall be collapsed and their licences would not be renewed after its expiration.

He further stated that he wants the private lotto operators out of business in the shortest possible time so that KGL who he perceives have heavier financial might, shall be the only operator on the field.

These sound bites of Razak Kojo Opoku feeds into the broader narrative of calculated acts by the acting Director-General, Ernest Mote, himself, and KGL to extinguish the private lotto operators, bring NLA to its knees and create a conducive environment for an eventual take over by KGL.

The revealed contrived media statements from the Public Relations Unit of NLA, purporting to revoke the licenses of private operators is unconscionable, illegal, and will be resisted fiercely by private operators.

In conclusion, Dr. Ato Conduah said, Ernest Mote, is compromised to KGL, and deserves no mercy, as his actions are actuated by malice and intended to collapse private sector lotto businesses. This daylight robbery of taking huge licensing fees supported by GH¢5Million Cedis Bank Guarantees by NLA, and the intended capricious cancellation of licenses in the name of regulation, will not be allowed to stand.

Credit: Modern Ghana



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