14.01.2011 Business & Finance

Lotto Sellers Mad At NLA

By Daily Guide
Dan Mensah and Kofi FrimpongDan Mensah and Kofi Frimpong
14.01.2011 LISTEN

Members of the National Lotto Receivers Union have accused the management of the National Lotteries Authority (NLA) of scheming to put them out of business, calling for government's intervention.

They have threatened to embark on a nationwide strike action, adding that 8000 lotto receivers across the country would close their kiosks, although such an action might cause the nation to lose a great amount of revenue to a tune of over GH¢ 35,000 a week.

Speaking to the CITY AND BUSINESS GUIDE in Accra, after a National Executive Council meeting where members wore red arm bands, they indicated their readiness to mobilize all members for the strike action if governments fail to act.

Dan Mensah, National Chairman of the Union stated that there was a ploy by the national Lotteries Authority to collapse the business of lotto receivers and their sales assistance numbering over 20,000.

It would be recalled that DAILY GUIDE in its December 29, 2010 edition reported that the NLA was set to roll out a modernization programme expected to reduce the commissions paid to lotto sellers from 25 per cent to 20 or 15 per cent.

The cut in the commissions of lotto sellers, according to the NLA, is to increase the profit margin of the Authority.

As part of the new arrangement to introduce e-lottery credit facility and electronic lottery tickets that would be easily accessible to lotto stakers, the NLA has imported 10,000 point of sale Portable Automated Data Processing Machine (PADPM) which the authority claims would be distributed at no charge to lotto marketing companies and other lotto operators in the gambling business.

However, the Union hinted that regional representative of the NLA are putting pressure on its members to register as lotto marketing companies at a fee of GH¢250 before they can get the machines.

Mr Mensah explained that under the new National Lotto Act 722 of 2006, they are to be recognize automatically as lotto marketing companies, noting, 'There is a move to render us irrelevant and jobless as the NLA is recruiting 10,000 people who would be given the new portable mobile terminals to be used to conduct door-to-door sales by going to offices, homes and shops to sell lotto tickets for them to be paid 15 per cent commission.'

Kofi Frimpong, General Secretary of the Union stated that for sometime now 'the relationship between the Union and the management of NLA has not been the best.

The attitude of the NLA towards the union seems to suggest that they no longer want to work with us so far as issues affecting lotto receivers are concerned.'

Unable to fathom why the NLA is distributing the electronic ticketing machine to other individuals instead of giving it to members of the Union, he said 'This is a serious threat to lotto receivers who have rendered years of loyal and dedicated services to the NLA to mobilize substantial amount of revenue to support economic endeavours of successive governments.'

Other members of the union were of the view that the NLA should have imported a few of the portable terminals before making the bulk purchases 'what if the machines are inefficient.'

In a resolution signed by 40 lotto receivers including regional representative and national officers of the union, they said 'we want all lotto receivers to be recognized as individual retailers and not be forced to operate as marketing companies.'

They appealed to government to dissolve the board of the NLA and look at its expenditure, especially foreign trips embarked upon by management of the authority.

They further asked 'government, to as a matter of urgency, replace the director general and his deputies, else we shall take steps to advise ourselves. We are resolved.'

By Emelia Ennin Abbey