Tamale, Feb 03, GNA - A number of lotto stakers in the Tamale Metropolis have expressed their dissatisfaction about the delay in the payment of their winnings by the Department of National Lotteries (DNL).
Speaking to the GNA in Tamale on Tuesday, they said: " in recent times, we have observed that payments for winning tickets in the mid-week and Saturday draws are unduly delayed causing anxious moments for some of us".
Mr Tia Alhassan and Mr Issah Mohammed, who won 8.5 million cedis and six million cedis respectively about three weeks ago, had not been paid and any time they went to the Northern Regional Offices of the DNL, they were told that their cheques had not yet come from Accra.
"The situation is so embarrassing that both winners and vendors are at a loss as to how this state of affairs can happen when the DNL is campaigning against private lotto operators".
The stakers therefore called on the management of the DNL to take immediate steps to address the problem to encourage more people to patronize the national lotto.
When contacted on phone, Mr. George Addo-Yobo, Deputy Director in-charge of Operations in Accra, attributed the delay in payment to late presentation of some winning coupons to the DNL offices for processing.
He said some of the coupons also had abstractions on them while some winners kept their winning coupons 14 days after the drawing date. "But by our legislative instrument, such winning coupons cannot be honoured,'' he said.
On "big wins" Mr, Addo-Yobo said the winning coupons were always brought to Accra for crosschecking before payment could be effected, adding, "This practice is done worldwide".
Mr. James Owusu, Northern Regional Chairman of the Lotto Receiver Union, told the GNA that for the past three years the DNL had unduly delayed in the payment of winners.
He said in certain instances, the banks had rejected cheques issued by the Department for payment of winning coupons because the DNL had not transferred any monies for such payments.
He described the situation as embarrassing not only to the drawers but also to the vendors.