Nigerian Government Urges Quarrelling Regulators To Collaborate

November 1, 2023
Back
Nigeria’s government is continuing to try and resolve challenges faced by the country’s gambling industry, as it calls on state and federal regulators to work together. 
Body

Nigeria’s government is continuing to try and resolve challenges faced by the country’s gambling industry, as it calls on state and federal regulators to work together.

Zephaniah Jisalo, the minister of special duties and inter-governmental affairs, spoke on behalf of Nigerian President Bola Tinubu on the first day of the International Gaming Conference held in Nigeria on October 31.

The “steady growth path” of the Nigerian gambling industry makes the conference “very strategic and timely”, according to Jisalo, who championed improving dialogue between all gambling industry stakeholders.

“The federal regulator will do all it can within its powers to ensure that the gambling industry remains in this steady path of sustainable growth and development,” Jisalo said before calling on operators to “remain compliant” and “strengthen collaboration”.

Jisalo praised the industry for “evolving” quickly alongside new technologies.

However, the minister highlighted the long-ongoing “issue” between the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC), the federal gambling regulator, and state gambling regulators.

“The principal cause of tension between federal and state regulators is revenue. However, we believe that all concerned can reach a common mutual ground for all stakeholders to enhance peace, harmony and progress.”

Just earlier this month, the NLRC sought to clarify the status of a number of operators it licenses, after a notice from the Lagos state regulator claimed they were “illegal and unlicensed”, causing widespread confusion.

Jisalo said his ministry suggests state and federal regulators engage with each other to find common ground and to “reach an amicable resolution to the issue”.

The minister also suggested that the event should be held annually by the NLRC.

Visiting the NLRC in September 2023, Jisalo similarly pledged that the government would “tackle” a host of challenges facing the federal gambling regulator, including introducing a long-awaited central monitoring system (CMS) “as soon as possible”.

During his visit to the NLRC, Jisalo also highlighted a “loss of huge sums of money to illegal gaming operators in the country” and corruption as “formidable challenges” facing the gambling industry.

Nigeria’s government is looking to raise more funds from the gambling industry, with one plan to introduce a new excise duty on gambling and lotteries that includes online betting within the next few years, but details on this promised change remain vague.

The statement was included by the Federal Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning in its 2024-2026 medium-term expenditure framework and fiscal strategy paper dated September 2023, but was only recently made available to the public.

Our premium content is available to users of our services.

To view articles, please Log-in to your account, or sign up today for full access:

Opt in to hear about webinars, events, industry and product news

To find out more about Vixio, contact us today
No items found.