Nigeria Government Awards Controversial Revenue Assurance Concession 

May 22, 2024
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Nigeria's government has awarded Yuan Resources Limited a controversial 15-year concession to deploy a revenue assurance platform for the lottery and gambling sector, in a bid to stop revenue leaks from the industry and improve oversight.
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Nigeria's government has awarded Yuan Resources Limited a controversial 15-year concession to deploy a revenue assurance platform for the lottery and gambling sector, in a bid to stop revenue leaks from the industry and improve oversight.

The announcement was made following the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meetings held on May 13 and May 14. 

The deal has been described as a public-private partnership arrangement and will be executed via a design, finance, build-operate-transfer (DFBOT) agreement, which means the concessionaire will undertake the financing, construction, operation and maintenance of the infrastructure.

At the time of writing, details of the agreement are very scarce.

Despite this, state gambling regulators have reportedly already taken issue with the announcement, coming together to demand the government suspend the contract.

In a letter signed by more than 20 state regulators and shared with local media outlets, the Federation of State Gaming Regulators (FSGR) “calls for the federal government to acknowledge the constitutional and judicial positions on gaming regulation”.

“It urges President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the senate president, the speaker of the House of Representatives, and other key officials to uphold the rule of law and suspend any actions related to the concession until the Supreme Court delivers its verdict.”

Nigeria’s Supreme Court is handling a case to determine the powers that state and federal gambling regulators have, following years of disputes between them and concerns raised by bookmakers that they face “double regulation” due to a lack of legal clarity.

In the past, there have been several rulings relating to states' rights to regulate gambling, including two high-profile contradicting rulings in 2022.

The FSGR reiterated in its message: “Member states continue to stress the need for federal compliance with the constitutional provisions and respect for state legislative powers to ensure stability in the gaming industry.”

Nigeria's government has repeatedly called on state and federal regulators to settle their differences, blaming the dispute on revenue collection.

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