The advancement in Information and Communication Technology which cuts across all sphere of human activities has compelled the National Information Technology Development Agency, (NITDA) and the National Lottery Regulatory Commission, (NLRC) to partner on how to advance the regulatory functions of the Commission in order to increase revenue accruable to the government from the lottery industry.
The NLRC Director-General, Mr. Lanre Gbajabiamila who was at NITDA Corporate Headquarters to forge the partnership with NITDA explained that the Commission has identified NITDA as an Agency that can help to block leakages occasioned by the advancement in ICT which was not covered by the Act establishing the Commission.
He said; “The lottery and gaming industry has grown to the level that has caught us unaware but there is still rooms to block the leakages and we have identified Agencies like yours to salvage the industry because it has grown to the level of using the technology devices we carry around.”
He added that the nation is losing billions of naira to remote gaming because “the commission does not have a link to capture that ourselves” adding that “the remittance from remote gaming has been a challenge for the commission because operators are outside our jurisdiction and use telecommunication companies’ platforms to transact business.”
Mr. Gbajamila stated that although the Commission is working on monitoring the system to ensure how the leakage would be blocked, “we still need to collaborate to identify foreign operators and the jurisdiction of Nigeria” adding that the commission is working to amend the National Lottery Act to accommodate the changes occasioned by the digital economy.
In his response, the NITDA Director-General, Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi who was delighted over the partnership, expressed that there are opportunities in the collaboration that would benefit the digital agenda of the government.
He said; “I can see an opportunity for collaboration on local content, data protection, and cybersecurity because our mandate is to digitize government service” he added that “the contribution of lottery and gaming to the national economy is high and it is an industry we can use IT to explore.”
“Although most vendors are outside the country, we can issue a standard to local vendors. So we need to see how you regulate the industry with the mandate of the commission. We will also look at areas where we can work together,” Abdullahi said.
While advising the Commission to avail themselves with the provision of the Nigerian Data Protection Regulations, (NDPR) as issued by NITDA, the NITDA boss said the Commission should as a matter of urgency guide the industry players on the protection of people’s data.
Data protection is very key and it’s one of our important regulatory instruments. The digital economy is about generating data and your industry is prone to malicious activities and it is mandatory on you to let your people know the importance of protecting people’s data.
The two organizations agreed to form a working group that would develop a Memorandum of Understanding which would serve as a working document between them.