Abuja – The National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC) says it is working closely with EFCC and the Police to compel companies engaged in sales promotions with lottery content to regularise their activities.
Its Director-General, Mr Adolphus Ekpe, made this known in Abuja on Friday at the 2015 National Lottery and Sales Promotion Symposium, with the theme: `Reaching Higher: The Greatest Consumer Prize’.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the two-day national symposium is part of on-going campaign by the commission to heighten public awareness about lottery and consumer sales promotions.
The commission has no regulatory control over consumer sales promotions, but has the legal mandate to prevent unlawful lotteries.
Ekpe said that such companies would be at risk of breaking the lottery laws in the country if they failed to regularise their activities.
“We are now working with the EFCC and the Nigerian Police.
“If you are doing it out of ignorance, we allow you, we call you and say regularise; we don’t even charge much; it’s just to make sure that those, who are participating know the terms and conditions.
“You don’t just tell somebody that terms and conditions apply; you have to tell the commission those terms and conditions, the age restriction, who and who is entitled to participate.
“The date of the draw, the venue of the draw, and the procedure and then we have to witness the draw, we have to collect the details of the winners.
“Some people may not even be there on the day of the draw, but the Act allows them 180 days to claim their prizes and it is our own place as a commission to even look for the winner who is not aware that he has won.“
The director-general decried the insincerity among companies engaged in consumer sales promotions with lottery content.
“Lets say somebody is manufacturing product A and decides to say buy my product and stand a chance of winning a car.
“The person has introduced lottery into that consumer sales promotion; but the person says `no, am not a lottery company so I should not be regulated by the lottery commission`.
“The next thing is that the person starts writing in the papers that I am a manufacturer and not a lottery company.
“Some of them now gang up under Lagos chamber of commerce or the Nigeria Employer Consultative Association; they came together – Nestle and other company to say that they are not lottery companies.
“But they are asking people to participate in schemes that have prices and which (people) have a chance of winning.“
According to Ekpe, the symposium will provide stakeholders with the platform to rub minds on what constitutes sales promotion with lottery content.
“The symposium is about consumer sales promotion because it’s a very important topic in this country in the sense that manufacturers and those, who provide services, use it as a marketing strategy.
“And in the process they introduce lottery content into this consumer sales promotion but claim that they are not lottery companies and they should not be regulated.
“The lottery commission is trying to differentiate between consumer sales promotion with lottery content and consumer sales promotion without lottery content so that people, who are participating will know and those, who are coming up with schemes like that will equally know that this one has lottery content and that one does not have lottery content.’’ (NAN)