The National Lotto Receivers Association on Friday debunked the assertion of the National Lotto Authority (NLA) that the association was reaping a windfall out of its business operations.
The Association described as untrue the statistics put by the NLA indicating that in 2009 and before, government received a share of 10 per cent as against 25 per cent commission for its members and the Lotto Marketing Companies (LMC’s).
These were contained in a statement issued and signed by Mr Kofi Frimpong, General Secretary of the Association in Accra.
“It has to be noted that apart from the 10 per cent which was paid into the Consolidated Fund, statutory taxes paid to government was 3.75 per cent whilst Value Added Tax of 12.5 per cent was deducted from the prices paid to winners. In effect government had 25.80 per cent,” the statement noted.
With regard to the NLA’s claim that some innovation such as automation and daily draws introduced by the Authority had benefited only the LMC’s, the statement said “the NLA has correspondingly benefited in equal measure to the benefits that was accrued to us.”
The statement pointed out that the salaries and allowances of the Board, Managerial and junior staff had astronomically been increased and that had also been inured to the benefit of the government.
The Association was therefore challenging the 50 per cent average prices paid to winners stressing that the association researches conducted over the past two years in a sample sales and winning patterns of 500 of its members from the 10 regions indicated that, the average winnings were 35 per cent.
The statement noted that the current impasse between the NLA, the Association and LMC’s was due to the fact that the Authority did not appreciate their role.
According to the Association, the NLA had failed to take into consideration the fact that the lotto receivers and the LMC’s also made expenses through the ever increasing cost of living in the country.
Apart from this, the Association said there was operational cost, which the NLA had failed to factor into their arguments before slashing down their lotto commission from 25 per cent to 20 per cent.
“We obtain loans from the banks, finance companies and mostly from the informal sector who charge outrageous interest rates to pre-finance the NLA. In addition, the LMC’s have created a powerful sales network, which is what is sustaining the NLA,” the statement said.
The Association recalled the various text messages sent to its members to go back and work, pointing out that it would remain resolute and determined to fight for a just cause.
The NLA this year obtained a court judgment giving it the green light to slash lotto commission from 25 per cent to 20 per cent. This led to a strike action by the Association and the LMC’s since July 21, this year.
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