The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has signed a revised Memorandum of Understanding with the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC), with provisions to deter unapproved lottery and gaming practices on telecommunications platforms through information and intelligence sharing.
The Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, noted that the MoU is in sync with the Commission’s Strategic Vision Plan (SVP). He added that it will promote fair practices in the industry for the protection of telecommunications consumers in relation to lottery and gaming activities.
He further explained that the Commission’s SVP (2021-2025) provides for the facilitation of strategic partnerships and collaborations with other bodies to enhance service delivery.
The initial MoU: Explaining why a revised MoU has to be signed, the NCC boss said the previous one expired. He said:
“The initial MoU expired in 2022, amendments and modifications have been made since no MoU is cast in stone, especially given the industry’s dynamic nature.”
Meanwhile, the Director General of NLRC, Mr Lanre Gbajabiamila, expressed confidence that the MoU will yield favourable outcomes in curbing illegal online gambling. According to him, the objectives of the collaboration will be achieved in the interest of gaming stakeholders.
He noted how unapproved lottery and gaming activities and practices undermine the integrity of domestic and global gaming markets to the detriment of stakeholders in addition to undermining consumer confidence in these markets, hence the collaboration with the Commission to arrest such tendencies.
Information sharing: Earlier in his opening remarks, the Executive Commissioner (Stakeholder Management), Barr. Adeleke Adewolu disclosed that the MoU was designed to address recent technology information-sharing capabilities, and consumer satisfaction and to enhance areas of co-regulation in line with the Federal Government’s digital economy mandate.
The new MoU replaces one that was first signed by both organizations, which expired in 2022.
It provides complementary approaches to deter unapproved lottery/gaming practices on telecommunications platforms through information and intelligence sharing in recognition of how unapproved lottery and gaming activities and practices undermine the integrity of domestic and global gaming markets to the detriment of stakeholders in addition to undermining consumer confidence in these markets.
Under the agreement, following requests from NLRC, NCC shall endeavour to block or disable illegal lottery gaming operators on the telecommunications service providers’ platform in Nigeria and NLRC
The document was developed by a Joint Implementation Committee (JIC) comprising representatives of NCC and NLRC to implement the MoU and other matters that promote collaboration between both organizations in their regulatory functions.