The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has signed a revised Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC), with provisions to deter unapproved lottery and gaming practices on telecommunications platforms through information and intelligence sharing.
A statement issued on Thursday by NCC’s Director of Public Affairs, Dr Reuben Muoka, said the MoU was signed in Abuja, on Wednesday.
Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta noted that the MoU, which will impact the gaming industry, is in sync with the Commission’s Strategic Vision Plan (SVP) and is in a bid to promote fair practices in the industry for the protection of telecommunications consumers in relation to lottery and gaming activities.
He said the collaboration is in line with the provisions of Commission’s SVP, 2021-2025, which provides for facilitation of strategic partnership and collaboration with other bodies to enhance service delivery.
“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,” he explained.
The Director General of NLRC, Mr Lanre Gbajabiamila, expressed confidence that the MoU will yield favourable outcomes in curbing illegal online gambling as he shared his hope that NCC and NLRC will achieve their intentions 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.
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 organizsations, 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 organisations in their regulatory functions.