NLA Seeks Partnership With Caribbean Nations
Mr. SammiAwuku, the director-general of the National Lottery Authority (NLA), is seeking partnership with some Caribbean countries as part of initiatives to diversify the revenue potentials of the authority,and also use opportunities to sell its products on international platforms.
Thishas seen a lot of international and foreign collaboration by the NLA, since the assumption of office by Mr. Awuku.
According to the management, the first of these measures was to get NLA back as a member of the African Lotteries Association (ALA) and the World Lottery Association (WLA) respectively.
It is believed that, this initiative will set the tone for Ghana to trade its game in other countries and other opportunities the authority stands to benefit from these associations.
It is one of such visits that took Mr. Awuku and some management members to Jamaica in the West Indies recently.
Accompanying the NLA boss on the trip were Mr. Kwabena Opoku Boakye – Director of Marketing and Mr. Goodfellow Dei Ofei, the Public Relations Manager of the NLA.
Mr. Awuku is also building a strong bilateral relationship with some countries so that lottery companies and service providers can have the opportunity to do business out of the shores of the country.
In Jamaica, the Ghanaian delegation paid a courtesy call on the Deputy Prime Minister of Jamaica, who also doubles as the National Security Minister, Dr. Horace Anthony Chang, MP.
The Deputy Prime Minister welcomed the team and explained his country and Ghana have a long-standing relationship and underscored the need to promote culture and business relations between these two countries.
He observed that lack of a direct airline between West Africa and the Caribbean has been a major impediment, and promised leadership of these countries will start a conversation to get it resolved.
According to Dr. Chang, lottery has been a major source of support for the Jamaican economy and, for them, proceeds of lottery are invested in Culture, Health, Education and Sports development.
Mr. Awuku, on his part, conveyed greetings from the president and people of Ghana, especially the board, management and staff of the NLA.
In his remarks, Mr. Awuku said, “Hon. Deputy Prime Minister we are here to share ideas and learn best practices that will be critical to the growth of lottery in Ghana.”
He further said, “The NLA will be 60years on the 29th of September this year. We have chalked a lot of successes and have also had our own challenges but we want to move lottery in Ghana forward and make it a world class lottery industry.”
“The NLA is looking forward to granting the first license for a Caribbean company to operate lottery in Ghana and in West Africa so this visit will afford us the opportunity to assess for ourselves the capacity of the suitors,” he said.
Mr. Awuku and his team later paid a working visit to Betting Gaming and Lotteries Commission of Jamaica (BGLC), the regulator of the Lottery and Gaming in Jamaica.
The meeting afforded both teams the opportunity to share their individual experiences and the strategies they have both adopted to tackle some similar challenges they both face.
The Jamaican team took the delegation through their rigorous licensing and compliance procedures and other operations procedures they adopt for their work.
The delegation then met the biggest operator in Jamaica, Supreme Ventures Group (SVG) where they were taken through their various operations and the different products they offer.
Mr. Awuku and the team also inspected some sales points of Supreme Ventures across the island and also observed the painstaking process of running their daily draws. It is instructive to note that they run a combination of six draws a day and they only do not work on Christmas and Easter holidays.
The NLA delegation also used the opportunity to visit the former Prime Minister of Jamaica, Most Honorable Percival Noel James Patterson, popularly known as PJ Patterson.
The former Jamaican leader, who served as the sixth prime minister of Jamaica from 1992 to 2006, was pleased to welcome the NLA delegation to his home. Mr. Awuku and PJ, as he is affectionately called, had a long conversation spanning African Caribbean history, economy and politics.
Mr. PJ Patterson said, “I have read a lot about you, Sammi, and I can see some similarities with our beginnings, I was youth leader and later National Organiser of my Party the People’s National Party. I wish you well in all of your endeavors here in Jamaica and it is my hope that Ghana can open its doors to their Caribbean friends to explore the possibility of doing business together in the area of Lottery, Gaming and Betting.”
The NLA team is exploring the possibility, as well, in linking local private lotto operators to other international players to strengthen Ghana’s system.
The NLA team has been in the Caribbean nation for a week on this study and familiarization tour, upon invitation by the Jamaican Lottery Industry.