The House of Representatives Committee on Finance has said that the National Lottery Act 2005 was inconsistent with Nigeria’s constitution and not in the interest of Nigerians.
The committee stated this at its 2022 to 2024 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework/Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF/FSP) interactive session with Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
The lawmakers expressed their worry over some of the provisions of the Act when the management of the National Lottery Trust Fund appeared before the committee on Wednesday, in Abuja.
The Chairman of the Committee Rep. James Faleke (APC-Lagos state) said that the committee was not satisfied with the powers given to the Fund on utilisation of resources.
“It is not in agreement with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as to who has the authority to approve the budget; it is not the president, the president shall present, and the National Assembly shall approve.
“In the meantime, we are giving this directive; that the Budget Office should write a letter to the Trust Fund pending the investigation we intend to carry out on the National Lottery Trust Fund, all revenue remittance to the fund should stop for now.
“We are not satisfied with the utilisation of the funds accrued to that agency and that money can save a lot out of our deficit.
“We will look at how the law came and we will amend it; it is completely not in agreement with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; there is no national interest at all, it is self centred.,’’ Faleke said.
Also, Rep. Sada Soli (APC-Katsina) described the Act as self-serving and not in the interest of Nigerians nor the interest of the Trust Fund, saying that it will be amended.
Earlier, the Executive Secretary of the Fund, Mr Bello Maigeri said that the Trust Fund had a mandate to intervene in several areas like sports, health, education and disaster management when there was need.