The Nigerian Ad-Hoc Committee of the House of Representatives in charge of investigating the activities of telecom operators and service providers in the African nation has issued an order to the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC) to cease all contracts between telecommunication providers and lottery operators in Nigeria.

Hon. Ahmed Abu, the committee’s chairman, stated that all existing contracts were suspended as they were created in violation of the National Lottery Act and were therefore illegal, according to local news media, This Day.

The main violation was how the revenues were shared among stakeholders, which was reportedly done differently than what the Act stipulates. According to the legal provisions, 50 percent of the generated revenues are to go to the winner, with the operator receiving 30 percent and 20 percent going to the Nigerian regulatory commission – a formula which wasn’t respected with the current arrangements between the concerned parties.

Namely, after teaming up with Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) providers to expand the reach of lottery products, which was reportedly a breach of legal provisions in itself, the sharing formula was also altered, giving GSM companies 70% of the revenues and leaving only 30% to be shared between the local commission and lottery operators.

Thus, Abu held a meeting with executives from the NCC, NLRC, and the National Lottery Trust Fund (NLTF) where he informed them that the current contracts were illegal and are to be ended immediately while also reportedly noting that local GSM operators were cheating the government while profiteering on its citizens. He, therefore, advised the parties to find a friendly solution between themselves or resolve the issue through a public hearing.