N65.16m debt: Lottery Commission seals, unseals Nestle office

The enforcement team of the National Lottery Regulatory Commission led by the Director of Monitoring and Enforcement, Sajo Mohammed has sealed the administrative office of Nestle PLC located at 22-24 Industrial Avenue, Ilupeju area of Lagos.

The seal up took place after hours of failed negotiations with Management of Nestle PLC led by the Head of its Human Resource, Mr. Adesola Akinyosoye.

However, the premise was unsealed almost immediately, following a written undertaken by Nestle PLC to pay up its debts to the Federal Government of Nigeria, totaling N65.16 million.

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Nestle had in 2009 carried out a promo lottery captioned “Nestle Milo Scratch and Win”, valued at N10.92m; another promo in 2012 captioned “Buy Save and Win More Promo” (Nestle New Year Shopper’s Combo) valued at N15m, yet another one in 2012, captioned “Super Market Back 2 School, valued at N20m; as well as another in 2014, captioned “Year-End Shoppers Bag Promo, valued at N188,072,500.

All these promotional lotteries were carried out by Nestle PLC without authorization of the National Lottery Regulatory Commission, as required by law; ignoring all attempts by the Commission for those lotteries to be properly regularized.

The total value of the promotional lotteries was N233,992,500, with total regulation fees of N65,155,365.

When the Enforcement team of the National Lottery Regulatory Commission arrived the premises of Nestle PLC at 22-24 Industrial Avenue Ilupeju, Lagos, it was learn that the Managing Director was not available. His absence paved way for Mr. Akinyosoye to negotiate on his behalf.

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However, the administrative block was sealed when it appeared that Nestle PLC was unwilling to give an undertaken on when to pay the fees; but it was unsealed as soon as the undertaken was signed and given on behalf of Nestle PLC by Mr. Akinyosoye.

The Director General of the National Lottery Regulatory Commission, Mr. Lanre Gbajabiamila had recently stressed the resolve of the commission to step up its enforcement exercise against defaulting lottery operators, as well as companies involved in non-regularized promotional lotteries.

According to him, “the Commission will not spare any defaulting operator, including those involved in non-regularized promotional lottery activities. The Commission as an agency of the Federal Government must play its role in nation building by taking every lawful step to achieve its mandate, especially in the area of revenue generation. We at the Commission will not fold our arms and watch Nigerians being shortchange in any aspect of lottery activities.”

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