The National Lottery Authority (NLA) successfully launched its 60th anniversary celebration at the organisation’s headquarters in Accra on September 29, 2022.

Speaking at the event, the Director General of the Authority, Samuel Awuku, said the organisation has outlined series of activities over the next three months, to commemorate its 60th anniversary.

He added that the month of October will be dedicated to NLA’s cherished customers, “whom we recognise as our most valued assets.”

For the month of November, Mr Awuku said it will be pinned for their good causes, adding that, the 60th anniversary will be climaxed with a Grand Durbar of the Anniversary Celebration in December, which will be held concurrently with a conference on responsible gaming “as we host the African Lotteries Association (ALA).”

He indicated that in the month the Authority will give back to society by commissioning some Projects, in various parts of the country.

The NLA boss further touched on the history of Lottery in Ghana, tracing it back to the Roman Empire, in the year 1434 in Europe.

He told about how Mr Komla Gbedemah, the then Finance Minister, stumbled across a lottery, while on an official visit to the Republic of Malta in the Southern part of Europe, culminating in the birth of the NLA.

“As the story goes, Mr. Gbedemah informed the then Prime Minister, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah on his return, who in turn sent envoys to Malta to understudy the lottery, and requested the Maltese government to help Ghana set up its own lottery body.  In granting that request, the Maltese government seconded, Mr. William Francis Brennan, an Officer of the Malta Public Lotteries Department, to assist Ghana set up the Department of National Lotteries (DNL). Mr. Brennan was thus the Department’s first Director-General,” he said.

He said, after the establishment of the NLA some years ago, NLA can confidently boast of exemplifying its mandate to make all stakeholders ultimate winners.

He said: “It has been 60 Years of generating revenue for national development, 60 years of touching lives, communities, and institutions and 60 years of making our patrons millionaires.”

He maintained that, while NLA has had its fair share of challenges in this 60-year journey, the reforms, policies, and decisions taken by successive Boards and Director-Generals have helped shaped the organisation into what it is today.

Furthermore, he commended all the Boards, Director-Generals, Directors, Management, and Staff, both past, and present, who have worked tirelessly to keep the NLA afloat.

Mr Awuku also displayed some of the good causes of the NLA, where the organisation provided social amenities and equipment to organisations, individuals and entities that need a social need to thrive.

Present at the occasion were Board Chairman NLA and Member Council of State, His Eminence Tobge Francis Nyonyo, Deputy Finance Minister, Dr John Kumah, Maltese High Commissioner to Ghana – H.E Jean Claude Galea Mallia, and Minister of Defence, Dominic Aduna Bingh Nitiwul.

The list continues with Lotto Marketing Companies (LMCs) Chairman, Mr Francis Opoku, Director General – Lonaci, and President of African Lottery Mr. Dramane Coulibaly, Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Hon. Godfred Yeboah Dame Esq and Ms. Crystle Asa-Eck.

Meanwhile, the Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Godfred Odame in a goodwill message lauded the NLA on their 60 years milestone.

He added that if NLA were a person, he or she would have been in their retiring age.

He also noted that, the lottery is a celebration of the partnership between NLA and its patrons in an effort to give each and every member an exceptional lifetime opportunity to better their lives.

Over the last year, the Authority has been embarking on a restructuring exercise to drive efficiency and rebuild our corporate image. One of the initiative was the relaunch of the Caritas Lottery Platform.

This, according to the Board Chairman of NLA, Togbe Francis Nyonyo Agboada, is a demonstration of the Authority’s resolve to deepen partnership with Corporate Ghana.

“We have successfully licensed some Private Lotto Operators, (PLOs) and look forward to welcoming more on board.  The security services together with the NLA task force will continue to clamp down on defaulters to sanitize the lottery industry. We are also in the process of signing on some more Collaborators who will introduce some exciting new games for our cherished patrons.  By the end of the year, we should take delivery of our modern machines, which purchase was done in accordance with the standards of the World Lottery Association (WLA).”

On his part, the Minister for Defence, Dominic Nitiwul said as members of the family, VAG has benefited from support from proceeds from the NLA VAG lottery game.

He said his ministry would continue to explore more avenues of partnership with the NLA in bettering the lives of his men.

The event climaxed successfully with the unveiling of the 60th anniversary logo and cloth, and the cutting of cake.