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Lotto Sellers Strike Again   
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Lotto sellers throughout the country have called on government to direct the National Lotto Authority (NLA) to restore the 20 per cent reduction in their commissions or lose millions of cedis.

The members of the Ghana Lotto Receivers Union have indicated that they would be forced to embark on strike indefinitely on June 3, 2011 if government does not consider their plea.

If our demands are not met by Friday, June 3, 2011, we will eventually withdraw our capital from the business and embark on an indefinite nationwide strike, said Sir Samuel Yeboah, General Secretary of the National Association of Lotto Agents and Writers at a press conference yesterday.

Since 1962, lotto receivers have pre-financed the operations of NLA, formerly known as Department of National Lotteries (DNL).

Every week, lotto sellers pre-finance NLAs operations to the tune of over GH50,000. This would not be the first time that members of the union who number over 8000 would be closing their kiosk to business.

In December 2010, NLA announced a 20 to 25 per cent cut in the commissions of lotto sellers which resulted in an impasse between the two groups and landed them in court.
The leadership of the Lotto Sellers Union says they would ensure that all members lay down their tools.

If government does not intervene, we will mount a special task force all over the country to ensure that no kiosk is opened from Saturday, June 4, 2011, he said.

In April 18, 2010 government increased the commission of lotto seller from 20 per cent to 25 per cent but early this year, the NLA reduced the commissions by 20 per cent.

According to the NLA, the cut in the commission was to cover the cost of 10,000 Point of Sale Portable Automated Data Processing Machine (PADPM) imported for distribution to lotto marketing companies and other lotto operators in the gambling business.

However, the lotto sellers believe the NLA breached Section 41 of the National Procurement Law, 2003 (Act 633) as it procured the items through sole sourcing.

We strongly believe that the transaction stinks. It smacks of fraud and corruption and we are calling on government to urgently investigate it, stated Kofi Frimpong, a member of the union.

In the mean time, the lotto sellers alleged that NLA is exerting pressure on them to sign a contract that would allow them to receive 20 per cent commission if they operate the new terminals.

They suggested that government should consider a reduction in the salaries and expenditure of four directors of the NLA instead of reducing the commissions of lotto sellers.

Andrew Ofori Kwarteng, Greater Accra Regional Secretary of the Lotto Receivers Union, in an interview, explained that the cut in the commissions of the lotto operators had affected their business.

Angry members of the Union from all the 10 regions, who thronged the culture centre, Accra, noted that they are ready to close their shops until the 20 per cent cut in their commission is restored.

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