The Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, John Kumah, has indicated that the National Lottery Authority (NLA) has contributed GH¢10million to government’s entrepreneurship support initiative – the YouStart programme.
The NLA made the commitment through its charity arm, the ‘Good Causes Foundation’, which has the objective to develop, implement and maintain an integrated action-plan based on four main pillars – education, health, youth and sports development, and culture.
While commending the NLA for this commitment on its 60th anniversary, he also urged the Authority to beef-up efforts to block all revenue leakages and loopholes in order to generate enough revenue for the state.
According to the deputy minister, the gesture is a major boost for the programme; hence urging other state agencies to emulate the steps taken in supporting the programme initiated by government to support youth development.
“One of the areas that we consider a priority, and which we have tasked you with, is to seal all points of revenue leakages that drain the coffers of the Authority and by extension the state. It is heartwarming to know that you are making great efforts at addressing these concerns among others. The cited plans of impending collaboration to broaden digital spaces in your operations also deserve commendation,” he said.
Through YouStart, government aims to provide capital and technical assistance to young people (18 to 40-years old) and youth-led enterprises to help them launch, develop and expand their businesses. Three programmes – District Entrepreneurship, Commercial and Grace – are the foundation of YouStart’s approach to reducing unemployment in Ghana.
The Director-General of NLA, Samuel Awuku, emphasised that it has been 60 years of generating revenue for national development; 60 years of touching lives in communities and institutions; and 60 years of making patrons millionaires.
“Attaining the age of 60 is no mean feat. We believe a new dawn is upon us, and we look forward with positive anticipation to what the future holds in this new, exciting journey.
“While NLA has had its fair share of challenges in this 60-year journey, the reforms, policies and decisions taken by successive boards and Directors-General have helped shape this premier organisation into what it is today,” he said.
Board Chairman of NLA, Torgbui Francis Nyonyo, indicated that over this last year the Authority has been embarking on a restructuring exercise to drive efficiency and rebuild its corporate image, and these new initiatives have enhanced the revenue drive.
He also added that the Authority is about to phase-out all its old operating machines and equipment, and introduce new ultra-modern state-of-the-art equipment.
“This is to drive efficiency while we phase-out our old machines, which are over 25-years old. These initiatives are geared toward diversifying our revenue streams to enable us support government’s developmental agenda – and support our communities through the Good Causes Foundation,” he said.
Other dignitaries also in attendance at the 60th anniversary launch included President of the African Lotteries Association and Director General of LONACI, Dramane Coulibaly; Minister for Justice and Attorney-General, Godfred Yeboah Dame; Minister for Defence, Dominic Nitiwul; and Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, George Mireku Duker.