The House of Representatives has resolved to investigate remittances to the Ecological Fund and withdrawals from the account between 2010 and 2022, alleging mismanagement of funds by the beneficiaries.
Particularly, the House mandated its Committee on Ecological Fund to “investigate the total consolidated mandatory accruals into the Ecological Fund from 2010 to March 2022,” adding that the committee should equally “evaluate the disbursement of the Ecological Fund in line with the provision of the 1999 Constitution from 2010 to March 2022.”
The committee is also to “investigate the utilisation of the Ecological Fund by benefiting government’s departments and agencies (MDAs) from 2010 to March 2022 and establish infractions (if any).”
To establish these facts, the House asked the committee to conduct public hearings with all the major stakeholders on the effective and efficient utilisation of the Ecological Fund and report back within six weeks for further legislative action.
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives has called on the National Lottery Regulatory Commission to ensure that all gaming operators in Nigeria integrate the National Identity in their data collection, warning that betting and lottery winnings can be a means to money laundering.
At the plenary on Thursday, a member of the House, Ibrahim Isiaka, moved a motion in which he raised the alarm over the security and economic implications of having full details of gamers in the industry.
Moving the motion titled ‘Need for Gaming Operators to Integrate National Identity Number for Verification and Identification of Customers,’ Isiaka noted that the global gaming market is a huge one, estimated to generate between $400 and $500bn yearly.
The lawmaker added that with the consistency of the current trends, “by 2022, it is set to be worth around $565bn, with increasing amounts of revenues coming from online gaming in its many forms.”
He said, “The House is disturbed that when such large amounts of money are exchanged and transacted quickly through relatively anonymous interactions, there is a significant risk that criminals will be tempted to use the situation for money laundering.
“The House is mindful that with age-restricted businesses like casinos and online gaming platforms, the critical barrier to entry for customers is age and identity verification, therefore, there is an increased need for such verifications in virtual situations in order to secure both the customers and the operators.”