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Business News Mon, 25 Jul 2011

NLA says automation of lotto yielding fruits

Accra, July 25, GNA - The National Lotto Authority (NLA) on Monday said the introduction of the Portable Automation Data Process Machines (PADPM) under Authority’s automation project was yielding good results.

It said it has from January 1 to July 23, 2011 recorded a total of GH¢5,681,289 as sales.

The PADPM is a software application designed for the NLA to dispense lottery products in place of the manual lotto (coupon based).

“...With less than one-third of the equipment deployed in only six months, we have already reached a sales level of two million Ghana cedis per month in June and we believe we are on course to repeat this performance as per our estimate,” Mr Kojo Andah, Director General, NLA said.

He was speaking at a press conference held in Accra to correct some misconceptions about the PADPMs.

Mr Andah admitted that the NLA experienced some challenges during the initial rollout of the automated machines but stressed that those challenges had been resolved.

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“We have experienced minor technical hitches, which we can confirm have been attributed mostly to the fact that the PADPM’s are yet to be fully localized in terms of use by our Lotto Marketing Companies (LMCs),” he said.

He said 10,000 machines were acquired with a strong business plan, adding that the NLA’s business operations were currently running on 65 per cent automation and 35 per cent manual.

“We are poised to eliminate the manual system of operation as soon as practicable,” he added.

Mr Andah said with effect from August 1, this year, the NLA’s products would be available to customers in over 50 fuel, marts or retail shops across the country and these would be expanded in due course.

He therefore asked people to register with the NLA to retail their products in some of these market areas.

On funding, Mr Andah said the project was a facility from the SG-SSB Bank totalling 5,485,856 Euro explaining that the facility was used to procure PADPMs, lottery software solutions and VSAT, a satellite communication system.

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“The loan will be repaid in 36 months, monthly instalment payment plan amounting to GH¢650,000, (as principal plus interest),” he added.

In 2009, the NLA Introduced the PADPMs to increase its revenue base.

In January this year, the NLA commenced with the first phase of the automated machines, which has lottery and non-lottery products such as raffles and games, mobile phone top-up and credit and debit card transactions respectively.

The PADPMs modules of application include terminal tracking, credit management, draw process and Lotto marketing Companies register.

Lotto receivers have been on an indefinite nation-wide strike for more than three weeks to protest against the reduction in commission paid to them by NLA from 25 to 20 per cent.

Source: GNA