Sammy Awuku saddled with herculean task at NLA

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Sammy Awuku, new Director General of the National Lottery Authority (NLA) needs to hit the ground running to deal expeditiously with the many challenges weighing down the Authority if his time there is to be successful.

Sammy Awuku is joining the NLA few months after staff of the Authority threatened to withdraw their services over lingering challenges the Authority was going through that led to the non-payment of lottery wins for several months.

The workers, in March 2021, also complained of the poor management system of the Authority which had resulted in its inability to pay salaries for the month of February 2021.

More challenges

Obviously to be able to affect the fortunes of the Fortune House, Mr Sammy Awuku would have to do far more than just address the concerns of the staff.

Exclusive information gathered by the Ghanaian Publisher, indicates that  the NLA is neck deep in multiple other challenges requiring the dexterity and experience of the newly appointed Boss to salvage.

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Currently, the NLA reportedly has 59 different bank accounts, which makes it difficult to effectively track the finances of the company during account taking.

The new Director-General would therefore have to consolidate the different bank accounts to a manageable number to ensure efficiency and prudence.

It is also alleged that some NLA personnel of the institution are not staff of the Authority but rather work for the Authority’s technical service providers.

It is further alleged that although the services such personnel provide is not directly linked to the NLA they still draw salaries thereby stretching the finances of the Authority.

Legal issues

Presently, the NLA is involved in a legal tussle  and spends GH¢80,000.00 on a case in which the complainant had sued for only GH¢24,000.00.

In another development, the Authority is reported to have lost a case at a High Court and then at the Appeals Court in which the complainant sued NLA for GH¢120,000.00.

After the two defeats, the Courts charged NLA to pay GH¢450,000.00, which is 275 per cent of the amount that the complainant sued for and yet, the lawyers are advising the Authority to go ahead and challenge the rulings at the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, NLA pays a law firm, a monthly retainer of GH¢5,000.00 and yet this firm has never been tasked to represent the Authority in any legal suit in the past two years that the contract came into existence.

The Auditor-General, in his 2020 Report, stated that there are several lawsuits pending at various law courts with most complainants demanding various sums of monies from the NLA.

More Rot

Incidentally, in the midst of this quagmire, the NLA appears to have misplaced its priority when it comes to its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

The workers complained that though the elevator at the NLA Fortune House has been out of service for years, the Authority chose to provide an elevator to the Ghana Police Service at a cost of GH¢1 million.

Additional information also indicates that many of the staff have rented out their official accommodations at Dansoman, Adentan and Sakumono with some taking three times what they are being charged by the NLA.

Some have also reportedly converted their residences into Creche to make extra cash at the expense of the Authority.

The paper also gathered that the NLA is being bled through inflation of the cost of items sometimes over 100% of the asking price.

For instance, the NLA is reported to have bought a Drawing Machine for GH¢8.7 million when the actual cost is just about GH¢1.2 million.

Credit: The Ghanaian Publisher

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