• Saturday, May 18, 2024
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NECA kicks as National Lottery Commission meddles in NB

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Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) has lashed out on the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC) over what the association termed “gruff actions” of National Lottery Commission’s director-general, Lanre Gbajabiamila, in shutting business premises of Nigerian Brewery (NB) plc.
It would be recalled that the Lottery Commission had a disagreement with NB in 2016 over a sales promo. The commission had argued that the promotion had every element of lottery, and for this reason, wrote to the NB to pay the statutory levies and commission, a position the NB disagreed with, as it insisted that it was a promote and not lottery. The disagreement had resulted in a legal tussle.
The employers’ body, in a statement issued by its director-general, Olusegun Oshinowo, and made available to the media, expressed shock and dismay at the “uncivil behaviour of Gbajabiamila in shutting down the offices and business premises of NB across the nation.

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According to NECA, “ Gbajabiamila’s action had failed to respect the ongoing case CA/A/207/2016, NECA & 1 or vs. AG Federation & 3 others which are connected to the issue that allegedly prompted the closure of the Nigeria Brewery Plc. NECA said that the court had earlier directed parties in the case to maintain status quo ante since 2016.”
Oshinowo said it was shocking that Gbajabiamila would go all out to act in breach of the rule of law and utter contempt of court by shutting down the offices and the business premises in a case that was still before the Court of Appeal.
Oshinowo noted that “since 2016 when the case was filed in court, the past leadership of the commission had exercised restraint and due respect for the law of the land”. He decried the resort to ‘jungle behavior’ by Gbajabiamila  in a civilised society where the mantra of the current government is respect for the rule of law. According to him, “It is unthinkable that a public servant would rashly shut down business premises of a multi-billion dollar investment without considering the dire implications on the economy”

The NECA DG called on the presidency and the ministry of industry, trade and investment to call Gbajabiamila to order as his actions are not only illegal, unlawful and ultra vires but also counterproductive to the laudable efforts of the Federal Government in improving the Ease of Doing Business (EODB) in Nigeria.
“He should be called to order to avoid further damage to business and the fragile economy at large”
Oshinowo urged Gbajabiamila, as a responsible and decent leader to await the pronouncement of the court on the case in question.