30th March, 2011
In a bid to find a lasting solution to the crisis rocking the pools industry in the state, senior officials of Lagos State government recently met with the executives of Lagos State Pools Agents Association, LASPAA.
The latest meeting may not be unconnected with the threat by the President of the association, Major Sammy Ogunyebo (retd.) that he would mobilise his members who are more than 25,000 to boycott the general elections holding in the state in April.
Some officials of the Lagos State Board of Inland Revenue were mandated by the chairman of the board, Mr.Â Babatunde Fowler to dialogue with the executives of the LASPAA on the proposal the body recently sent to Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola.
The meeting was attended on the governmentâ€™s side by Mr. Bisi Ali, Secretary to the LIRS, his assistant, Mr. Adekunle and Alhaji Lawal, Director of Operations, Pools Divisions in the LIRS, while the LASPAA executives were led by President Sammy Oguneyebo, Assistant Secretary General, Mr. Oguntimehin and the Task Force chairman, Mr. George Odulana.
The pools agentsâ€™ representatives were assured by the government officials that their proposal is receiving favourably attention.
A similar meeting with the pools promoters is being planned for this week, while a joint meeting between LASPAA, promoters and government officials will be held anytime from now to harmonise all issues raised in the proposal that will help the state government take a good stand on the way forward.
Speaking on the latest move of the government to douse the tension created by the threat to boycott the election, LASPAAâ€™s president said that the agents are happy that the government is now ready to do something on the proposal.
â€œWe welcome the move to call a tripartite meeting to solve the problem in pools business in Lagos State,â€ said Sammy Ogunyebo.
LASPAAâ€™s boss reiterated his associationâ€™s stance on 1-14 full odds payment and no commission to stakers as provided in the stateâ€™s edict.
â€œWe also want our association to control all betting shops in the state so that there will be discipline within the association. we are agitating for will benefit all the stakeholders in the business, it is rather unfortunate that some people donâ€™t want the problem to be solved because they are benefiting from the crisis,â€ he said