17th August, 2011
Lagos State Pools Agents Association, LASPAA, has decried the lackadaisical attitude of some officials of the state government to their plight.
The president of the association, Major Sammy Ogunyebo (retd), said since 2006 that the pools agentsâ€™ body wrote a petition to the then state governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the incumbent, Babatunde Raji Fashola, civil service bureaucracy has prevented their petition from seeing the light of the day.
According to Sammy, respite came the way of the over 25,000-member association when Fashola directed the Lagos State Board of Inland Revenue, LIRS, to look into the petition and advise on how the government can find a lasting solution to the problems raised in the petition.
â€œSince last year when Fashola gave the directive, we have been pressurising the management of the LIRS to work on our petition and get back to the governor, but nothing has happened,â€ said the LASPAAâ€™s boss.
â€œWhat we saw was promoters operating inconsistent odds payment of 1-12 and 1-11, telling us that they have the approval of the government officials. By the time we met the officials they would deny giving such approval. Who is fooling who?â€ he quried.
â€œThe 1986 Lagos State Edict on Pools says odds payment should be 1-14 and no commission to stakers. Even former Head of Pools Operation in the LIRS, Alhaja Binta Kabir, issued a memo directing the promoters to adhere strictly to the Edict of 31 July, 2001 but since then, no contrary directive has come from the government. The thinking of Alhaja Kabir was that a higher odds would bring down the commission. I donâ€™t see the reason the promoters and some government officials would want to flout an order from the governor,â€ he said.
Sammy, however, said that if sanity returns to pools business in Lagos and every stakeholder, especially the promoter, operates according to the Edict, government, agents and the promoters will gain more from the business.
â€œWe want Governor Fashola to please do something about our case,â€ Sammy said.