The Federal Government, said it is committed to channeling revenues generated from the National Lottery Trust Fund to create employment and fund education across the country.
It is also disclosed that plans are under way to create 10 million jobs from lottery and the gaming industry.
The Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, Mr Zaphaniah Jisalo said this at the Back to School jump start project (Phase 2) with theme ‘No school left behind in Surulere’, held at the indoor hall of the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere in Lagos.
The initiative was sponsored by the Chief of Staff to the President, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila in collaboration with the National Lottery Trust Fund.
The Minister, who was represented by the Executive Secretary of the National Lottery Trust Fund, Dr Bello Maigari, disclosed that the Federal Government plans to revitalize the trust fund by employing 10 million Nigerians.
He said: “It gives me great honor to be here today at this special occasion of the official launch/flag-off of the 2nd phase of the school empowerment programme tagged “Back to School Jump Start Project” an invaluable initiative funded by the National Lottery Trust Fund, as one of the numerous projects of the Trust Fund in improving the standard of basic education across the nation.
“I commend the National Lottery Trust Fund ably led for the current Executive Secretary and his able Management team by doing excellently well in harnessing resources to facilitate this wonderful initiative. The idea to help jump start schools by equipping our students with state of the art educational materials for academic excellence and improving the standard of education to international standard is a well-conceived programme.
“The funding of implementation of the 2nd phase of this programme by the the National Lottery Trust Fund is meant to build on the successes of the first phase which has tremendously improved the standard of learning and provided a conducive learning environment of public schools across Surulere Federal Constituency.
On this note, let me reiterate that it is important that the management of the benefiting public schools must ensure the provision of these instructional and educational materials are judiciously utilized across the benefiting public schools so as to achieve the desired goal of a better standard of learning and conducive learning environment.
“It is therefore; on the strength of this effort that I encourage the Fund to continue on this laudable path as we all strive to elevate basic education in Nigeria to internationally acceptable standard. It is also very important to ensure the full monitoring and evaluation of the project so as to that outcomes envisaged for the learning programme are delivered for the benefit of Nigerians.”
On government’s plan to use lottery as a wealth generator, he said: “The industry has generated quite a large number of jobs for Nigerians in the last few years a number that is likely to grow to over 10million due to the population and size of the Nigerian economy. Though it is not yet a reality, we are doing everything humanly possible to revitalize this industry which hold great promise for Nigeria in raising enormous revenues and creating job opportunities for youths and help actualize President Bola Tinubu’s led government renewed hope agenda.
“I am delighted to inform you that the government will provide the National Lottery Trust Fund and other relevant agencies the necessary support to improve on all policy frameworks required to change the face of lottery and gaming industry in the country by significantly increasing lottery revenue to government in a bid to make lottery more productive and beneficial to Nigerians.”
Jisalo, however, urged licensed organizations in the lottery business to comply with statutory obligations to avoid being sanctioned.
He said: “Accordingly, all persons and organizations licensed to engage in national lottery business should be ready to meet up with their statutory obligations to avoid being sanctioned. Consequently, government is committed in ensuring that returns obtainable from other non-oil sources of revenues are maximized, hence lottery is one of such alternative revenue sources that this government has identified and is determined to make it more productive and sustainable. As the sector becomes firmly established, it is our expectation that lottery will be included in the strategic plans of the nation.”
Gbajabiamila donates books, laptops, others to Surulere schools
Earlier, head of the planning committee, Back to School Jump Start Project, Miss Adaku Apugo, said the project, initiated by the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, had impact the lives of 46 schools in the constituency since its inception in March 2022
She explained that the primary goal of the project is to empower children going back to school “through better educational delivery and assurance of safety.”
Apugo said: “To shed a bit of light on our journey so far and how we got here. This initiative was launched in March 2022, two years after the Federal Ministry of Education approved the closure of schools as a response to the pandemic, disallowing the resumption of the third academic term of the current school calendar.
It was created to jump start public schools in Surulere Federal constituency, as they resume school with the primary goal to empower children going back to school through better educational delivery and assurance of safety.
“Due to this launch, the Back to School Jump Start Project was able to impact the lives of 46 schools in the constituency.
“Notwithstanding the success of the first phase of the Back to School Jump Start Project, the Nigerian Educational System still grapples with multiple factors that have negatively impacted the education of millions of children.
“The reality is that teachers as well as children do not have access to the basic tools necessary for e-learning, hence the educational system suffers and will continue to suffer if we do not take proactive steps to ensure that teachers and students are provided with the key tools that they need to thrive.
“Fortunately, rooted in the National Lottery Trust Funds, its mission is a commitment to complement the efforts of government in improving the quality of life for all Nigerians through the investment of lottery funds in innovative projects that responds to the needs of the people. As such, we saw a convergence of purpose and intent and strong basis for partnership.
This laudable project is part of our collective responsibility to continue to impact the lives of our nation’s youths by helping to boost Nigeria’s educational sector. We recognize that educational gaps still can exist within the sector and we seek to address some of these gaps and improve the current capacity of schools by providing assistance in promoting Best Practices through the Back to School Jump Start Project Phase II.
“The Jump start project phase II implementation has identified the following four strategic priority areas to make this intervention a success (1) Classroom infrastructure; (2) Sanitary facilities (3) Stationery and (4) the deployment of a national Learning Management Systems (LMS) for e-learning. These priority areas constitute a comprehensive hierarchy of the challenges faced by the public educational system and the solutions that prepare us for the future.
“As far reaching as the goal is to make sure that no school is left behind in Surulere Federal Constituency of Lagos state, the entire forty-six junior and secondary public schools have been selected to be beneficiaries of this programme.
“As we implement the second phase of this project here in Surulere, I would like to express my sincere and profound appreciation to all whose tireless and unwavering effort contributed to making this project a reality. My appreciation first goes to my principal the indefatigable chief of staff, the sparkling speaker of the 9th House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila at whose instance the school jumpstart project was conceived.
“My gratitude also goes to our implementation partners Initiative for leadership development and change, the entire planning committee and support staff from the office of the Speaker of the National Assembly, and a very sincere gratitude to the National lottery Regulatory commission, the National Lottery Trust Fund, the Honorable minister and entire ministry of Special of Intergovernmental Affairs whose unwavering support of this project have ensured that something positive comes from the sacrifices. This journey started over two years ago, it has taken the hard work and dedication of everyone to get here today.