NLA staff suspends service for non-payment of over GH¢10m wins, commissions

by Business Zone

Staff of the National Lottery Authority (NLA) have suspended their services and are calling for the removal of the Director-General, Kofi Osei-Ameyaw from office for non-payment of wins dating back to almost a year.

The staff who are members of the Financial Business and Service Employees Union (FBSEU) of the Ghana Federation of Labour (GFL) at the NLA, said reasons of the call and suspension of work is in line with series of issues from the non-payment of wins and commissions, and management issues including poor working conditions under the current DG and the dwindling fortunes of the Authority.

The non-payment of wins are in arrears as far back as April 2020 with the challenge intensifying since August last year.

Eric Tamakloe, Local Union Chairman of FBSEU of GFL at NLA

Incidentally, the sales of the NLA for the first seven month of 2020, amounted to GH¢161.5 million. On the other hand, prices (wins) also amounted to GH¢89 million for the same period. This means the NLA retained GH¢71.7 million revenue for the seven month of 2020.

The service suspension, according to the staff is pursuant to section 119 of the Labour Act, 2003 (Act 651), which says that if a worker feels threatened for his life in the workplace, he can remove his/her services from the work, to save his life.

The General Secretary of the FBSEU, Mr Benjamin Mingle addressing the media at the NLA, said staff of the authority are being constantly attacked and threatened in other regions due to the inability to pay wins. Instances in other regions have led to police interventions.

The Union said an earlier attempt to meet and negotiate with the DG failed because he was not willing to meet the union for a dialogue.

“On February 22, we wrote a letter to the management and the DG for us to meet and negotiate. We later followed up on the letter on February 25. We were later ushered into his reception for the meeting, only for us to be told he had gone out after receiving our letter” Mr Mingle said.

He said the staff are not on strike, but have only removed their services due to the threats on the life of the workers. “This is not a strike or demonstration, we’ve written a letter to the Labour Commission on our intentions and by March 4, 2021 if this matter isn’t resolved, we’ll take it to another level” the General Secretary said.

Meanwhile, the Local Union Chairman of the FBSEU at the NLA, Eric Tamakloe and staff, have labelled a number of corruption allegations against the Director General.

A number of the allegations span from the DG, owning shares in private lotto companies including Alpha Lotto.

According to them, the tenure of the DG has also ended coupled with his retirement age of 61 years.

In unison, the staff said “We would like to reiterate that this action taken by the union is solely ours and has been necessitated by the non-payment of wins which has led to attacks on our staff, financial mismanagement of funds by the Director- General, Kofi Osei Ameyaw causing a sharp decline in revenue and the non-payment of staff emoluments. There are conspiracy theories that the union is pushing this agenda in favor of certain parties.

We would like to categorically state that the union is only interested in the welfare of its staff and the business and is not politically aligned nor pushing the agenda of any politician or politicians.  We are not interested in who replaces the Director General as long as Mr. Kofi Osei Ameyaw is kicked out and the fortunes of the company saved and reinstated”.

By Wisdom Jonny-Nuekpe

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