NTGL Allows INLOTT to Take Over LOTTO

Monrovia, Liberia

Distributed by

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

Posted February 22, 2005

What appears to be another “bogus contract” has been signed between the Liberian Government and INLOTT Technologies, an Indian Lotto company, to take over the management of Liberia National Lotteries, known as “Lotto” for 12 years.

According to the document in the possession of the FORUM, the agreement which is in lieu, and has taken effect in this month, February, was signed in Chennai, India on 8 April 2004, between the Government of Liberia, represented by Mr. Alfred W. Coleman, III, Managing Director of the Liberia National Lotteries and M/S INLOTT Technologies PVT, Ltd.

The objective of the contract, according to contract document, is to increase revenue by selling lottery tickets to variety of users by utilizing on-line lottery system.

To enhance this agreement, the Transitional Government issued a Letter of Intent dated March 2, 2004 to M/S INLOTT Technologists Private Limited, Chennai, for the establishment, operation, maintenance and marketing the said online lottery tickets in Liberia.

The document, under Headings, paragraph two, thus reads: “The Government of Liberia grants and be these presents hereby grants INLOTT a twelve year (12) exclusive contract for operations of all forms of lotteries, scratch lotteries, sweep stake, sport betting and forms of gaming excluding slot machines.”
According to our investigation, the contract which is said to be valued over one million United Stats dollars, falls short of benefits the Lotto employees suppose to receive and what percentage will go to the disabled for whom Liberia National Lotteries was established.

In fact, our investigation revealed that the contract signed between the Liberian Government through the Managing Director of Lott and INLOTT Technologies of India was not genuine as certain legal ramifications befitting good contract were lacking.

In fact, the Managing Director of Lotto is said to have single-handedly signed the agreement on behalf of the country without being accompanied by the country’s Justice Minister, needless to mention the Chairman of the National Investment Commission (NIC).

According to information gathered, INLOTT Technologies has violated the Agreement consistent with paragraph nineteen (19) of the subject agreement.

To take over the Lotto, the INLOTT Technologies, according to the copy of a letter written to Vice Chairman Wesley Johnson dated January 24, 2005, commended the Vice Chairman “for his intervention in the matter between Liberia National Lotteries (LNL) and ourselves relevant to the existence of our business venture here in lieu of earlier contractual arrangements…”

Consequently, the Managing Director of the Liberia National Lotteries, Alfred Coleman, received a communication dated 25 January 2005, with Ref: 018/WMJ/VC-NTGL/RL/01-25/’05 from Vice Chairman Johnson instructing him (Coleman) to allow INLOTT to “immediately take possession of its Scratch Tickets to allow it commence sale and distribution” in line with the meeting held with Coleman and INLOTT to the office of the Vice Chairman on 18 January 2005.

But the Acting Managing Director of LNL, Beyan Kota, expressed reservation with regard to the communication which emanated from the Vice Chairman’s office to turn everything to INLOTT Technologies.

Mr. Kota, according to his reply to Vice Chairman Johnson, dated 27 January 2005, stated: “In keeping with your instruction, we have immediately delivered to INLOTT the Scratch Tickets,” adding, “With respect to other resolutions, we wish to make the following observation after careful review of the subject agreement: the Liberia National Lotteries under the subject agreement has assigned all of its rights and functions under December 20, 1993 Act…”

Mr. Kota further informed the Vice Chairman that the agreement is void of any responsibility on the part of INLOTT Technologies to fulfill the primary responsibility of the Liberia National Lotteries to support charitable and social services activities “such as but not limited to the disabled, public welfare institutions, etc.”

Other issues raised by Mr. Kota, according to his letter, was the 30% share of the government based on gross revenue was not sufficient to carry out primary objective mentioned in count II of the agreement, and given the duration of the NTGL, INLOTT will not make any significant impact during the life of the government.

He said even though the Ministries of Finance and Justice and the National Investment Commission signed the agreement, they were never made a party to the agreement as clearly shown in the preamble paragraph.

What is interesting is that most of the signatures from the Ministries of Finance, Justice, and the National Investment Commission affixed to the agreement were done in a most ambiguous way that one cannot easily decipher them.

However, efforts to contact both LNL and INLOTT Technologies proved futile as bureaucratic procedures became difficult for us to get them.

Investigation continues

© 2004: This article is copyrighted by the Forum newspaper (Monrovia, Liberia) and distributed by The Perspective (Atlanta, Georgia). All rights reserved.