At a colorful ceremony at the company headquarter at OAU Drive Tower Hill, the Lotto football pools was launched by Mrs. Isatu Mustapha, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry of Trade and Industry, who was there in place of the Minister of Trade and Industry Hon.Alimany Koroma.
In her statement, she said government is determined to make Sierra Leone an attractive destination for investment and to provide an effective and sustainable solution to the poverty problem in the country.
She went further that this will be achieved through “a robust and growing economy underpinned by a well functioning private sector” and the overall objective of the government is “an increase in the rate of economic growth on a sustainable basis.”
A fundamental feature of this initiative is a liberalized trade regime and private sector development.
She mentioned that government’s role in this pursuit is the creation of an enabling environment for enterprise development whilst the private sector is expected to assume the lead role in the post-war economic development.
She also noted that in a bid to minimize the cost of doing business and the increase the profit margin for private sector operators, Government has commenced the implementation of the recommendations of the removal of the administrative barriers to investment study. “Though it will take time to implement all these recommendations,” she said, “let me assure you all that we shall surely get there.”
“For 9 months, a lot of things have happened between management and board members on planning, which was not smooth as they were not able to agree on certain decisions,” said Mr. Dizzo Kamara, the Managing Director and Chief Executive. “But today is the day I want to thank the members of staff, the management and also board, as they have done very good work to try to ensure that the work has been achieved.”
He went further that the work has started after this launching and he wants to recognize the part played by the National Commission of Privatization (NCP).
He said when this concept was initiated, they had their support by allowing them to go aboard to put details together, especially technically.
“When this baby will be born,” he said, “this same member of staff, the same National Commission of Privatization the same board chairman and board will give the necessary support.”
Mr. Kamara went further that the Sierra Leone State Lottery has all what it takes to be “the finest, the biggest, and the tallest and the highest.”
He said when the founding fathers were forming the Sierra Leone State Lottery company, they had in mind that the people of Sierra Leone must be provided with the game of chance.
He said that the market is expanding them as far as Kambia, Kabala, Port Loko, Bonthe and every part of the country is now having their product. He said that in 1962 state lottery was an agent for pools and little pools.
He said they have try in their own small way to leave this company in a better place than when they found it.
He noted that they are also on their way to make this company the “blue eye of government.”
“The pools game was late to come,” Mr. Kamara said, “because we had to go back to the drawing board after meetings. Sometimes we wouldn’t talk to each other for days as every body thinks they are right.”
He said the game is associated with football, played emotionally with passion and will succeed at this time when every cinema hall is playing football for people to watch in every part of the country.
Vital contributions were also made by the Chairman of the board of Directors Mr Aiah K Songu-Mbriwa; the chairman National Commission of Privatization(NCP) Mr Abdul Bangura; the president of the retailers Association; and Alhaji Alim Sesay on behalf of the Sierra Leone Football Association(SLFA).