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Oyo State Committed to Prioritising Welfare of Citizens, Says SSG

The Oyo State government has stated its commitment to prioritising the welfare of the citizens over revenue generation.

The Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mrs. Olubanwo Adeosun, gave the commitment in Ibadan at the annual Interactive Stakeholders Forum organized by the Oyo State Gaming Board.

She said while the present administration of Governor Seyi Makinde was desirous of increasing the state revenue it would not do this at the expense of welfare of the people, noting that the government recognizes that what the games does is boosting the revenue of the state.

According to her, “But it is very clear that even as we pursue the revenue drive and not just in gaming but everywhere, we ensure that the interest of the people are always considered first. Putting the people first is one of the key agenda items so dear to Gov Seyi Makinde, so we are not going to create a situation whereby because we are looking for the revenue or seeking to increase revenue to help the people, we impoverished the people”.

The SSG further maintained that all what the present administration had been doing since it came on board; whether in education, health, security and agribusiness, were centered on the people, lauding the state gaming board for organising the forum as it has brought up very pertinent issues that needed to be addressed.

She said the theme of the stakeholders interactive forum, ‘Redefining Responsible Gaming’ will guide the operators, the regulators and even the gamers on the best practices, saying “It will also find the balance between generating revenue for the state and maintaining mental welfare of the people of Oyo State. In addition, it will redefined the entire culture of gambling to accommodate only fun and entertainment.”

The Director-General of the board, Mr. Olajide Boladuro, said the forum was necessary as part of the activities to regulate the gaming industry, stating that gaming and lottery industry is gaining attraction in the country.

“Based on the prospects of the industry, the board has taken it upon itself to address the issue of responsible gambling in the state.
While we are excited to tap into the enormous revenue potentials that the industry present, our priority is to create an enabling environment for businesses to thrive.
Problem and responsible gambling is a constant focus of ongoing research and advancement world-wide”, he said.

The DG added that the importance of proactive responsible gaming programmes was paramount as a result of the recent market studies estimating that the global casino market alone would expand at annual growth rate of 10 per cent over the next five years.

He then expressed optimism that discussions from the forum would chart a new and better path for the operators and other stakeholders in the gaming industry. ThisDay

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