Sponge Nigeria Limited, the technology partner to NNB Capital and Investment Limited, has been slammed a fine of N10million by the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC) for its failure to pay winners of the Better Life Billionaire promo since last year.

NNB Capital and Investment Limited, a subsidiary of Eczellon Capital, an investment and advisory firm had organized the Better Life Billionaire promo, last year to give some Nigerians the chance of being one of 10 people to win N5 million each, every week or the lucky winner of the N200 million grand prize in the 13-week campaign.

The Promo successfully ran for three consecutive weeks with some Nigerians going home with cash prizes. After the first three weeks, NNB Capital was unable to pay those that participated and won prizes in the fourth and fifth week, blaming technology failure on payment platforms and telecoms network connectivity, which resulted in the project realizing less than 0.01 percent of the projected inflow over the period that the promo lasted.

READ MORE: Woman narrates how NNB Capital defrauded her sister via BLB Promo

But in correspondence to Sponge Nigeria Limited, dated 27th of May 2020 and tweeted on it Twitter handle @nlrcgovng, in which reasons for the fine were conveyed, NLRC stated that the promoters of the BLB Promo violate the Operational Terms & Conditions of its promo permit.

It narrated that Sponge Nigeria Limited had over six months ago conducted a promotional lottery captioned Better Life Billionaire Promo, where several participants won varying amounts of money, totaling about one hundred & thirty-eight Million Naira (N138, 000,000.00), stressing that the failure to redeem is a flagrant violation of the National Lottery Act 2005 (“Act”) and Regulation, and Operational Terms and Conditions, which were duly signed by Sponge Nigeria Limited on 2nd August 2019.

READ MORE: Ten Nigerians go home with N5m each in BLB Promo

The correspondence reads in parts: “The National Lottery Regulatory Commission has directed a promotional lottery operator; Sponge Nigeria Limited to pay, without further delay, all lucky winners in its concluded promotional lottery captioned “Better Life Billionaire Promo”. The Commission also slammed a fine of Ten Million Naira on the company for violating the Operational Terms & Conditions of its promo permit.

“By accepting NLRC permit for the BLB promo, Sponge was legally bound to conduct its affairs with all due propriety & protect participating stakeholders. Under express terms of the signed Terms & Conditions, Sponge promised to “ensure that all prizes & monies due to prize winners are redeemed in full. Besides other violations, NLRC DG told Sponge that its failure to pay winnings undermines the integrity of the lottery/gaming industry and was inconsistent with transparency accountability and fairness which are hallmarks of the Commission’s operations.

“The Commission, therefore, finds Sponge in breach of the operational Terms & Conditions which consequently results in “an additional Violation fee in the sum of Ten Million Naira (N10,000,000) which if not paid as soon as the letter was received would attract additional sanctions and enforcement action to the full extent of applicable law.”


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