As part of the vetting of the Finance Minister designate, Ken Ofori-Atta today, Hon. Muntaka asked a series of questions on the operations of the National Lottery Authority, with the view to finding the connection between the authority and one of its latest top partners, the KGL Group of Companies. Inasmuch as Ken Ofori-Atta denied been a part owner of the said company, he acknowledged that, he knows the owner of the business. We go beyond today's news headline, to help you understand and know more about the firm and the owner.
Mr. Dadey in a pose with top NPP party functionaries and colleagues
Lets get it done with the owner first. KGL Group of Companies is owned and led by one Mr. Alex Dadey, who is officially the Executive Chairman of KGL. From a quick check online, he was the Chairman of the Diaspora Summit Planning Committee (from this short video Ghana Diaspora Celebration & Homecoming Summit - Alex Dadey (GDHS Chairman) - Explains why the Ghana Diaspora H... | Facebook), under the bigger Diaspora Affairs, Office of the President.
He is also a known philanthropist and also, a member and financier of the ruling NPP party according to the renowned Graphic Online report (https://www.graphic.com.gh/news/politics/diaspora-patriots-in-ghana-donates-to-npp-pcs.html) and this said news report, it stated that, "Mr. Alex Dadey, a businessman and party patron, who was the biggest donor to the DPG's fundraising agenda, expressed his happiness to donate for the success of the group and the NPP. He mentioned several other efforts he had been making in support of the party and the progress of the nation over the years and stated that he was committed to doing more in future."
Mr. Alex Dadey, firm, the KGL Group of Companies operates in the online lottery space in Ghana as Keed Ghana Ltd and duly registered more specifically as KEED-NLA. Its a registered company in accordance with the laws of Ghana under the Companies Act, 1963 (Act 179) with registration number CS239962107 whose registration address at North Labone. Keed Ghana Limited (Ltd) is authorized and regulated by the National Lottery Authority.
According to its website, "Our vision at Keed-NLA is to revolutionize the lottery numbers game, harnessing the power of mobile and digital to bring a new and exciting form of entertainment to a whole new audience in Ghana. Making it easier, more convenient and ultimately fun for every Ghanaian to play and enjoy while contributing to national development through games."
True to its vision, with the short space of its arrival in the sector, it may well be seen as the trial blazer. Earlier this month, KGL Technology Limited, a licensed online lotto marketing company operating the *959# had reached an agreement with the National Lottery Authority (NLA) to pay all outstanding lottery winners. According to a statement from the NLA, the non-payment of outstanding wins has become a worrying situation for lotto marketing companies and the industry as a whole.
"It was widely reported in the media that the staff of NLA suspended their services for non-payment of wins dating back to about a year plus other issues of concern, however, KGL Technology Limited has stepped in to resolve the matter by releasing monies to the Authority to pay all outstanding wins of the NLA," the statement said.
According to the NLA, the support from KGL Technology Limited would help calm nerves and reduce the tension at the Authority. "KGL Technology Limited is ever prepared to harmoniously work with all the stakeholders of the lottery industry and employees of NLA to ensure a maximum revenue generation for government, support the welfare of staff and Lotto Marketing Companies," it said.
One must understand this whole thing in this simple way: a national company that has licensed a private firm to run a lottery game under its supervision, now has reached a partnership with the supervisory company, to help it rather manage its own key national lottery platforms, that for sometime now, they have had big challenges even paying the few winners the NLA chooses, even though it exist to enforce that, all private operators pay winners and operate within the remits of the laws governing lottery operations in Ghana.
Interestingly, exactly a year ago in March 2020, these two companies were no where near this close partnership, as the Lotto Marketing Companies (LMCs) had accused Keed Ghana Limited and Mobile telecommunication companies, MTN, Vodafone and AirtelTigo of deceiving the public with regards to mobile game *959#.
According to a statement issued then by the companies and published online widely, they described a recent press release issued by Keed Ghana limited as misleading and full of misinformation and misrepresentations, with the statement read in part that ‘’The Lotto Marketing Companies would like to put on record that per our checks at the National Communications Authority (NCA) and National Lottery Authority(NLA), *959# Mobile Game operated by Keed Ghana Limited and its partners such as MTN, Vodafone and AirtelTigo is illegal. They have NO License from the National Lottery Authority(NLA) to operate 5/90 Via *959# Mobile lottery Gaming.’ The agreement between NLA and Keed Ghana Limited is strictly Limited to ONLY DIVIDEND GAME known as LUCKY 3. Keed Ghana Limited is deceiving the general public, creating a false impression that they have License from NLA to operate our flagship Product 5/90 via *959# Mobile Game.’’
The statement concluded that ‘’In the coming days, the NLA-LMC Joint Working Committee SHALL SUE MTN, Vodafone, AirtelTigo and Keed Ghana Limited for unlawful operation of *959# Mobile lottery Gaming.’’
The National Lottery Authority (NLA) then appealed to members of the Association of Lotto Marketing Companies to remain calm and exercise patience as the Board of Directors took the necessary steps and actions to address the illegal operation of ‘*959# Mobile Game’. It had, therefore, cautioned the public to discontinue patronizing the ‘*959# Lotto Game’ on MTN, Vodafone, AirtelTigo and Keed Online Platform.
In a statement, the NLA also advised MTN, Vodafone, AirtelTigo and Keed Ghana Limited to shut down the USSD *959# which it described as an illegal lottery until a license is duly acquired for it under Act 722. “Keed Ghana Limited, MTN, Vodafone and AirtelTigo have a patriotic duty to the state to protect the core business of the National Lottery Authority and our Lotto Marketing Companies by shutting down the illegal USSD *959# with immediate effect”, it mentioned.
The Director-General of NLA had also made several efforts, including writing letters to the National Communication Authority (NCA), Keed Ghana Limited, MTN, Vodafone and AirtelTigo to shut down the short code *959# but to no avail.
and according to the media reports then, the NLA management and the leadership of the Association of Lotto Marketing Companies had set up a Joint Working Committee to deal with the illegal short code of *959# operating 5/90 lotto by MTN, Vodafone, AirtelTigo and Keed Ghana Limited, with the statement adding that: “The Joint Working Committee of NLA and the Association of Lotto Marketing Companies would consider suing MTN, Vodafone, AirtelTigo and Keed Ghana Limited if they fail to shut down the short code *959# as soon as possible, as the NLA had not issued any license to Keed Ghana Limited to operate 5/90 Lotto Game online and via short code *959#”, it had emphasized.
It pointed out that the illegal operations of *959# Mobile/Online Game is directly and indirectly destroying the sales of the Lotto Marketing Companies and subsequently affecting the revenue of the NLA.
To forestall any impairment to the already struggling lottery operations, quickly by April 2020, news reports indicated that, The National Lottery Authority (NLA) had finally taken over the running of *959# short code for the Original 5/90 Lotto, the flagship product of the authority. The National Lottery Authority, through consensus and continuous engagement with Keed Ghana Limited, MTN, Vodafone and AirtelTigo had finally taken full control of the *959#, as it was previously managed by Keed Ghana Limited, one of the collaborators of the Authority responsible for the operations of Lucky 3.
Interestingly, barely few days after a month after this whole debacle, by 30th July 2020, the National Lottery Authority (NLA) had licensed KGL Technology Limited, the parent company of Keed Ghana Limited as a Digital/Online Lottery Operator.
The news report described KGL Technology Limited is a wholly-owned Ghanaian entity combining local expertise across diverse fields with best in class technology support. The License was presented to KGL Technology Limited at the Authority’s Board Room by the Board Chairman and Director-General in the presence of Board Members of the National Lottery Authority (NLA), representatives of KGL Technology Limited and its subsidiary company Keed Ghana Limited.
KGL Technology Limited was then now licensed to officially operate NLA's 5/90 official short code, *959# and other digital platforms under the brand name Keed-NLA and its core objective was to advance the digitalization of lottery on behalf of the NLA which is aligned to the Government’s digitization policy.
“KGL Technology Limited has been at the forefront of this agenda, lending expertise, technical support and services to the National Lottery Authority (NLA) after the Authority officially took over the operations of *959# short code. KGL Technology Limited believes in a customer-centric approach and providing the best gaming and customer service experience. Investments have been made to develop best in class local technical expertise and customer service as well as a robust platform that continues to deliver on its promise of simplicity and reliability for customers,” a statement from the Public Relations Unit of the NLA said.
Mr. Dadey in a pose with NLA officials
Interestingly again, it added that, the implementation of Digital/Online Lottery by the National Lottery Authority in collaboration with KGL Technology Limited as an alternative channel of play, would serve as an additional revenue stream augmenting the Authority’s revenue generation capacity and contribution to the Consolidated Fund, enhance the sales process, streamline service delivery and drive operational efficiency. Clearly, a story of a debacle and initial illegality, now translated into a story of happily ever married.
Then in two months time, the partnership had grown tighter, with the joint announcement in September 2020 that, the Board of KGL Technology Limited, in consultation with the leadership of both the National Lottery Authority (NLA) and Association of Lotto Marketing Companies(ALMC), had partnered to set up a welfare fund to assist lottery operators. The welfare fund is primarily aimed at availing money to be accessed solely by all officially licensed Lotto Marketing Companies (LMC) under the National Lottery Authority.
In all these, one thing worth noting is that, the parent company, the KGL Group of Companies is a big financial player, with a big big purse. From the increasing numbers of its cliental base of thousand that want to make wealth fast and quick through its games and the huge payouts it gives to the few winners coupled with its extraordinary ability to raise huge monies locally and internationally, it came as no surprise really, when in October 2020, they were awarded the ‘Most Outstanding Customer” by the management of Stanbic Bank Ghana Limited.
The management of Stanbic Bank made the award presentation when a delegation from the bank had paid a courtesy call on KGL Group at the Company’s Head Office at Labone in Accra and with its Executive Chairman of KGL, Alex Dadey, receiving the award on behalf of the company, disclosed that his outfit and Stanbic Bank have had discussions about a possible partnership to share expertise in all areas for customer benefits and satisfaction.
Younger Stanbic Bank's Nana Dwomoh Benneh presents Award to Mr. Dadey
“The partnership is to bring the expertise of the KGL Group in the digital space fully on board, aimed at improving the quality of service of the Stanbic Bank. KGL Group also currently works with the National Lottery Authority (NLA) and some other institutions to expand digital outreach,” he had said.
Mr. Dadey had also listed some achievements of the KGL Group in the last three years of existence in the digitalization space in the country with an employee strength of over 100 personnel.
A management member of Stanbic Bank, Nana Dwomoh Benneh, who made the award presentation on behalf of the bank emphasized that partnership between the two institutions is aimed at improving the services beyond the regular banking traditions in providing services to customers and clients, further stating that, the two institutions have grown together as service providers therefore there was the need to maintain and strengthen the relationship between them to promote the businesses they both run for the benefit and satisfaction of customers and clients.
The Government of Ghana through the Ministry of Finance recently launched three key policy initiatives namely the National Financial Inclusion and Development Strategy, the Digital Financial Services Policy and the Cash-Lite Roadmap aimed at strengthening financial inclusion to accelerate and shift the economy to digitalization. In line with the aforementioned three policy initiatives, KGL Group has positioned itself to become one of the very best platforms in order to support Government and other organizations to achieve the digitalization policy of government, and also compete fairly on the global market.
The KGL Group comprises KGL Technology Limited, a licensed Online Lotto Marketing Company responsible for the operation of *959#, and a sister company, KEED-NLA responsible for the operation of *987# known as Lucky 3. They have also been at the forefront of providing topnotch technical services as well as lending world class expertise to its partner companies such as the NLA and others.
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