The House of Representative Committee on Intergovernmental Affairs has expressed its readiness to convene a public hearing on the age limit for betting in Nigeria to check the involvement of underaged youths   

The decision stems from the alarming trend of teenagers resorting to betting establishments as a means of sustenance, highlighting the inherent risks and vulnerabilities they face in such environments.

Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Chief Canice Moore Chukwugozie Nwachukwu, who is also the member  representing Orlu/Orsu and Oru East Federal Constituency of Imo State at the National Assembly, emphasized that the resolution was prompted by the inherent dangers posed by the participation of minors in betting activities, particularly within the digital sphere.

He underscored the significance of the forthcoming public hearing as an avenue for stakeholders, including youths and industry players, to scrutinize the prevalent abuses within betting establishments. While acknowledging the dual nature of betting, with its attendant benefits and drawbacks, Hon. Nwachukwu advocated for a balanced approach, steering clear of overly punitive measures that could alienate or disenfranchise the youth population.

Nwachukwu, affectionately known as “Omeogo,” stressed the importance of pursuing policies that prioritize the happiness and well-being of Nigerian youth, asserting that true progress is achieved through constructive dialogue and engagement rather than coercive measures.

Nwachukwu further highlighted the economic significance of the betting industry, acknowledging that many individuals, particularly the youths, derive their livelihoods from it. 

Nonetheless, he emphasized the imperative of implementing stringent regulatory measures to safeguard against exploitation and malpractice.

In his concluding remarks, the Imo lawmaker reaffirmed the committee’s commitment to revisiting legislation pertaining to betting regulation, notably addressing the bill that failed to receive assent from former President Muhammadu Buhari during the 9th Assembly. 

This renewed effort underscores the government’s dedication to promoting responsible gambling practices and fostering a conducive environment for the nation’s youth to thrive.