In a bold move, social media influencer Reno Omokri has taken to his X profile to urge President Bola Tinubu to consider a ban on sports betting apps in Nigeria.
Omokri contends that such a ban could potentially contribute to the improvement of the value of the Naira, echoing concerns about the significant financial impact of gambling on the nation.
Citing figures from the National Lottery Trust Fund, Omokri lamented that a staggering “$1 billion is spent on gambling daily in Nigeria.” This revelation underscores the scale of the issue, prompting the media influencer to advocate for decisive action.
While Omokri didn’t delve into the specifics of how a ban on sports betting apps could directly impact the Naira, his plea implies a belief that curbing the gambling industry might redirect financial resources towards more productive avenues, ultimately bolstering the nation’s currency.
He wrote: “President Tinubu can immediately improve the economic conditions of most Nigerians and make the Naira grow by issuing an Executive Order authorising the Nigerian Communications Commission to ban sports betting apps from the App Store of any GSM Internet Service Provider in Nigeria and revoking the licenses of any physical sports betting operators in Nigeria. It makes better sense than Buhari’s draconian #TwitterBan.”
Noting that “$15 daily on sports betting and other types of gambling,” Omokri expressed worries that a “vast majority of that amount” is leaving the shores of the country into foreign nations, compared to the nation’s externally generated revenue.
“This is scary. How much is our GDP that we are pissing it away like that? More money is leaving Nigeria through gambling than is coming in,” he tweeted.
He further said, “The Naira can never sustain its rally under such circumstances.
“There is such an epidemic of gambling in Nigeria and it is destroying Nigerian youths. $1 billion is spent on gambling daily in Nigeria, according to the National Lottery Trust Fund. Please fact-check me.
“The average Nigerian spends $15 daily on sports betting and other types of gambling, with the vast majority of that amount leaving our economy and going to places like Russia, South Africa, and Europe. The Naira can never sustain its rally under such circumstances.”
The call for a ban comes at a time when the influence and reach of sports betting apps have grown exponentially, especially among the youth. Critics argue that the widespread prevalence of gambling poses social and economic challenges, including addiction and financial strain on individuals and households.
President Tinubu, known for his political influence, now faces the prospect of weighing the societal and economic implications of such a ban.
While Omokri’s plea resonates with concerns about the economic impact of gambling, any potential decision to restrict sports betting apps would undoubtedly spark debates about individual freedoms and the role of the government in regulating leisure activities.
As the nation awaits any potential response from President Tinubu, the discourse around the intersection of gambling, economic policies, and societal well-being takes center stage in the ongoing conversations about Nigeria’s future trajectory.