YouWin: the government’s MMM abi lottery

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Many people were crying that they had been duped as they gathered in front of Dominic’s office. Dominic’s lottery company had collected a lot of money from people with assurance of winning cars and other prizes. Only few initial participants got prizes, while the Company gained a lot of money from other people’s stakes. Lottery companies reward few people by giving small fractions from the surplus stake obtained from many others; rob-many-reward-few. Nigerian government adopts different lottery styles in sedating and distracting Nigerian youth from the main robbery. One of the lottery styles through which the government manifest the rob-all-reward-few attribute is through YouWin.


YouWin“YouWin is a youth development programme, established by Goodluck Jonathan regime in order to empower Nigeria Youth. The programme is a Private and Public initiative with the aim of financing outstanding business plan for aspiring entrepreneur Nigerian Youth.”[1] The next government of Buhari adopted YouWin programme as justification of government’s fulfilment of its duties. Lotto companies lure people to pay huge sums of money through compelling promises of winning cars and other materials. Nigerian government does not lure or ask for permission; it forcefully takes your right to your land and resources through the Land-Use-Act[2] and the Nigerian-Mineral-And-Mining-Act.


The land use act is a military decree which was used…


“… to vest all land comprised in the territory of each state (except land vested in the federal government or its agencies) solely in the Governor of the State, who would hold such land in trust for the people and would henceforth be responsible for allocation of land in all urban areas to individuals resident in the state and to organization for residential, agricultural, commercial and other purposes while similar powers with respect to non-urban areas are conferred on local government.”[3]


Secondly, the Nigerian Mineral and Mining Act states that:

“… all lands in which minerals have been found in Nigeria and any area covered by its territorial waters or constituency and the Exclusive Economic Zone shall, from the commencement of this, Act be acquired by the Government of the Federation…”[4] “No person shall search for or exploit mineral resources in Nigeria or divert or impound any water for the purpose of mining except as provided in this Act.[5]The property in mineral resources shall pass from the Government to the person by whom the mineral resources are lawfully won, upon their recovery in accordance with this Act.”[6]


Through the military-imposed provisions of these acts, Nigerian government confiscates all lands and mineral resources originally belonging to any people or persons in Nigeria. Any attempt by indigenes to reclaim ownership or control of their lands and resources is met with serious military assault.[7] If you find beautiful fruits growing in your compound, you send your son to study fruit processing in order to manage the fruits. If your son graduates, but is denied access to those fruits, he can neither research further nor produce anything.


Instead of leaving land owners to manage their lands and resources, government rents the lands to foreign companies. The foreign companies go ahead to produce what we use and consume in Nigeria. In a show of charity (YouWin), government funds few youths to import ‘tertiary’ machineries and perishables that they could have produced. The idea of financing only few “outstanding business plans” reduces the YouWin initiative to a “LOTTERY for admission into importation business”. It is a damage control strategy for consoling few lucky Nigerians with importation opportunities, not for basic production.


Society’s sustenance is guaranteed by the ability of citizens to produce what they consume and TOOLS FOR THE PRODUCTION. This ability to produce both tools and eventual commodities is the difference between developed nations and underdeveloped nations. Yet, in collaboration with foreign companies and powers, Nigerian government is structured to deny you of your resources. Both the resources for producing tools, and the resources for producing commodities for industrial and domestic use are confiscated by the military provisions in the Land Use Act. While you are distracted struggling with millions of desperate youths for 5,000 YouWin slots, the government sells off your resources.



[2] 29th March 1978, Land use act. Given under the military regime

[3] 29th March 1978, Land use act. P7

[4] Nigerian minerals and mining act 2007 act no. 20, chapter 1, Part 1, Section 1, paragraph 2

[5] Nigerian minerals and mining act 2007 act no. 20, chapter 1, Part 1, Section 2, paragraph 1

[6] Nigerian minerals and mining act 2007 act no. 20, chapter 1, Part 1, Section 1, paragraph 3

[7] Odi experience of massacre under President Olusegun Obasanjo comes to mind