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BN Hot Topic: Abeg Pay Me My Money!



Money is such a touchy subject to talk about. Whether it is the earning, spending or lending of it, it is never a walk in the park. Okay, maybe the spending is not that difficult actually but you get my point. During my first year at Unilag, I lived in a cramped room with at least 14 other girls and our beds were understandably squashed together. Trust me, it was quite a lesson in human behaviour.

There was this girl whose bed was beside mine and she LOVED clothes; luckily there was never a shortage of  Yaba traders swarming the rooms of Newest Hall. She was a special customer of  “Mr. Jeans” but she was ALWAYS owing the man! Mr Jeans would pull out his book “Na, 5,500 remain oh”; she wouldn’t even look bothered. She’d just look around the room and ask one of the other room mates to “quickly borrow” her money.

So here we are three weeks later and my roomie still hasn’t paid back the money. When asked again, she’d either pick a quarrel or beg someone nearby to “quickly borrow” her to repay this “annoying girl disturbing her for ORDINARY 5k”.

Over time, I’d noticed this trend. It was a continuous cycle of debt and repayment and the quarrels that ensued from the non-repayment of loans. It taught me a valuable lesson, money and friendships don’t mix very well. However, as I grew older, I forgot that lesson and just assumed that because a person earned an income, they’d be able to pay back loans as and when they promised because they had an income. WRONG!

I’ve been wanting to write about this for months and I talked about it with some of my friends and they said “Ah! do you want XYZ to say you’re subbing him/her in public?” To that I responded, “why is it okay to have righteous indignation when you’re the one who is owing and have failed to keep your word?”.

It is understandable that a lot of times, things don’t go as we plan. If we plan to pay back and the expected funds fall through we are stuck. But, is there anything wrong with telling your creditor that you’re unable to deliver as promised?  Someone said that “close friends” are the most culpable in this “Onigbese” malaise. There’s also the group of people who assume that you have lots of money and as such they can hold on to that 35k they borrowed since November 2011.  Some people will actually pick a fight with you “Is it because of ordinary 7k that you’re burning up my phone? Please I don’t have the money”.

I think this habit kills the kindness in people because if I’ve been stung more than once, the chances are that no matter how sad your sob story or emergency is, I am unlikely to help out. I’ll probably just say “Eeeya, I don’t have money right now oh”. My friend, Femi, is even more  devious, she turns around and spins a more pathetic tale of her own. Her response “My 500k is still hanging with that silly girl. My milk of human kindness is all dried out”

Guys, what do you think? How does one handle this case of money lending? If you’ve borrowed money from someone, is there a particular way you want to be asked for the money? Is there a delicate way to approach money matters without ruining a relationship? Do you agree that money that can’t be given up shouldn’t be lent out at all? What’s the best way to handle some of these tricky situations?

Let’s discuss… lots of friendships are relying on this!

Photo Credit:

You probably wanna read a fancy bio? But first things first! Atoke published a book titled, +234 - An Awkward Guide to Being Nigerian. It's available on Amazon. ;)  Also available at Roving Heights bookstore. Okay, let's go on to the bio: With a Masters degree in Creative Writing from Swansea University, Atoke hopes to be known as more than just a retired foodie and a FitFam adherent. She can be reached for speechwriting, copywriting, letter writing, script writing, ghost writing  and book reviews by email – [email protected]. She tweets with the handle @atoke_ | Check out her Instagram page @atoke_ and visit her website for more information.


  1. Tiki

    June 13, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    Me, you must pay me my money o! If you cannot keep your word (or be appropriately contrite and honest about it), I don’t even want to be your friend. I go squeeze you till my money comot, then you and your friendship can go on permanent vacay!

    • jugnu

      June 13, 2013 at 3:40 pm

      Lol at “squeeze you”

  2. Tiki

    June 13, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    As for it being ordinary 5k, oya I gree, it is ordinary. Give me!!! If na say I get money and I no need am, if I lent to everyone who asked like you, and they didn’t pay back, will I have money?

    Chei Atoke has reminded me of my problems in this world!

    • B!

      June 13, 2013 at 5:20 pm

      You are lucky. At least the debtor remembered the amount. Some people will borrow money from you and then when you ask them for a return they will say “which money do i owe you?” Yes some people are that lame. I should know.

  3. impervious

    June 13, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    There’s a difference between borrowing money for something serious… (fill in the gap anyway you like) and taking a loan for jeans, knowing full well that you don’t have the money/ wont have the money to pay back the person. It is WRONG. Just wear what you have and let it go to bits if necessary. It’s the same habit employers in Nigeria have of holding on to your salary until week 2 in the month and giving you excuses. There’s no incentive to go to work with you owing me! Sorry, private rant there…. but I am sure enough people are going through the same

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      June 13, 2013 at 3:36 pm

      @ Impervious, no difference at all in my eyes, luv. All na gbese and when it comes to people who don’t pay back, all na bad debt.
      I lent money once to a friend on account of “something serious”. Nothing spoil, these things happen, the money was dutifully transferred for the “something serious”. Part payment was made by the end of that month, fast forward to 3years later, I still haven’t gotten all the money back; however this friend continues to call to gist and very evidently is not suffering from any severe reasons to not pay my entire loan back. I have a sneaky suspicion that if it comes down to a question of asking for it, I may probably hear that old mantra of “is it just because of XXX pounds?”

      @ Atoke, it’s like you were a fly on the wall listening to a conversation I was having with a friend last weekend where she was seriously vexed by her married friends assuming that because she’s single with a great income, she doesn’t have anything to do with her money. To which I say, “abeg, even if you think say ashewo work easy, no be to bring your hand dey follow ashewo spend am”, because I am fed up to my teeth with the married people who assume single folk don’t have anything to do with their salary (the friend who refused to pay me back is also married). Shuo, when we marry nko, make we no get money wey we don save for wedding? Abi you no dey even foresee marriage for this your constant-source-of-funds-to-borrow-from a.k.a your friend? Take una time oh.

      **Disclaimer – my friend does not do ashewo work, that was just an extreme illustration and I also do not categorize all married people into the box I just described up there. Just an annoying select few.

    • julit

      June 13, 2013 at 4:32 pm

      Do we work together? I never see salary like normal human being this year. By the way I have a former colleague who will borrow to travel out, buy asoebi, buy human hair and all. When it’s time to pay, she go begin say you dey tell the whole world say you borrow am money. Aunty go come borrow to pay you and owe the other person for eternity. Women are the major culprit.

  4. Blackpearl

    June 13, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    Friends always want to use friendship as a scapegoat not to repay. I have gone an extra mile by borrowing for friends who is in desperate need…but they never show appreciation by paying back on time. lesson learnt.

  5. bimbo akinbo

    June 13, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    i truly support the saying ” that money that can’t be given up shouldn’t be lent out at all?”,though in life there are exceptions to every rules,thats on, rare basis.

    • dee

      June 13, 2013 at 2:23 pm

      exactly!! I fully support that saying

    • Amazeballs!

      June 13, 2013 at 3:05 pm

      chop knuckle abeg!

  6. Miranda

    June 13, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    Asinnnn I opened this post sharp sharp,I sell clothes and have over 1m with people, from cloths i sold and from lending friends, some have stopped picking my calls,some get angry I call them, I don tire! It’s just annoying! Don’t even know what to do sef

    • Blackpearl

      June 13, 2013 at 2:04 pm

      thats unfortnate. As for me, there is a specific instant in which i told a certain gal that (before she could even make payment) “atleast next time, u will know why i wont lend u”…it was like i was sealing my fate with that statement. she never paid.

    • BubblyBliss

      June 13, 2013 at 3:25 pm

      Aunty N1m! That’s why they keep coming to you. i’m sure you’ve even forgotten some people. Only lend an amount you won’t die over if you lost it.

  7. Berry Dakara

    June 13, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    If I expect to get my money back, then I don’t lend it, on the chance that I won’t get it back.

    If I wouldn’t be upset if I never got it back, then sure, take it.

    • B!

      June 13, 2013 at 5:34 pm

      Excellent point. You don’t always have to lend a person money. Some people pick quarrels with you based on not lending them money but who cares! I know i don’t!

  8. koko

    June 13, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    dis is how i do it …if u ask to lend 50k i wld dash u 5k if u ask for 20 i dash u 2k…as at now i owe no one and no one owes mee…

    • Kachi

      June 14, 2013 at 8:44 am

      Gbam! That’s my strategy, I no fit shout abeg!

  9. lorenz

    June 13, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    As far as I’m concerned, don’t lend out money you cannot give out. If its a lot of money and he/she needs it for very important stuff, collect collateral. Say what you like, I’m a capitalist. If you’ll return my money, you wouldn’t mind a collateral. Will you?

    • Iamme

      June 13, 2013 at 4:08 pm

      Hmmm. …there’s some sense in asking for a collateral. It doesn’t occur to me to ask.

  10. Cynthia

    June 13, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    The worst is lending to boyfiend’s relatives or your Inlaw, I borrowed money to my boyfriend cousin like 8 yrs ago, till today I no see my money, and you know how difficult it is to ask for ur money from relatives. I would even prefer to dash than lend, so that I know it’s dash.smh.

  11. Miss Anonymous

    June 13, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    It’s not nice when people take your benevolence for granted. I once had a friend who would borrow stuff and wouldn’t return until you went back to ask. On one occassion I learnt her N75,000 and she began returning the money in bits of N5,000 here, N10,o00 there. Meanwhile when you collect the odd N2,000 from her she’d hound you for it. Needless to say the friendship has since packed up.

  12. dee

    June 13, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    someone once told me never to lend what I can not let go off.. that I should not lend someone an amount that will pain me incase the person does not pay back.
    I live by this rule.. So
    If the person is not my best friend or family who needs money for a very urgent matter that I’m aware will probably cause this loved one problems, I am not lending any amount I can not let go off.
    If I lent you money before and you didn’t pay when you said you would, you didn’t get in touch with me and you try dodging, don’t even dream of asking me again even if you eventually pay back.

    These rules work for me and I’m happy.

    • hot mama

      June 13, 2013 at 2:50 pm

      mehnn,that makes two of us….the one that gets to my bone marrow is the ‘being dodgy attitude’ after the fact…needless to say I’ve learnt my lesson!!

  13. Glossy

    June 13, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    I also agree with the saying that “money that can’t be given up shouldn’t be lent out al all” but there are exceptions tthough. I give freely and heartily until i was taught a great lesson. Now i only give what i can let go, if it comes back thanks God! if it doesn’t peace.

  14. Nikky

    June 13, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    what’s more annoying is that some people already make up their mind that they won’t pay back the moment they come to you ,all in the name of they think you have enough to spare. If you want me to dash you why not say it from the beginning then if i know i can i will.. not giving me the hope that you will pay and latter giving me headaches about it.. People please be warned!!!

  15. Patie

    June 13, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    Its a serious mata, some people can so owe you money to the point that you end up spending x2 of that money, my friend has a case now wif a church member, collected ha goods n has not paid my friend, funny tin dis chick bot a fascinator from me sinc dec. n has not paid, Imagine callin someone for ur money wen she remembers it haself dat she’s oweing me. Omo e no easy. I’ve got countless stories to tell as regards lending n payback, I resolved never to make fascinators for anybody until u’ve paid me 70 percent upfront, u no want ka chi fo. shikenna

  16. OMO

    June 13, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    nice 1 Atoke….human beings are desperate wen it comes to money issue so me i only borrow money that i can let go, if u ask for 20k and am able to give 5k i will just and let it go shikena

  17. Pee

    June 13, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    ℓ̊ couldn’t help but read dis article,friends n family are the most ridiculous pple to do bizness with. ℓ̊ av loads of cash out there from my so called friends yet na soso story u go de hear.Some pple ar jus grossly irresponsible with money issue so ℓ̊ av drawn my conclusions to jus note dem n never let money bring us togeda again.Toke jus brot back stressful money linked n gbese memories dis afternoon.

  18. Susan

    June 13, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    I dont borrow money, so I don’t lend either. I broke that rule last year when i borrowed for sth important and i returned it via a payment plan. The only person i can ever lend money to now is my bestie that borrowed me the money because it will be one good turn repaying another. Anyone outside of her, mbanu. Boyfriends N to the freaking No. Even my siblings sef we don’t borrow each other money. Daddy and Mummy are our central banks. If they cant give, whatever you need the money for, my siblings will dash if they can. It is a personal policy of mine that I always voice out anytime this dicussion comes up with friends or family, so they know not to come ask me. I have never asked them too and heaven forbid that i will find myself in a situation to ask cos i dont they wont give. lol. My ex on the other hand can borrow money for a career. Multiple credit card debt running into thousands of pounds which as UK law is becomes my debt too if we got married. He has strings of loans from friends that I wont even know about until they call me and say Susan abeg help us beg bros to pay us back. Haba. It was one of the reasons we broke up because I couldnt trust him with our finances. To crown it all I earn more than him again. I no fit

  19. Family and relatives are the worst, they never pay back and they claim we are blood. Oshisco!

  20. Abiola

    June 13, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    Me I wouldn’t listen…I keep borrowing people my money and yet dey go behind me to say ‘am selfish’ worst of it I borrowed my stupid ex bf money when his prick was sill sweeting me n when we broke up,I asked the dude for my money….Fellow Commenters…hmmmm..u don’t want to know what he said ‘he said its give and take , afterwards..I was enjoying his prick…he didn’t even have shame to it…mtchewwww

    • Amazeballs!

      June 13, 2013 at 3:16 pm

      *dead* !!!!

    • Berry Dakara

      June 13, 2013 at 3:28 pm



    • tbn

      June 13, 2013 at 3:49 pm

      This is the funniest response. I cant stop laughing…. :D. Sweet prick indeed. hahaha. I don’t borrow what i cant forget about oh. Cos I know people can borrow money with the straightest of faces for weeks, without mentioning it or paying back. As for ding business, I dont even go there co I cant chase people up and down for my money. I really give kudos to business people who have to do that all the time, and even run into bad debts from their creditors.

  21. Tinkerbell

    June 13, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    I just adopted the philosophy listed in your last paragraph. Money I can’t joyfully give without thinking (in Nigerian terms money I can’t dash) me I don’t borrow. Trust me that saves me a lot of headache.

  22. pynk

    June 13, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    I am probably owed somewhere around $20,000. I have gotten to the point where i dont borrow anyone money. I have point blankly told a few debtors that given their lack of respect for me, i would rather not be friends anymore. Lets cut the crap. Even when i borrow money from my brothers, i state the repayment terms and when i also lend to them, they do the same, so talkless of a stranger.

  23. bees

    June 13, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    knt stop laffin at the” if u ask for 50k he givs 5k n 20k 2k “and d fellow commenters lady dts jus cracking me up so bad

  24. Dee

    June 13, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    This is a very interesting topic.I have two very close friends that are presently not talking to me just because I asked for money for stuff I sold to them in December 2012,I asked for this money in March and they both got angry that i asked for my money.It was difficult for me to ask them so I had to via text messages and they still complained that I asked them for my money.When they eventually paid,they didn’t pay my money in full claiming that it can’t be my profit they are withholding.I should be the one getting angry with them instead they are the one angry with me,see me see wahala.I just concluded that if you would fight with me cos of my money(business)then maybe we should not even be friends again.These are friends I have borrowed money several times but when it is my turn to ask them to borrow me that is when they don’t have.i hate it when people just assume that you have too much money so you don’t need your money with them since you can survive without the money.

  25. eniola

    June 13, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    Atoke just gives something to remember always. Much love darling Atoke. I remember my ex- boyfriend gave me some money to shop for my birthday and convocation, as both were sunday and monday of the following week respectively. This new found friend of mine that i met at her birthday hang-out which i attended with my own friends who were her friends as well, offered to go shopping with me and even drove us. Unfortunately, one of the dresses i bought didn’t fit, but i couldn’t return it cos the store stated it’s policy clearly and i didn’t try it on at the store too, gisted le friend, she offered to buy it said but i’ll remove 1k for her o and that she’ll pay the following month, i said okay. FF to when she paid, two months after i completed my NYSC! From time to time, i would intentionally display comic pictures about debtors on BBM, she’ll ping to say ” babe, i’m sorry o, i haven’t forgotten you o, i just haven’t had the money loosely”. :D. But thankfully, when she paid she just sent a text that babe please send a GTB acct number, even as i no get i called my cousin to send hers sharperly. Her case amongst others, hers is just significant, because it was the lowest and it took the longest period. I don’t know why it happens to me as i don’t buy anything on credit or borrow, my daddy is my Money Lender whom of course i never pay back, i tell him, i’ll multiply it in future and gladly the future is now, I’m paying back with ease. LOL

  26. eniola

    June 13, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    @ Abiola LAFF DON KEE ME DIE!!!

  27. Anonymous

    June 13, 2013 at 4:35 pm

    When I was younger and naive, I happily lent to any “friend” with a good sob story (sob story optional, I have lent to people to cover their part of the table bill on a night out). I can count on one hand the amount of people that have ever paid me back. Now, I just give what I can afford to not receive back. I don’t run a credit facility abeg. There are banks for that.

  28. Yinkz

    June 13, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    So, after reading this post, I put up some drama on facebook cuz dats where most of my debtors reside…lol! While at that, i also pinged a pathetic dude who has been borrowing money from me since sec school and is always complaining about his goods being seized. Afta reading my chats, next question he asked me was ‘Who is this?’. Well, I have taken the pain to explain who I am and I hope e pays me. Dude has been owing me for over 2years now.

  29. Hurperyermie

    June 13, 2013 at 5:32 pm

    i don’t lend people money lailai if u ask me to lend you money i will give you what am capable of giving but to borrow you mba NO WAY cos i no get body i no fit shout or fight

  30. amaka

    June 13, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    I have just about 3 friends I can actually lend money to with the assurance that they would pay back. I even lent 100k to one of them recently for her house rent and although she din’t pay at exactly the time she said she would,she kept on apologising for it until she paid. My family on the other hand is a no go area. My elder sis calls me all the time “Amie,pls snd me 10k,15k,20k etc. I’ll pay you next week”. Me “ahn ahn,sister,brother(ur husband) nko?” My sister”ahn ahn Amie,you know every na. Children’s school fees,dis, dat”, me too,I will send. End of story. Money,I no go see. In December,she came to me with a big sob story and askd for 100k. I dint have it but I gathered 70k and gave to her. She promised to pay in January. In March,I was broke and I asked her for the money. Sister picked a big quarrel wt me o, reported me to Mom and Dad about how I was embarrassing her becos of ordinary 70k and din’t talk to me for two months. I learnt my lesson there. Another is momcy. I usually give her a stipend every month. In February,she called and said she needed 200k for a business and that she would pay back in April when our tenants pay their rent. 2weeks ago,I asked her about the money. She went ” so you are asking me for the money,do you know how much me and your father spent in training you?”. I told her “sorry ma”. In my mind, I just said no more bulk money for you till further notice. The monthly stipend would do just fine. Then same last month,this my very same sister’s husband called me and was telling me how his money got tied up in am oil ship and how he needed 500k to pay customs at the seaport to release the ship and how I should lend him and how he would pay back in 2weeks time. Haa! Ordinary corpershun like me,to lend you, my in-law,500k? Is it because I manage dey work for one small better place?Where I wan see am sef?(Ok,I have the 500k and he knows I have it but I don’t have to admit it to him) so I told him,ah Uncle,don’t be angry o. I’ve used the money to purchase a land(which I actually intend to do). Till today,Bros no dey answer me if I greet am and me sef no send. Family for me right now is a no go area where lending money is concerned. Them don show me shege!

    • Mz Socially Awkward....

      June 13, 2013 at 10:45 pm

      Nne, your family drama na wa oh. And I dey complain of the small ones wey friends dey do, instead to dey thank God say at least my immediate family never chop my money like this? Don’t worry, luv, God will bless you for the good you’ve done for them and may He give you a more-than-generous husband (generous to you, ohh, not just any man wey dey dash money recklessly) that will be your own assured support when you need one.

  31. bee

    June 13, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    What about family members borrowing money. Myself and my sister both traveled to The US. I helped her complete her ticket money. But till date i never see brake light of the money. Recently i got a car and my expected amount was not enough. That’s when i heard stories like ” in life i always plan ooo” , “i cant give out what i haven’t planned for”, but someone forgot that money for trip to US was completed by moi. Needless to say, my parents came to my rescue. haven’t asked for that money still cos i know sometime in the future, i will be asked for money again.

  32. Msunderstood

    June 13, 2013 at 9:48 pm

    Everybody here is a lender, nobody b borrower. BN readers hmm, na so.

    • Naija talk

      June 14, 2013 at 4:20 am

      @ commenter, spot on !

    • Miss Anonymous

      June 14, 2013 at 11:04 am

      …beacause the debtors have no plausible reasons for not paying up so they can’t share their experiences!

  33. Specs

    June 13, 2013 at 11:55 pm

    Oh my!!! this is very timely, wish I could play some stupid ass message this idiotic onigbese customer left on my phone yesterday. Homeboy refused to pay me in full for the food I cooked for him…so I text him for my money o, only for him to start complaining that i’m harassing him for 20bucks….my people please help me, how can you pay 60 out of 80 ( 25% missing)and expect me to forget the rest? I don’t know him from jack? he was even now rude to me on top of everything….HE WILL PAY MY MONEY OH!!!

    • koko

      June 14, 2013 at 10:13 am

      my dear collect ure money he must to pay

  34. fusion

    June 14, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    Well everyone here seem to be on the giving side but i guess i will be the odd one out…… i hate borrowing and whenever i did (which was rare), i’m usually the one to remind the person that i’m owing and i pay back (me and my friends do that and we have never had any money issue) but sometime in 2010 i borrowed 200k from a friend with the hope of paying back (she actually agreed to lend me the money because she didn’t have any use for it as at then and didn’t want to spend it foolishly so lending me the money was like me helping her to save it) anyways things just turned around for the worse in my family feeding became an issue not to talk of paying my sch fees and it got so bad that my folks were contemplating if myself and siblings who were schooling abroad should return home because pops couldn’t pay out tuition anymore even the ticket money to return was even wahala i didn’t know things were that bad at home until my elder sis told me, i started selling stuffs (of which people are still owing me) but every penny i get goes to my tuition and upkeep. But by the grace of God who is ever faithful to complete whatever He started, we didn’t return home and my bro who’s in the UK was able to graduate and i’ll be graduating this summer… you can call this a sob story but never in my life did i envisage that i will owe my friend up till now, i’m in a country were we are not allowed to work as students but thank God she has been very understanding because she knows (i hope) very well it isn’t intentional, and i don’t want to pay her in pieces thankfully shes from a very rich home and she keeps telling me not worry about it till i have it and even if she tells me tomorrow not to pay her (yeah shes that kind) heaven knows i will definitely pay her back another way. So sometimes i believe things happen beyond our control and mess up up our plans, nobody rejoices over debt and people (not all) owe not because they intentionally want to be indebted but because they have no choice…………

  35. Seen ALL

    June 25, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    Hmmmmmmmmmm! To lend money to people is human but to collect it back is divine,GOD will help us in jesus name we the lender

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