4 Nigerians Discuss Being Owed Money

February 4, 2021

Loaning people money can be a tricky situation because there is always a chance that they might default on payment. There are no guarantees, really. In this article, we asked 4 Nigerians to talk about being owed money by their friends. This is what they said.


An ex was in a tough spot, and I asked her to stay with me for a few months to figure out her next steps. Few months dragged into two years, and she was still at my place. When it was time to leave, she needed money to complete her house rent.

I’d given her ₦250k earlier, but she needed an additional ₦80k. I told her that the ₦250k was a gift, but I would need the ₦80k back because it was from my salary.

I tailed her for almost a year after she left and all I got were excuses and indefinite responses. When I got tired of the whole situation, I sent her a text to tell her not to bother anymore as I’d written the money off as bad debt. All she said, and I kid you not, was “Lol.”


This friend and I were coursemates in university, and we went on to intern at the same hospital. So, I knew he was earning well. I do photography on the side. When he wanted to get married in January 2020, he hired me as his wedding photographer. I charged him ₦140k for the services, but he paid a deposit of ₦50k, which I agreed to because I thought he was going to balance me up as soon as possible.

Months rolled by, and he didn’t pay me my money. We both earn over ₦130k per month, but he never thought to pay what he owed. Whenever I asked him about it, he would go: “Omo, the salary has already finished oh.” After a lot of vexing and pleading, he paid another part payment in October 2020. Now, he owes me ₦10k. The funny thing is that he has a child now and has yet to pay my balance. He probably thinks ₦10k is not enough money to ask for, but I expect to be paid for my services. 


This friend I made in school reached out to me. He wanted to 2x his income and needed to take a training course that cost over ₦200k. I was in uni and unemployed at the time. He knew this, but he thought I was the best person to help him. I was sold when he explained how he planned to repay the loan and showed me his income and earnings from his side hustles. 

I raised the money for him from my savings, scholarship, and what I made from my side hustles in school. He was supposed to pay back after four months, and when he didn’t, I hit him up. But he said something profound that hit me: “It’s your fault that I’ve not paid you. When I had money, you didn’t remind me.” I wished that the ground would swallow me up.  

The slew of excuses came after that. If he hadn’t just paid his mum’s rent, he had just sent his siblings some money. At the end of the day, he paid in bits and pieces until I got ₦120k. But you see that ₦80k balance? I think it belongs to him because I don’t understand anymore. 

Recently, I went to visit him at his new apartment and spoilt something in his house. The item couldn’t have cost more than ₦1500, but this guy dragged me for weeks to make me pay for it.

I’ve decided to take a break from loaning people money. I just act like I’m broke and unemployed because that’s the only way these sorts of people will give you peace of mind. And It’s working out great so far.


In November 2020, a friend reached out to me, asking if I could loan her ₦300k for some business she wanted to do. I told her I can loan her ₦250k, but I’d need it back as soon as possible. She promised to return it in a week, which I thought was fair. I thought we had a deal. It’s been months now, and I’ve not gotten a dime back. When it was time to pay back, she said she was going through some things and couldn’t pay me my money back just yet. The most annoying part of the situation was that I was always the one calling her to ask for updates.

And what have I not done to get my money back? I’ve threatened her. I’ve called her out on social media. Still, I haven’t recovered anything. I can’t even reach her anymore because she has blocked my number. 

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