How to Ask Your Employer for Money

If you think it’s stressful to ask unwilling friends and family to pay back money they owe, wait till you experience a Nigerian employer from hell who defaults on salary payments. It’s a daunting situation that will take a toll on your mental, emotional and financial wellbeing.

I asked some Nigerians who’ve been owed money by their employers how they navigated the experience, and they shared these tips.

Avoid wasting time

“My former employer was a serial defaulter. I learnt from her that the longer you wait to get your money, the less likely the debtor will make that payment. So, it’s important you start taking proactive measures right after they make that first default on payment.”

A polite reminder

“No serious employer should ever forget your salaries, but there have been cases where all I needed to do was send a reminder. Before you assume that they don’t want to pay and do something rash, it’s sometimes useful to give them the benefit of the doubt and send a polite reminder”

Be proactive with reminders

“If you’ve got a boss with an established pattern of owing or forgetting about salaries, your best bet is to send a reminder a week or two ahead. That way, there’d be no excuse or opportunity to default.”

Reduce your productivity

“Everyone I’ve worked with knows I give my 100% on the job, but the moment my money is threatened, it drops to 50%. When the employer asks why, I’ll simply tell them I don’t have money to cater for basic needs that keep me productive. They might be pissed and want to gaslight you, but it does the trick.”

Involve a third party

“I always make it a point to research an employer before taking a job. I must have an idea of the people they roll with. This way, I’ll know who to turn to if there are issues where I need to involve a third party.

One time, I only got paid when I told an ex-boss’s sibling about the money my boss owed me. That said, you should only do this when you’ve exhausted other options.”

Document everything

“Corporate culture taught me the importance of documenting everything. Once I notice I have a boss who acts funny with money, I put my guard up and keep receipts. People like that will make deductions out of thin air from your salary and if you don’t have the evidence to counter them, o ti lor.”

Use social media

“I once had an employer who refused to pay me for months. His excuse was that the company was struggling and there was no money. I eventually resigned and didn’t get paid. Weeks after, I saw this man post pictures of a new Range Rover. My subsequent reminders were ignored.

Eventually, I quoted his car announcement with a thread about how he’s owing me money and tagged some blogs and other popular influencers on Twitter. This man paid my money that same day.

I hate social media drama but I’ve realised that when it comes to debt, it’s one of the most effective ways to get your money.”

Still confused about how to ask your employer for money? You should read this: 10 Memes To Send To Your Shameless Debtor



Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.