A Nigerian’s brain is filled with many concerns fighting for attention. Thoughts like, “Where do I find the shortest queue for fuel today?” or “Which network provider won’t disgrace me today?”

But the one you’re guaranteed to find close to the top is, “Where can I keep my money so bank charges, exchange rate, rats and snakes don’t send me back to my village?”

Where do Nigerians keep their money? We’ve ranked all eight spots.

8. Nigerian mother

If you’re still keeping money with your Nigerian mother, after all she used your eyes to see when you were younger, you’re very brave. Sure, mothers are great at saving things — remember the nylon bag filled with other nylon bags? — and we’re not saying you won’t get your money back, but if she “borrows” it, how do you ask for it back? Are you ready for a how “she carried you for nine months” reminder?

7. Thrift savings, AKA Ajo or Esusu

I get the idea behind ajo, and it’s not bad. You agree with a group of people to put your money together, and then each person “collects” everyone’s money when it’s their turn. It makes sense if you don’t trust yourself not to finish all your money on shawarma, but what if one person decides to pack everyone’s money and run away before paying their share? If it can happen to these people, it can happen to you. Issa no for me.

6. Under your bed or pillow

There’s nothing better than sleeping on money, literally; at least you know where your money is. But have you met some rats? In case you don’t know, there are demon rats who’d leave your kitchen and prefer to eat certificates and cash. Just ask our politicians.

5. Piggy banks, AKA kolo

Kolos only work when you’re highly self-disciplined, or you’d just find yourself using broom to remove the ₦1k you dropped there the night before. 

4. Regular banks

You’ll understand why I’m differentiating the banks later on in this list, but here, I’m referring to the traditional commercial banks where you’ll open a “savings” account with ₦10k and come back to a balance of ₦9,650 in a matter of minutes. The ones that’ll charge “ATM maintenance” fees but will still ask you to wait 24 working days to reverse an ATM dispense error. The good thing is, you don’t have to keep your money in cash, and people can easily send you urgent ₦2k.

3. The stock market

You can make a sizeable profit when you keep your money in stocks, but you can also wake up tomorrow and see that all your life savings has vanished. It’s not your village people. The stock market is just volatile. Put some of your money there, not all biko.

2. Foreign currency

With the naira’s epileptic state, it only makes sense to want to keep your money in other currencies like the dollar. This would have been number one, but how many people even have access to dollar investments?

1. Digital banks

Digital banks are like mobile banks, but without the plenty charges. At least with these ones, what you put inside is what you’ll meet, plus jara.

ALAT by Wema, Nigeria’s leading digital bank, offers multiple savings features which customers can choose from and grow their finances by earning up to 10% interest on money saved. 

Even if you want to spend your money — because problem no dey finish — their Spend and Save feature allows you to automatically save a percentage of the transaction amount on ALAT and earn interest on your savings. You can also save in dollars with the Dollar Savings feature. Even if it’s ajo you want to do, the Rotating Savings feature offers a transparent collective savings process for you and up to 12 friends.

Make savings and investment a lifestyle with ALAT. Check out their website for more information on the available savings features, and get started today.



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