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Without These Life Skills, Nigeria Go Wound YouBy Ahmad-Tijani Agbaje on March 28, 2024

Remember that snake that “swallowed” ₦36 million in 2018?

That’s how Nigeria will swallow you if you don’t jazz up.

With the country being where it is, Nollywood actor, Kenneth Okonkwo’s statement hits very true;

Anarchy looms.

Now, we know this is a dark truth – there’s kuku no light, something about the grid shutting down… – but as always, it must be confronted and adapted to, before Nigeria teaches you a thing or two.

The saying goes, “Follow who know road”, and we believe it refers to us.

We are quite versed in matters of the streets, roads, etc.

Some might even call us The GPS for Nigerian youth, but, we are quite humble, so let’s not get too deeply into that.

The point is, follow us, and let us put you on to ways, tips and tricks you will use to outsmart – or maybe just survive – Nigeria.

If not anything else, it’ll be a fun read.

Open a burner account, please

Have you ever had a thought so evil and potentially dangerous – like semo pudding – that you knew you couldn’t share it with the world because you risked being jailed or cooked on social media?

Or worried that your employers might see that maybe your calabash is being shaken – quite vigorously – by masked men in your village?

This is where an alternate account comes into play.

An alternate account is a much smaller, usually private and anonymous account that you operate alongside your bigger, more front-facing one.

All those thoughts, moments and personal revelations that can harm your social credibility or corporate image go there – just make sure you trust the people you let into that space because if it gets out that you swallow malaria tablets without water, we can not defend you.

Buy things in bulk

We’ve spoken about inflation before, and here we are again. Why?

Inflation dey wire pesin.

Prices are constantly rising, and it’s common knowledge that what you could afford today, you might not be able to in two days.

This is why – for those that can – buying necessities in bulk might be the best way to move. Because by next week, it will be ₦100 more expensive, and if it’s a need, you’ll have no choice but to get it.

Another hack you can use is to leverage the power of community; find people who are willing to buy in bulk with you and also split the cost and goods, that way you spend less than you would buying in small bits.

You can also take this a step further with Pricepally. They allow you to source foodstuff in bulk directly from farmers and also buy with others and split costs (link in Index).

If that isn’t the hack of hacks, we don’t know what is.

This is especially useful if you’ve just moved into your new apartment and are stocking up.

Don’t wait for the price to come down dears, buy it now (try Supermart or Mano for online grocery shopping and easy delivery) and rest.

Always ask for your change o

We get it, you’re generous and it doesn’t seem like that much money, but with desperate times come desperate measures.

There is a way you will squeeze your face that the woman who sells groundnut will know that if she doesn’t give you that ₦50 things will start falling from the sky, and it won’t be rain.

If you added up all the “keep the change” you’ve done before, maybe your situation wouldn’t be so dangerous.

Meal prep

Did you know that in 2019, Nigerians spent trillions of ₦aira (4.6 trillion, to be exact) eating out?

As in, this is all money spent eating outside the house o, not cooking at home.


In these climes, eating out regularly is a serious luxury, and it’s okay to accept that.

This is why you should make it easier for yourself by making provisions for your meals throughout a certain period (could be a week, could be every three days, could be a month, as long as you can keep it well).

This doesn’t specifically mean cooking all your food and storing it – although that’s an option – it means doing anything that will make it easier for you to have home-cooked meals.

Because, if you know food is only a couple of steps away when you get home, it would make less sense for you to waste money on outside food.

You could chop up all the vegetables you’d be using for the week, marinate chicken for the next couple of days, or just flat-out cook all your meals, seal them, and stick them in the fridge/freezer.

Work smart, not hard o, and don’t let the game win.

Call your mother

You’re a big shot now, you’ve grown and left home, and this adulting thing is real for you.

It’s all very well and good till weeks pass and you’ve not returned any of your mother’s calls, now you’re staring at your call log and her name is in bold red and you don’t want to call back because you know you’ll receive an earful about how you’ve “forgotten” her.

Sound familiar?

As much as you’re living your life and it’s taking you places, it’s also important to not forget the people in your life, and the relationships that matter, because, like everything else, they need work and time too.

You could set weekly or biweekly reminders on your phone to give her a ring, or text (if that works for you).

And with everything that’s going on, you need her prayers in your life, dear.

Nigeria too hard.


Oya, oya, stop shouting, please.

We know that budgeting in these times can be… daunting, but we suggest you take the spirit of the idea and modify it to suit you.

First of all, track your spending for a month. Know exactly what you spend and how. This information will make it easier for you to know what’s actually going on and if need be, where to cut down from.

After that first month of just tracking, then it’s time to separate your essentials from everything else and see what you’re really working with.

From there it is really up to you to divide and conquer.

Make sure that, as you budget. you’re factoring in an estimated inflation rate to your figures. Add an extra N1k here and there, and even if prices don’t exactly rise to your estimate – or if they surpass them – at least you won’t be blindsided. This is also why regular reviews of your budget are important, so you can figure out what’s working and what isn’t.

This blog post by Piggyvest makes creating a budget pretty easy.

What are you waiting for again?

When you visit your parents, go with a big bag – you’re going shopping

Ahem. We hope you know that all your big boy ends once poverty hits?

When sapa grabs your neck (sapa, leave us alone, abeg) and you’re seeing stars, no one has to tell you that if you can, you should go back to the people who gave birth to you and remind them that you’re still just a baby o.

At the end of the day, you didn’t ask to be brought into this world, so if we’re being very logical about it, they should take care of you till your last day.


Make sure that as you’re going you wear your most faded shirt (so your mother will complain about how “haggard” you look), and don’t even brush your hair (so your dad will ask you why you aren’t looking “smart”), to ultimately portray all the shege you’re going through.

But, the most important thing in all this is securing the bag.

Don’t skimp on it o, it has to be of sturdy construction, bigger than your grandma’s Sunday purse, and lightweight enough to be folded and casually carried.

The Ghana-must-go to end all Ghana-must-goes.

Remember, you’re going there to loot.

No dull am.


If you didn’t know, Ajo is like a community piggy bank. People put money together regularly, and then one person gets all the money at a time. This happens in turns, so everyone eventually gets the big payout. The timing can vary, happening daily, weekly, or even monthly.

This is a great way to supplement a fixed source of income (like a salary or allowance) and can be a huge help, especially with how things are at present.

Just make sure that the people you’re doing it with are trustworthy, before story happens and someone disappears with all the money.

So, now that you are filled with knowledge from our bottomless well of wisdom, the only thing left is (you guessed it!) The Nigerian Life Skills Index.

The Nigerian Life Skills Index

Food & Groceries

Food Blog Africa
Tspices Kitchen

Coin-watching & Money

Ajo Money
Nigerian Personal Finance
JA Africa 
Buddy: Money & Budget Planner
Spending tracker
Goodbudget Budget Planner
Sparkle Bank


Wennovation Hub – Nigerian Innovation Accelerator
Lextorah School of Languages


If you master these skills, nothing wey Nigeria fit do you.

But, learning never ends, so why don’t you share your favourite Nigerian life skill with us?

Also, has the country’s present state taught you a lesson or two?

Gist us in the comments!


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