5 Reasons Young Nigerians Are Always Broke

Published on: June 8, 2022 (Updated on: April 22, 2024)

I start off this article about reasons young Nigerians are always broke with a line from a song created by one of the greatest musicians Africa has ever produced, M.I Abaga. “Money slow to enter but money quick to go” is a line from a song on the prolific rapper’s debut album ``Talk about it". Unfortunately, this is also the reality for many young Nigerians.

In a dwindling economy with minimal avenues to earn, many young Nigerians rely on allowances from parents and little stipends from family members. Those who manage to work and earn money still end up finding themselves at that stage where they experience a “Serious absence of purchasing ability” otherwise known by its popular acronym SAPA. 

5 reasons young Nigerians are always broke
Serious Absence of Purchasing Ability (SAPA)

Save for the miserable state of the Nigerian economy, a lot of personal reasons can be attributed to the cause of SAPA amongst many young Nigerians. In this article, I will be discussing five notable reasons most Nigerians are always broke.

5 reasons young Nigerians are always Broke

1. Unemployment

Unemployment is the number one reason why young Nigerians are always broke. It is no news that it is easier for a camel to pass through the needle’s eye than for a Nigerian graduate to find a job in this current economy. According to the Nigerian National Bureau of Statistics, Unemployment in Nigeria is ranked at 38% while youth unemployment is ranked at 42%. This means it is much harder for youths without a degree to find jobs than those with university degrees.

Most Nigerian youths have therefore sought succour in freelance jobs and menial jobs to sustain themselves. However, in a nation with a bad economy, you often find yourself working tirelessly for a salary that would never see you till the end of the month. When this happens, most people are forced to take loans that they are either unable to pay back or put even more strain on their finances.

2. Zero saving culture

A notable trend amongst Nigerians is that they spend as they earn and do not have any saving habits. However, you cannot save what you don't have, nor can you save yourself out of poverty.

Nigerian youths simply do not earn enough money to consider savings as an option, another reason is that they have no level of responsibility towards anyone but themselves. They are mostly dependent on parents and relatives so they are not responsible for anyone, they believe that money they have should be spent immediately and once it runs out, a simple call to daddy will solve the problem.

As much as they have little to no money coming in, it makes all the sense in the world to save a percentage of whatever income is being earned for the rainy day. Unfortunately, every day is a rainy day for the average Nigerian.

3. Bad Investments

In the bid to get out of the “Trenches' ' by any means, most young Nigerians find themselves investing the little money they have in get rich quick schemes and investments they have zero knowledge about. Money that could have been invested in investments that guarantee a stable interest rate is often spent on fast money schemes like MMM and other Ponzi schemes.

Another terrible investment choice most Nigerians find themselves falling into is investing in the crypto market, forex trading and purchasing affiliate marketing courses. While these investment choices can be very profitable when done right, most people do not have deep-seated knowledge of the workings of these investments but are simply swayed by the thought or promises of making a lot of money with a little investment. 

4. Bad lifestyle Choice

Many Nigerians are influenced by the lavish lifestyle choices they see on social media and on television. They do not care if they cannot afford this lifestyle, they simply want to chill with the big boys. This often comes at the cost of their little earnings and whatever savings they have. Living beyond your means puts a terrible strain on finance and when this is not properly managed could lead to finding oneself at the end of the SAPA spectrum.

5. Black Tax

This is a term that is used to classify money that employed individuals send to their family members after collecting their salaries or wages. Black Tax is a common phenomenon amongst coloured societies.

Children who are employed are obligated to send money back home and also take on certain financial responsibilities including that of their siblings. Those who refuse to obey these instructions are tagged as ungrateful children who do not appreciate what their parents did for them while growing up.

Black tax is a culture that puts immense pressure on the earnings of an individual. Some Nigerian cultures demand that a child send all the earnings from his first salary to his parents as a show of gratitude. This most times makes the individual unable to have any savings or invest in themselves.

Young Nigerians need to take advantage of the pool of educational resources available on the internet and engage in activities that will set them up for a better financial future. Learning a tech skill, taking on freelance jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities are all means of earning sustainable income. A good work ethic and a saving lifestyle should also be encouraged and adopted.