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If You’re Nigerian, There’s a Foreign Currency in Your Wallet!

What is a foreign currency? You ask.

According to Cambridge dictionary, it is money from a country that is not your own. Basically, you cannot spend that money in your country because it is not recognised as legal tender.

Currencies rise and fall every day in the exchange market but it’s unusual to tumble so much that they cannot rise again.


You should have guessed by now where I’m going with this.

Wait you don’t?! Don’t worry you will understand soon enough. You just have to do a little exercise with me.

Now let us find the foreign currency in your wallet.


Step 1

Bring out your money purse or wallet.

Step 2

Take out all the cash you have in it.

Step 3

Arrange your cash according to denominations.


Step 4


After arranging your cash according to denominations you will notice something. It will fall into this arrangement.

  1. 1000 naira notes.
  2. 500 naira notes
  3. 200 naira notes
  4. 100 naira notes
  5. 50 naira notes

If this arrangement is all you have in your purse then sorry, you are not Nigerian. Please exit the building!


Don’t mind me, just kidding…

The arrangement we are concerned about isn’t in the denominations above. Then where is it?

Let’s check again.

  1. 20 naira notes
  2. 10 naira notes

Do you have the above denominations in your wallet? If you still have them, you are safe.

Now, for the moment we have all been waiting for! Time to reveal the foreign currency!

  1. 5 naira notes!

Do you still have the five naira note in your wallet???


Let me guess…no! Because it’s basically useless just like a foreign currency you can’t trade with in Nigeria! The price of goods have escalated so high that even items which were considered cheap are now expensive and the already costly ones are now seen as luxury items.

There is nothing the five naira note can buy in the store or market, even the 10 naira note.

We are pretty sure that young Nigerian kids today can’t recognise it. You think we’re lying? Okay…


Pick a kid on the street and ask them if they recognise the denomination. Don’t just show them the 5 naira note, show them both the 10 and 20 naira notes.

Due to the shapes on the money, they will tell you it’s paper from the Korean TV series, Squid Game!

Then imagine asking about coins? They will just tell you it’s mined mineral resources aka iron metal.


The Nigerian currency is getting more foreign by each year. Who knows? By next year, 50 naira might become foreign too.

Don’t worry, you can still hold onto your foreign currency, it might add value…one day.

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Ngozi Nwaubani

Ngozi Nwaubani

She's usually found writing Sci-Fi and fun articles on entertainment and lifestyle.


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