It has been 12 days since a cabman sped away with my 50 Naira change, leaving me dumbfounded by the roadside, wondering what I had done in my life to deserve such injustice.

He was wearing a blue washed-out polo shirt and I will never forget his face.

I pride myself as a sharp girl so you must know that this runaway cabman must have been a professional. While in the cab, I gave him my fare when I was about a minute away from my destination, because my parents taught me never to pay at the beginning of a trip. When I asked him for my change, he told me to be patient.

We arrived at my destination, and I stayed put on my seat, waiting for my change. He asked me to get down, saying he would hand me the money by the window. As soon as I alighted, he said ‘I don’t have change o’ in Yoruba and before I could grab him by the collar and ask him how that was any of my business, this man sped away.

Baffled, I attributed his behavior to poverty, that this man’s lowly estate had driven him to such ends. But I took a step back, and looked around, and realized this man’s actions had a greater motivation.

The hottest topic in Nigeria is our leaders and how terrible they are, but the truth is that our leaders are merely a reflection of a greater problem. The Theory of Motivation states that “an individual’s behavior is a function of its consequence”.

As a country, we have allowed bad behavior to fester for so long, and now we have a culture of impunity. We are a nation of no consequence.

We know there is no consequence for jumping queues at the bank or at a restaurant, so we do. What’s the worst that will happen if you run a traffic light? Or if you claim that a missing sum of money was swallowed up by a snake? Or if you postpone a nationwide election the morning it’s to hold?

Ever wondered why a lot of Nigerians know how to behave once they leave the country? And suddenly believe in the principle of punctuality?

A cabman today who speeds away with a passenger’s change is no different from a senator who runs away with a Constituency’s millions. Their actions are inspired by greed and fueled by the assurance that they will get away with it.

But how do you fix a problem that has seeped deeply into every structure of a nation? A culture woven seamlessly into the fabric of a people?

Lawlessness, is definitely not Nigeria’s only problem. There’s hypocrisy, which is as much a concern, but today is not the day to talk about that.

Today is to remember to always collect your change.


  1. How about the times they lie blatantly to your face. You are there looking at the 50 naira note they said they don’t have, and you wonder what it profits a man…


  2. 😂 In Lagos, they will group together 5 of you requesting for 100 naira each, give one of you 500 naira when you alight and let you slug it amongst yourselves for change.
    Nice article!


    1. OMG! That must be the modus operandi of Lagos conductors. It’s happened to me, leaving me to make friends I wasn’t in the mood to make.


  3. World class write! Although it brought back the memories of the 3-figure sums I have lost to commercial bus drivers


  4. Quite interesting piece. My most recent experience was with a bike man. He actually sounded nice, said he would wait for me while I make some transactions. But lo and behold, he absconded with my 950naira… It wasn’t funny


  5. Hummm. Nice work Modupe. Our country needs cerebral deliverance. And its our hope that one day we shall arise and build this country.


  6. He must have graduated from the college of Lagos danfo drivers 🤣🤣🤣. Happened to me once this one wasn’t as fast, cause i changed it for him asap…0 to 100.


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