Letters to Allawee

Letters to Allawee

What is Allawee?

“Allawee” is the common word used to refer to the monthly allowance that is given to National Youth Service Corp members (Corpers) serving their fatherland in Nigeria.

NYSC is a scheme established on 22nd May 1973 by the Nigerian government to involve Nigerian graduates in nation building and the development of the country after the civil war. NYSC is the dream and aspiration of every undergraduate in Nigeria, a period of transition into the labour market.

Letters to NYSC by FINTEL Coach
NYSC Logo

During the mandatary “service year”, graduates are deployed at random to states within the nation to serve in schools, government establishments, companies and NGOs for one year. As a compensation, they are given a monthly allowance (allawee) by the Federal Government.

As at today, the monthly stipend or allawee stands at N19,800, a little above (the former) minimum wage.

While this may be insufficient for many people, with a modest lifestyle, it is just enough to get by. Besides, it gives graduates a taste of what salaried life is like in the world of employment.

Many Corpers complain that the monthly allowance is barely enough to meet their needs which includes transport, feeding, clothing, CDS dues, professional courses, social life and sometimes support for siblings at home.

This is true…

As a serving Corp member myself, I sometimes feel the heat. Nevertheless, I still find a way to save some money.

The Love of Allawee

Yesterday 29th Aug, I stumbled upon a post on one of our Corpers Forum on WhatsApp. It was a letter expressing love, hope and expectancy for the coming allawee. Here is it:

LETTER TO MY LOVE ❤

Dear Allawee,

I, your sweetheart is in dire need of you. It has been long we see each other. I’m profusely missing your warmth hugs. You are quite aware that l love you so much. You promised to visit me on 28th of this month but today is 29th and you are not yet here. I most sincerely solicit that you should not keep me waiting beyond 30th. Thanks and remain blessed as you enter as soon as possible.

Yours faithfully,

Federal Government Pikin.

Hahahaha. It is such a sweet and funny letter if you ask me. 😅

I believe whoever wrote this did it for fun.

But looking at it on a deeper level, you will agree with me that the writer (and of course, almost every Corp member) means every word of it. He is probably dead broke and seriously in need of money, hence the earnest expectation.

FINTEL Letters to Allawee

However, there is something fundamentally wrong with the kind of mindset behind this letter – which the members of my WhatsApp community, “FINTEL Warriors” are trained to spot and correct.

Hence, I quickly shared this “love letter to allawee” with my “Warriors” and asked for their honest inputs and advice to the desperate writer.

Here are some of the replies I got:

1. Hmmmmmmmmmmm, It was 8yrs ago I received allawee last. The joy of alawee in the lodge is always overwhelming. However, a Corp member should use his/her service year to grow wealth and never wait for any alert.

Akinola Oladipo, a Teacher and Ex-corper 2011, Niger State.

2. Two things went wrong; no next source of income…and the person most likely spent more than he or she earned. As a FINTEL Warrior, you can’t say same. Cause it brings disappointment and slows down activities. So to avoid such story even as a corp member, one must invest in other sources of income. Plus [make] a budget to boycott unnecessary wants so you can plan ahead.

Nansik Garba. Graduate of University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom state.

3. Personally, I feel it is quite normal to expect one’s allawee especially as at when due but not as the only hope or source of income. As a financially intelligent or educated person, the allawee should be considered a plus, thereby saving you the stress of being bitter if you don’t get a credit alert early enough. In addition, before its arrival, plans should be made on how to spend it wisely on things that will yield returns.

Godsfavour Daniel. Undergraduate student of FCE, Oshiele, Ogun state.

 

Other Warriors decided to present their advice in the form of a remake of the original “letter to allawee”. They rewrote the letter in a way that reflects their sentiments about people’s overdependence on allawee.

Here are some of them:

4. Dear Allawee,

Thank you for you are a seed to me.I promise to seek other source of income and not depend on you. Because I know that after my service year I would remember that you were once part of my life, either with my social media or with any other skills. I promise to use you as a stepping stone. 

Favour Alikwe. Ex-Corper, 2018 Batch B2, Ogun state.

4. Dear Allawee, 

I’m sorry I squandered you. I’m sorry I abused you when you came to my life. It hurts me that I have very little tangible assets to show for your eventful sojourn in my life.

Now that you’ve been mentioned, I’m reminded to rewrite our story. With the little hard memory I have of you, I’ll create wealth, more wealth than I initially did when you were alive. Thank God I’m now more financially literate and responsible. 

Please be nice to others you encounter.

I’ve missed you, but I promise you this day: our romance will not be fruitless. I’ll make you proud. 

Yours repentantly, 

Financially intelligent Dii.

Deborah Obot. Copywriter and Ex-corper, 2017 Batch A, Ogun State.

5. Dear Allawee,

Thank you for showing the joy of monthly income and the joy of saving. I really miss you, but don’t you worry I’ll use you to build lasting wealth since I’m more financially intelligent now.

Jubreel Faranas. Ex-corper, 2018 Batch A, Kano State.

6. Dear Allawee

 Though I haven’t known you but I’ve heard a lot about you.

I know that I will be meeting you and how juicy you are in two years to come .

I promise never to misuse you now that I am financial intelligent and never to place all my budget on you so that you won’t grow lean and unpleasant to sight . 

I promise to be nice on you and make you multiply.

Till then keep being you dear allawee.

Yours in anticipation

Financially intelligent Titilayo.

Titilayo Fadipe. Undergraduate student, FCE, Oshiele, Ogun State.

7. Dear allawee

Thank you so much for staying in my life for the past 11 months with you I have invested, saved and gotten professional certifications, put lovely smiles on people’s faces.  

I really bless God you came through my path! As we depart next month remain amazing. 

Xoxo

💖💖

Omotola Omolade. Serving Corp member, 2018 Batch C, Oyo state.

 

My Take on the “Love Letter to Allawee”

Personally, I share in the fun and nuance expressed in the original “Love letter to allawee“. As a serving Corp member myself, I understand where the writer is coming from.

However, being familiar with the writers mindset, I couldn’t help but read deep meanings into that letter.

I see a lot of similarities between that Corp member’s love for and attachment to allawee and the typical employee’s love for and attachment to his/her salary. Allawee is to Corper what salary is to a worker in the labour market. They share the same characteristics. They are both paid monthly.

Given that the labour market is the next level for every Corp member after his/her service year, this attachment to money calls for serious concern.

What could be the reason behind this emotional attachment to allawee? What does this attachment say about the Corper’s personal finance and money management skills? 🤔

Don’t get me wrong! As an employee or Corp member, there is absolutely nothing wrong in being expectant of your hard-earned money or stipend towards the end of the month. After all you deserve it. 👍

However, where you should be careful is when this expectancy translates into such strong emotions as “love”.❤️

When this happens, it implies that you have gotten to the stage where you have become solely dependent on your salary or allawee. You have run your purse so dry that all your hope is on that salary. It means that without the income you may die. 😲😓

It is this dependency and emotional connection to money that keeps people trapped in the rat race. They can do anything to ensure they get paid because their life depends on it.

This is a very dangerous zone where many people get addicted to their salary. Here are seven reasons why your salaried job is like a crack cocaine.

Salary addiction
Salary addiction

To make matters worse, many people in this situation have very poor money management skills. They don’t keep a budget, neither do they save or invest money. They spend on impulse.

In fact, it is on record that most salary earners run out of money within the first two weeks of the month. Why is this so?

The reason is that they only have one source of income. Also, they lack the financial intelligence on how to manage, keep and multiply any money that comes their way. All they do is spend, spend, spend. Then wait for the next one… and the vicious cycle continues. 🔁

 

Rat race for money
The Rat Race for money never ends

You see, when the Bible says that “the love of money is the root of all evil”, I believe this is exactly the kind of love it is referring to.

Many people, even hardcore Christians possess and express this “unhealthy love” for money whether they admit it or not.

“Money is not evil. Money is a tool. It is neither good nor evil…. Good and evil resides in the hearts of men who use money as a tool to accomplish their good and evil deeds.” —Obot Essiet Jr.

Unfortunately, they tend to cover up for their love and attachment to their precious one source of income by misinterpreting the Bible to mean “money is evil” – which is wrong. They drum this lie into your subconscious mind right from childhood and make you feel guilty of ever legitimately working hard for money.

Like I wrote in an earlier blog post: “Money is not evil. Money is a tool. It is neither good nor evil…. Good and evil resides in the hearts of men who use money as a tool to accomplish their good and evil deeds.”

See also: FINTEL Frank Talk – Day 8 of 10 (Money is not evil)

Therefore, it is disingenuous to say “money is evil” and yet you are so emotionally attached to it that you cannot do without it – to the extent that you have to write a “love letter” to money.

Moreover, many people who don’t actually write such letters nor open their mouth to declare their love for money, express this love in so many subtle ways that any person with discernment can notice that they are attached to it.

Don’t let that be you!

Rat race
Stop running the rat race.
Image source: Wealth Triumph

What is the Solution to the “Love of Money?

As a financially intelligent person, you should not bring yourself down to the level that you are attached to money.

If you ever venture into FOREX with this employee mindset and emotional attachment to money, sorry to say, you will lose money woefully. 😂 That’s how many people fail in Forex and then turn around to give the industry a bad name.

The key to achieving this financial independence is by striving to always detach your emotions from money. 

For you to successfully deal with money from a financially intelligent perspective, you have to conquer the powerful and deep emotions of greed, fear, love, etc.

How do you achieve this?

To answer this question, I have written a series of blog posts on the topic titled “MONEY AND YOUR EMOTIONS”.

It is a four part series that will guide you on how to detach your emotions from money.

Here they are:

Episode 1: Emotional Intelligence versus Financial Intelligence

Episode 2: How Emotions Destroy your Financial Intelligence

Episode 3: The Most Powerful Emotions that Affect Your Financial Intelligence

Episode 4: How to Detach Your Emotions From Money for Better Financial Decisions.

By the time you’re done reading through the series, you will find the answer to the question of how to detach your emotions from money and be financially independent.

Got any questions or contributions? The comment box is all yours. I would like to hear from you what you think about people’s attachment to allawee or salary.

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Obot Essiet Jr.

I am an Architect, Entrepreneur and a Financial Intelligence Coach. I help set people on the right path to Financial Freedom by internalising financial literacy. I love cycling, reading and playing chess.

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