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Sunday, 26 November 2023 07:05

[OPINION] The ₦100 story: A journey through time and value - Esther Emoekpere

Remember in 1999, when the ₦100 note was introduced and having it in your hands made you the big guy? It was an era when the mere possession of that brown note unlocked a world of possibilities.


With a simple ₦100 note, you could transform moments into memories, indulging in life’s simple pleasures that now seem like faraway memories.

Back then, ₦100 wasn’t just a currency but a ticket to satisfaction. It meant grabbing your favourite drink and two packs of cookies, treating yourself to a moment of bliss for a mere ₦100. It was the time when a ₦100 note was all it took to equip your kids with a math set, a simple gesture that made them so happy and excited to go to school the next morning.

Or perhaps it was those carefree evenings spent with friends, laughing and bonding over a bottle of beer at Mama Osas bar, where friendship was a commodity worth far more than money. The ₦100 note fostered a sense of community and shared experiences.

And who could forget those school days when ₦100 could fetch you a satisfying portion of rice from Iya Risi’s shop on your way to school? It wasn’t just a meal; it was fuel for the mind and soul, enough to keep you going through the day.

Oh, those good old days when a single ₦100 note unlocked a world of abundance. It wasn’t just about sachets of noodles or a tin of sardines; it was about creating a spread that included eggs, spaghetti, and the excitement of watching your favourite club play at the bustling viewing centre.

But as time passed, the magic of that same note seemed to fade. Prices skyrocketed, inflation set in, and the value of the ₦100 note steadily decreased, prompting people to wonder: what changed in the dynamics? Was the once-mighty note reduced to a fraction of its former splendour by a combination of causes, global market fluctuations, or economic shifts?

The difference between what ₦100 could do back then and what it is worth today raises important concerns about how currency is evolving, how inflation works, and how broader socio-economic shifts have altered how we view value.

Looking at this old shopping list in Nigeria, now a relic of a bygone era, prompts us to stop and consider how much value we place on the currency and its impact on our lives.

This raises the question, “In what way does the journey of the ₦100 illuminate the changing tides of economies and challenge our perceptions of value in today’s world?”

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