Meet the honest Nigerian airport cleaner who earns N7,500, found $27,000 (N5.4m) and returned it


Pictured above is a very honest woman, Josephine Agwu, who works as a cleaner at the Murtala International Airport in Lagos where while cleaning one of the toilets at the airport on January 23rd, found a bag containing $27,000 which is 5.4 million in Naira equivalent. Josephine took the bag to the security post at the airport for an announcement to be made for the owner to come forward & collect it, which was done.

The woman earns just N7,800 as her monthly salary for a 12-hours a day job. Josephine, who is from Enugu state spoke to Vanguard about why she took the decision to return the money. Read that after the cut…

“I am from Enugu State, from Obonkpa in Nsukka Local Government. I live at Agbotukunyo in Agege. The incident happened on the 23rd of January 2015. I was on morning duty. So as I was sweeping around 6:30pm, I saw the bag on the ground and there were some passengers there so I thought that the bag could belong to one of them. But as I closed at 7:20pm, the person to relieve me on duty came that time. I was going to the toilet again, I saw the same bag there. Then I told the passengers sitting there that they should be mindful of the bag because once they announce the flight they may forget it. They replied that the bag did not belong to them. Three of the passengers left, so I then picked the bag and took it to the FAAN security people. At first, they put the bag on the screening machine, before they opened the bag and discovered that there were many envelops in the bag containing money in different currencies including dollars. As they were counting it, I saw an NDLEA woman accompanied by one man and both of them were coming towards us. They said that the man could be the owner of the bag. So when they came in, they interviewed the man and the man mentioned the amount of money and the colour of the bag. Before then, they had counted the money and it was exactly the amount that the man said. Then they carried the money and gave to the man for him to count. After counting, they asked him if the money was complete, he said yes and they snapped him picture.

They asked him again about three times and they told the man that, ‘look at the woman that picked your bag’, and the man was looking at me. His name is Mr. Obinna Samuel. They told him that he should thank his God that if it were another person, that person would have run away with the bag but this woman didn’t do that. So I left and the man took the money and put inside the bag and went away. Then FAAN security personnel called me back, and they took my number On-Duty-Card (ODC) and my name. That was how it happened. People are praising me, FAAN said that they are going to give me automatic employment but I have not heard from them till now. People should appreciate what they have. People do a lot of bad things because they are not happy with what they have. With the little I earn, I try to manage it well. If I can’t manage that small money that I earn, even if I begin to earn N1 million, I will still not know how to manage it. So, I am telling every Nige­rian to be happy in any situation they find themselves. Don’t be faster than your shadow because so many things will go wrong. Sometimes things get bad because people want to be like others. All fin­ gers are not equal. It is true that God promised those who serve him riches, but people should be careful how they go about it. I am telling people to have pa­ tience. It is because people want quick money that is why some people become thieves. On the part of my management, in fact they are happy, all my supervisors. In short they are doing good things for me, even they are carrying me like egg, even my MD. They have added money to my salary. In short, my manager, Madam Eunice has been doing many things for me since the incident, praising me. She said that she knows that she can trust me, and that I cannot see anything that does not belong to me and I take it away” she said

Josephine says for showing such a remarkable decision, her company has decided to increase her salary from N7,800 to N15,000 monthly and also the management of FAAN has promised to make her a permanent staff

“FAAN (Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria) said that they are going to give me automatic employment, but I have not heard from them till now. On the part of my management, they are happy, all my supervisors. In short, they are doing good things for me. Now, they carry me like egg, even my MD.” she said

Meanwhile the Lagos state House of Assembly on Monday February 22nd at its plenary session decided to invite Josephine to the House to honor her for her honesty.


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