Airport cleaner on N7,800 monthly salary returns missing N12 million

Posted by News Express | 16 February 2015 | 5,055 times

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A cleaner, Josephine Agwu, working with a concessionaire at Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, has returned to the security unit of the airport, N12 million she suspected was left behind by a passenger. Josephine is a cleaner on a monthly salary of N7,800.

The incident happened January 23, 2015, while Josephine was cleaning a toilet near the screening point of the departure area of the airport.

She told Newswatch Times that she saw a small handbag left behind by a passenger and acted on instruction given that any bag left unattended to at the airport terminal must be picked and deposited with aviation security department of the airport.

According to her, after asking other passengers if the bag belonged to anyone of them and they all responded to the contrary, she picked the bag and took it to the security unit, where it was opened and found to contain $27,000 and other currencies, including naira, which added up to N12 million.

She told Newswatch Times that a passenger on Emirates Airlines, simply identified as Samuel from Anambra State, later claimed the ownership of the bag and its contents from the aviation security after much screening, adding that the man just thanked her and went away with the money.

When asked if she regretted her action when she realised that she could have bettered her future with it, Josephine, who claimed she has a very rich Christian background, said: “If I have taken what doesn’t belong to me, God will punish me. I am contented with my N7,800 monthly salary. It was not my money. I believe when it pleases God, he will bless the work of my hands and he will make me rich.

“This is not the first time I am doing this. This is the third time in this airport. The first was in the departure area. It belonged to a Nigerian. The second was at the screening point, it belonged to a white man. Of all, only the white man rewarded me with $50, which I rejected until my colleagues prevailed on me to collect it.”

The Ordinary National Diploma (Accounting) holder also said she had worked with many airlines as a casual worker in Enugu, with a track record of honesty, without anyone of them offering her full employment, before she moved down to Lagos to seek greener pasture but however, got a job at the airport as a cleaner.

Confirming the discovery, Airport Manager, MMIA, Lagos, Nathaniel Auta, said: “It was true that a cleaner with one of the concessionaires discovered such a huge amount of money and returned it to security. It is a very good testimony for us all.”

Also confirming the development, Chief Security Officer (CSO) of the airport, Colonel Carl Onalo (retired), told Newswatch Times that the lady must be appreciated for her honesty, to encourage others.

Onalo said the management of the airport and possibly that of Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) would do everything possible to celebrate Josephine for her honesty at the airport, as he used the opportunity to call on passengers and other users of the airport to have the assurance that whatever they bring to the airport is safe.

It would be recalled that last year, while flagging off anti-corruption campaign among low level workers in Nigerian airports, Aviation Minister Osita Chidoka, in conjunction with ICPC, promised that anyone found to be of good conduct would be highly rewarded, while those caught contravening the anti- corruption regulations in the airports, would be made to face the full wrath of the law.

Credit (except for amended headline): Newswatch Times. Photo shows MMIA.

Source: News Express

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