Cleaner gets N7,200 salary increment for returning N12m

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Josephine Ugwu, the airport cleaner who returned a passenger’s luggage containing local and foreign currencies to the tune of N12m has been rewarded with a N7,200 salary increment. Ugwu, who works for Patovilki Cleaning Services, a concessionaire engaged by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria to keep the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos clean, was on a monthly salary of N7,800 before the incident. The National Diploma graduate of Our Saviour Institute of Science, Agriculture and Technology, Enugu, now enjoys a N7,200 salary increment, bringing her new salary to N15,000. During a visit to the airport on Monday, PUNCH Metro interacted with Ugwu’s colleagues who expressed disappointment that such act of uncommon integrity was not noticed by the government. They argued that a that was quick to mete out punishment to offenders should also be quick to reward exemplary behaviour. Speaking on the condition of anonymity, one of Ugwu’s colleagues lamented that the government did not have a culture of rewarding and encouraging exemplary behaviour. She said, “Some people have abused her and called her a fool for returning the bag. It now looks as what she did was wrong. Most people will not be motivated to follow her lead when faced with similar situation. The government should have, at least, sent her a commendation letter for what she did.” Another colleague, identified simply as Faith, also expressed disappointment. She said Ugwu had returned passengers’ luggage with money in them for a record third time and all three had gone unnoticed. She said, “Twice in December 2014, she returned passengers’ luggage with huge sums of money in them. “One contained about N600,000 and the other had close to N2m. if it were to be a case of stealing and she was caught, I am sure the government would have been quick to send her to jail.” Ugwu, however, said she had no regrets for what she did, but would not mind being compensated. She said, “I believe that a good name is better than riches. This incident has taken my name far and wide and I am happy that it is for a good cause. God’s reward is the ultimate, but if the government will give me a proper job as promised, I will be happy. “My company on its part has tried and I am grateful for the management’s action. My salary has been increased and I have also been promoted.” Mrs. Eunice Anumudu, Ugwu’s supervisor at the airport, praised her integrity and uprightness, saying that Ugwu had become a role , not only for her colleagues, but for all Nigerians. “What she did is worthy of emulation. Many people in her shoes would have done otherwise. She is a role model to her colleagues and to all Nigerians. I will be happy if the government can do something to encourage her,” she said.


  1. Grace Aigbokhae

    March 18, 2015 at 6:41 am

    God bless U Madam. people like U are not common.

  2. Shobande Keymon Yomi

    March 18, 2015 at 6:59 am

    So, there’s still such people on Earth. KUDOS to her

  3. Chiamaka Emmanuella Onuoha

    March 18, 2015 at 7:06 am

    So such people still exist, may God bless u. U re really a good woman and mother to ur family

  4. Sandra Chinasa Deborah

    March 18, 2015 at 7:19 am

    She deserves more dan dat. May God bless ma am n ur likes

  5. Anonymous

    March 18, 2015 at 7:25 am

    Sometimes i wonder why people suffer just to receive peanuts a month, even abokis that work on the farm get a double/triple of her salary in a day or two. Madam, if u knw wetin gud 4 u, u beta go find beta trade do. B4 person go bgin abuse u say u knw sweep well or u knw clean dat corner.

  6. Eunice Aigbokhae

    March 18, 2015 at 8:03 am

    Madam u are good i love u ma

  7. Ndubuisi Oscar

    March 18, 2015 at 9:32 am

    Hmmm, Such people like Mrs Ugwu are rear in this country. For some persons mind, it would have been poverty bye bye. But she dared so many and prove that good name is better than gold, she is truly a role model indeed to emulate. But I hope the owner of the money will compensate her because it will encourage others to do same. Thank you madam, God will surely reward you handsomely.

  8. Mr. Austine

    March 18, 2015 at 1:09 pm

    Good of you Woman. GBU

  9. Tyra bello

    March 18, 2015 at 3:10 pm

    What are the government doing? Won’t they reward her to encourage her and others from running away with the money?

  10. Louis Offor

    March 18, 2015 at 10:53 pm

    What this woman did deserves an outright National Awardfrom the government. I hope they are already looking into it, because she has just proven to the world that there are still lots of good people existing in this country and that it’s not all about the bad perception and negative press all the time. Judos Ma! Although i wasn’t really impressed with the reward the management of her company gave her. She deserved more in my personal opinion!