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House to honour airport cleaner who returned N12m to careless traveller



• Presents pension benefits, seal of state govt bills for amendment

LAGOS State House of Assembly has invited Josephine Agwu for commendation and honour on account of exhibiting a rare act of honesty.

   Agwu, a cleaner working with a concessionaire cleaning service company at Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, recently returned to the security unit of the airport a sum of N12 million that was left behind by a traveller in the airport toilet.

   Following resumption of plenary on Monday, Speaker of the House, Adeyemi Ikuforiji, agreed with his members that Aqwu’s action was rare and deserved proper commendation, as a morale booster for other good conducts.

   In a related development, two bills – A bill for a law on Lagos State government seal (2010) and another on payment of pension and other fringe benefits – have been presented for amendments. 

   The bills – House of Assembly Bill number 54 & 55 in that order – were though read for the first time, but met the displeasure of some members, who complained that they had not been adequately briefed by concerned ministries, in accordance with the house rules on bill presentation.

   Deputy Chief Whip of the House, Rotimi Abiru, brought the Agwu matter to the floor, under Matters of Urgent Public Importance, describing it as one that should not go unnoticed.

   Abiru noted Agwu demonstrated a high level of integrity and value, despite her status and meager amount she earns from the cleaning job.

   Agwu, according to reports, is an Ordinary National Diploma (OND) graduate of Accounting, on a monthly salary of N7,800. The incident happened in January 23, 2015, while Josephine was cleaning a toilet near the screening point of the departure area of the airport.

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

   Abiru noted that she had even asked other passengers if the bag belonged to anyone of them. 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.

   The lawmaker said it was shocking to find that it was the third time Agwu had recovered such lost item, but this time, citing reports, the careless owner and passenger on Emirates flight to Dubai just collected the bag without any form of appreciation.

   Ikuforiji said though the act of honesty should ordinarily not be a big deal, but “we have found ourselves walking upside down and to find someone walking right-side up deserves commendation.

   “It is heartwarming to still find those that would tell the world that Nigeria is not all about corruption, stealing, Boko Haram and other vices. For such a person on such poor pay deserves more commendation. 

   “Maybe it is her destiny to be finding the money belonging to other people, I don’t know. Since it is a general opinion that she should be invited, the Clerk should bring her on an appropriate date,” Ikuforiji said.

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