People like Josephine Ugwu are rare, people who are strong enough to return a huge amount of money that was lost. Ugwu became a Nigerian symbol of integrity in 2015, after she returned N12,000,000 back to it’s owner.
The woman who was working as a cleaner at Murtala Muhammed International Airport had stumbled upon a pile of cash while she was cleaning the toilet. The honest woman had returned the money by taking it to the security.
As at 2015, the exchange rate was different and the pile of cash Ugwu found was in dollars ($28,000) which is N10,080,000 at the current exchange rate but then it was a total of N12,000,000.
N12,000,000 or N10,000,000, even the lowest amount of money could be difficult to return for anyone especially for one who doesn’t have much to live on. Someone like Ugwu who had been earning N7,800 per month.
What Ugwu did was so honourable, that one has to wonder who she is exactly. What makes her tick? Josephine Ugwu is from Obonkpa in Nsukka local government, Enugu state. She is a national diploma graduate of our Saviour Institute of Science in Enugu.
The life of the 39-year-old who had done what she did just because she believed it was the right thing to do changed drastically. She received rewards from several people who were impressed by her honesty.
It was discovered that Josephine Ugwu is truly someone with integrity. The incident wasn’t the first time she returned a huge sum of money back to it’s owner. Ugwu had done the same thing on two different occassions, she was said to have returned N600,000 and N2 million in 2014.
2. Salary Increase
The woman had been rewarded by her employers with a salary increase. Her salary had been increased to N15,000 from N7,800, making it a N7,200 increase.
3. Job offer
She had gotten a job offer to work with the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria as an employee in it’s commercial department. In her words:”I am in the commercial department. We are in charge of flight landing.”
She had also been rewarded by others who were impressed by what she did. It was gathered that the owner of the money had given her N5,000. She also received a reward from Bishop Mike Okonkwo of The Redeemed Evangelical Mission.
Ugwu had said: “The owner gave the security men about N15,000. I was given N5,000 out of it. One organization gave me N20,000, I also got a freezer.”
Despite becoming a symbol of integrity and honour to many, some Nigerians mocked her for returning the money. They expressed that someone who was living the way she did shouldn’t have returned the money back. Others stated that despite what she did the reward did not equal her effort.
A colleague of hers had said: “Some people have abused her and called her a fool for returning the bag. It now looks as if 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.”
Despite the fact that she was mocked, Ugwu expressed that she prefers to make a good name for herself than become rich.
“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 fingers 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 patience. It is because people want quick money that is why some people become thieves.”