Coming at a time Nigeria’s international image is not too good with the incessant cases of corruption in the country, a cleaner at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Ikeja, Lagos State, Charity Bassey, recently did the unexpected when she found a nylon containing $6,000 valued at over N2 million and turned it in to security officials at the terminal.
The cleaner, an employee of Lakewood Development Company, which is into janitorial services, was on duty at the departure wing of the airport when she picked up the item from the floor. According to her, she was standing in front of the toilet when a passenger drew her attention to something inside the toilet.
“I went in and saw the small black nylon on the floor. It looked dirty and rough, you won’t know it is money that was inside it. I picked it, felt some notes inside and took it to the customer care. I was given a glove to bring out the contents and I counted 60 pieces of $100 dollar bills.”
When asked what was the reward for her honesty, she said nothing.
“Nobody gave me anything, the manager, company or even the owner who later came back looking for the money. I am, however, not discouraged as I do my best to do a good job with a clear conscience. This is not the first time I am picking up forgotten items like wallets, phones, small bags and even money. I have always returned them to the frontline desk or customer care desk,” she said.
It would be recalled that in 2014, an airport cleaner, Josephine Agwu, found and returned N12 million left at the toilet. For her act, she was rewarded with several accolades and a cash reward.
Meanwhile, the Managing Director of Lakewood Development Company, Sam Nchezor, said the management was happy with Charity’s honesty and is set to appreciate her gesture. “Some others would have picked the money and walked away, she can’t be traced to it. What could only happen is to indict everybody working there, but we thank her for her honesty, for picking up the money and handing it over to the management of ASL.
“We are going to compensate her, give her some money and also increase her salary. It is left for the management of ASL and Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to reward her. We are proud of her,” he told The Guardian.
Meanwhile, the airport cleaning services provider recently clinched this year’s Nigerian Aviation Award (NiGAV) for the Best Cleaning and Best Engineering Company of the Year 2017. Receiving the award in Lagos, Nchezor dedicated the award to the stakeholders in the aviation industry for the innovation and improvement they have brought into the nation’s airports.
Nchezor said the company feels honoured that their janitorial facilities maintenance and fumigation services in Nigeria is being recognised by industry experts.