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MMIA Cleaner Who Returned Passenger’s Lost N12 Million Rewarded with N7,200 Salary Increment



Josephine Ugwu

Josephine Ugwu

Last month, BN brought you the news about Josephine Ugwu, a cleaner at Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMIA) who found and returned a bag containing international currencies worth N12 million a passenger had lost.

According to Punch, Ugwu’s employer, Patovilki Cleaning Services, has rewarded her for her noble act by increasing her salary by N7,200. Prior to the incident, she earned N7,800. With the increment she now earns N15,000.

Despite the salary increment, her colleagues have complained that the government should also give her a reward.

“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,said one of her co-workers.

However, Ugwu said although it would have been nice to get compensation from the government, she is fully content with the salary increment.

“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,” she said.

She further stated “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.”

Photo Credit: Punch


  1. ChiChiChilolo

    March 18, 2015 at 10:15 am

    Good woman. God bless you and your home. Shows we still have good people around. I know some people will still insult her sha. The irony of life!

  2. ChiChiChilolo

    March 18, 2015 at 10:18 am

    Mehn! I so love this statement of hers. >>>>>>She further stated “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.”<<<<<<<

  3. aleesha

    March 18, 2015 at 10:19 am

    I commend this woman for doing the right, and I hope this opens doors to better things for her. Isn’t it illegal for anyone to earn below the minimum wage though?

  4. Dom!!!

    March 18, 2015 at 10:19 am

    Indeed!!! there are still good people out there. God bless Ma!

  5. we

    March 18, 2015 at 10:25 am

    O ti goo ju walaahi……o ni ku si osi ooo,..Amin!!,…Too vexed to Interpret,bye!

    • No one

      March 18, 2015 at 10:59 am

      Iwo lo goo, ki se gbogbo nkan lowo. Oruka rere san ju wura ati fadaka lo. Oni ra nu.
      May God bless her abundantly, Our Government can take a page from her book.

    • Bola

      March 18, 2015 at 2:46 pm

      @we, vexed about what? That she has more integrity and morals than you? Not everyone is a thief, ill gotten wealth will not take you anywhere good. What you are calling foolishness is what God requires of us. To your likes integrity is foolishness abi? May God touch your heart,

  6. Bolu

    March 18, 2015 at 10:26 am

    N7,800 as monthly salary though……..what’s the minimum wage supposed to be sef?

    • Nahum

      March 18, 2015 at 3:23 pm

      Its definitely above N7,800. My goodness, how are we ever going to encourage people to do the right thing when we can not even properly compensate someone that actually did!?!! First of all, why is her salary N7,800 when this particular company has been awarded billions of naira in cleaning contracts??? And how do they expect the next person to do the right thing when they only increased her salary by another stupid amount??? Na wa for Nigeria, it is very obvious that we encourage theft and crime in this country

  7. Anon

    March 18, 2015 at 10:26 am

    Conscionable. It’s just a matter of time before someone else snaps her up and quadruples her salary.

  8. Jhennique

    March 18, 2015 at 10:46 am

    na wa! Dear woman, the reward of God is better than that of even the govt. just wait for it. 15k my ass! isnt that even supposed to be minimum wage?

  9. O~Intuition!

    March 18, 2015 at 10:47 am

    God Bless Her.

    This Minimum Wage Issue is mind bugging.
    Lord please intervene. Same country where we watch miscreants misuse public funds. Here’s a woman earning N15,000 as a worker at an Intermational Airport.


  10. June

    March 18, 2015 at 11:17 am

    So humble. Stay BLESSED.

  11. Beeeee

    March 18, 2015 at 11:23 am

    From what I understand by 7200 salary increment, they added that amount to her current salary. That is small o, compared to how much she returned …Hian.

  12. Yemi

    March 18, 2015 at 11:28 am

    It proves the kind of nation we are in where good deeds are not rewarded adequately. I don’t blame ppl who feel she shouldn’t have returned the money cos one the owner of the money might have earned it thru fraudulent means. Anyways for her and her conscience she had to return the money and God will reward her beyond her expectation. Honestly I’m perplexed. D owner of the money sef is very stingy.

  13. ola

    March 18, 2015 at 11:38 am

    7,800 as salary; that na 36euros………..oga ooooooooo

  14. Stella Kashmoney

    March 18, 2015 at 11:44 am

    Hope the good name takes her to the bank. Just keeping it real.

    • British/Naija/Ghana

      March 18, 2015 at 12:17 pm


    • Bola

      March 18, 2015 at 2:48 pm

      @Stella, hope stollen money takes you to heaven. I’m sure heaven is a million times better than any bank and yes taking anything that isn’t yours is stealing

  15. carla

    March 18, 2015 at 12:16 pm

    Hian!!!!U see naw, e go hard o…. 15000 for what na! God pls reward her now. Amen!

  16. OfiliSpeaks

    March 18, 2015 at 12:44 pm

    Biko how is this a reward? N7200 per month increase? No comment.

    • chukwukadibia

      March 18, 2015 at 7:43 pm

      Ofili,u come here kwa?

  17. siel

    March 18, 2015 at 12:44 pm

    She should have been rewarded more. I feel it’s too little to give to someone who returned such amount of money in a country where a lot of people are suffering. If I was the owner, I would give her at least 500k to 1million. Keep up the honesty, one day u will succeed.

  18. Me

    March 18, 2015 at 12:54 pm

    You see?…and some ignorant Nigerians were busy saying that it is not possible to raise a family on 50k a month (forgetting minimum wage is 18000)…see eh twitter doesn’t represent the country…Naija is hard

  19. Personal Signature

    March 18, 2015 at 1:03 pm

    7,800 naira as salary!
    This old woman, prolly with children in high school/university.
    Assuming she takes 200naira to and 200 fro on a daily basis to work, it will amount to 400*20working days (5days, 4weeks) which equals 8000.

    8000 only on transport. Won’t she feed, buy clothes, fend for her kids…to say the least?

    This is why Nigeria needs a change!

    No one cares about the masses and what they earn. Even the proposed minimum wage is not being paid by many states.

    People bin discussing on twitter if 50k can raise a family or if a lady can marry a man with 50k salary. If a man is earning 50k as a salary, how is he expected to rent a house, marry a lady, take care of the children……and if you care to know, many drivers, cleaners even graduates are earning 50k or less (even in Lagos, PH and Abuja that the standard of living is high).

    lets leave drivers and undergraduates out of this, let BNers even comment on how much they earn monthly (aside those in Oil companies), you will know this country is a mess.

    • Nahum

      March 18, 2015 at 3:26 pm

      Amen!! I agree with your comment whole heartedly

  20. tunmi

    March 18, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    She was earning N7,800 a month (roughly $40) and now she’s earning twice that monthly. It has been asked and unanswered, but what is the minimum wage? Is that company allowed to pay such a paltry sum? Wait oh, na Naija/foreign company? Frankly, I understand why people would insult her, the money was about $60,000 which is the annual salary for a elementary/secondary school teacher.

    I would have done the same. Taking people’s money/stealing leaves me restless. But what is this about govt getting her a proper job? And when foreign publications say Nigerians live on less than $1 some people will vex.

    • Ajiro

      March 18, 2015 at 2:17 pm

      Pls which elementary/sec sch pays $60,000 per year? Pls tell me let me go and work there lol. I am an engineer and that is the average salary an engineer makes per year.

    • Odds

      March 20, 2015 at 3:43 pm

      You are an engineer earning that? When I graduated college I was offered $80,000 starting salary with an engineering major but I chose medical school. So ummmm, all I can say is sorry. Lol

  21. Funmi

    March 18, 2015 at 2:09 pm

    Pere? Smh for Nigeria…..

  22. Doxa

    March 18, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    We are all saying she should be rewarded more, I agree. Who should the reward come from though? Her employer increased her pay as reward even though it/she/he is not the owner of the money she found. Should her reward come from the government, or from the individual whose money she found?
    Question for the gods…
    And why should a passenger be traveling with so much money anyway?
    However if we decide to talk about minimum wage, ehen now we can talk.

    • Anon

      March 18, 2015 at 3:48 pm

      What state is she from? Her state Governor can reward her since they have so much money to throw around.

      She works in MMIA which is under the remit of the Ministry of Aviation. There is no reason why Chidoka can’t reward her.

      They can even employ her in a better paying job.

    • NagosBigBoi

      March 18, 2015 at 6:08 pm

      Sorry, but could not help it.
      She is from LAGOS state because she works and lives and probably pays taxes/levies in lagos. Why should it concern the governor of a state where she does not live in? We need to stop all this “where are you from?” stuff.

    • Doxa

      March 18, 2015 at 6:14 pm

      Still does not answer my question: who is SUPPOSED to reward her? Not who CAN reward her?
      On a good day, if Nigeria was working the way a country should, who would the reward come from?
      And please why should a passenger be traveling with so much money?
      And how are we so sure the passenger ‘lost’ the bag as claimed?
      If I lost something dear to me and someone found it and brought it back, doesn’t it make sense that I should appreciate the person? Why are people saying the government should reward her? Is it the government’s money that she found?
      Anyway, the woman did the right thing that she was supposed to do, she need not be looking for any reward, her reward will come from God.

    • Anon

      March 21, 2015 at 4:05 pm

      Naijabigboi – keep fooling yourself. When you fill out forms there is something called state of origin. Nigeria isn’t that advanced for what you typed. Like it or not, she will not fill out Lagos state as her state of origin. State of domicile, yes. Reality bites.

  23. PACE

    March 18, 2015 at 2:22 pm

    The ‘reward’ bestowed on her for this act of honesty explains the reason why many Nigerians will NOT do the same if they were in her shoes and I do not blame them neither do I support them. To each his own. In a sane society, people are duly rewarded for such acts of honesty. The reverse is the case in naija. Polithiefcians and people who make money in dubious ways are the ones celebrated by both the people as well as the government. Whoever owned the money that was returned is one stingy hell of a punk. You almost parted with N12 million naira and a good samaritan returned the money to you. The least you could have at least done is to show some form of appreciation by reaching out to this poor lady knowing fully well her employers nor the government will reward her duly. God bless you abundantly Josephine Ugwu, the world will agree with you. It’s good to know there are a few food people out there despite the societal and economic factors faced by the common man in naija.

  24. Chuka

    March 18, 2015 at 2:54 pm

    We can actually do some good by this woman as a people.. Hey people what do you say to our doing something for this woman?

  25. Dee

    March 18, 2015 at 2:54 pm

    She should have been compensated at least a little by the person who lost the money originally. Better to part with a little of the 12m than to lose it all.

    • Dee

      March 18, 2015 at 2:55 pm

      Then again, her salary doubled. That’s something I guess. For us, it might sound like a little. But imagine your salary doubling…

  26. Sugar

    March 18, 2015 at 3:24 pm

    I support what Chuka wrote. Can we start a go fund me page for this woman?

    • Tawakalt

      March 19, 2015 at 1:15 pm

      i concur,, am ready to pay something,, and i want to blv, a little drop of water makes a mighty ocean….if our govs cannot reward her, let us stand up to reward her.

  27. PACE

    March 18, 2015 at 3:30 pm

    I’m with you on your suggestion Chuka. Ideas anyone?

  28. rynyx

    March 18, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    Even with the increase, her salary is still below minimum wage, waaaaoooooooh. who is the person whu has the money sef? how come he couldn’t even give like 2million? what if he lost it all? this story makes me sick.

  29. NaijaPikin

    March 18, 2015 at 3:49 pm

    So the owner of the money no fit dash this woman N100k. Chai. someone found your millions and returned it and you can’t show your gratitude and do something for the lady.

  30. RaiseHerSomeMoney

    March 18, 2015 at 4:25 pm

    Like someone suggested, can we create a site and raise her some money, any tech savvy person who can hook that up? then we will use our friends, followers and likers to raise her something, at least we should be able to reach 500k, who knows we may even reach a million naira for her abi. I’ll come back to check comments. we can be the change. cos if I want to donate 2k to her now, there’s no easy platform to do that, what if we have up to a hundred people who want to give 2k?

    • Anon

      March 18, 2015 at 5:16 pm

      I’m so up for it.

    • Tawakalt

      March 19, 2015 at 1:17 pm

      A tech person should come up with an idea, dis is a fantanstic idea.

  31. Elle

    March 18, 2015 at 5:12 pm

    Yesss pls Raise her some money. Good deeds like this cannot and should not remain unrewarded.
    JOSEPHINE UGWU you are blessed.
    By the way, which idiot’s money did she return? So the person just said thank you and disappeared? WOW! I have no words.

  32. PACE

    March 18, 2015 at 7:42 pm

    Can BN be kind enough to provide a platform upon which people can make donations and they’ll present the donations made to her in a lump sum? A few people have brought up the idea of making donations for her. It’s best this is be handled by BN to prevent some random fella from taking undue advantage of this cause. One can’t be too careful these days.

  33. Ajiro

    March 18, 2015 at 8:17 pm

    You know everyone saying they should have, they should….can actually seek this woman out and reward her and stop waiting on others to do so, in return God too will bless you.

  34. Ona

    March 18, 2015 at 8:31 pm

    Chuka great idea! Please go start a “go fund me” page and have bella publish if here so
    We can contribute… Also send it to
    Other bloggers and if possible american news outlets who
    Will publisize the story more and have compassionate
    Pple around the world
    Chip in too…. Twitter, ig etc. Maybe small shame will catch our goverment and this poor woman and other good Nigerians will be encouraged to keep doing good.

    When she receives the money sha we want pictures/video
    Of her receiving it.

  35. Iris

    March 18, 2015 at 9:16 pm

    If she ran for political office, I might have voted for her. She probably has zero political acumen, but honesty goes a long way.

  36. Anonymous

    March 18, 2015 at 9:20 pm

    BN I expected your headlines to scream in utter disbelief and shock at the stupid reward she was given!! Not commending and applauding them! I’d have thought for her honesty she’ll be promoted to the head of her unit for displaying such a high level of discipline and integrity. The increase in her salary is still below the minimum wage of 18k. Can somebody address this issue with the said company? NLC your attention is needed here.

  37. Tabitha

    March 18, 2015 at 9:27 pm

    Awesome idea.
    After some research on Google, these 3 seem to be the best suited for raising the funds.
    In no particular order
    GoFundMe –
    Indiegogo –
    YouCaring –

    Let’s get this going guys!

  38. bebbysol

    March 19, 2015 at 1:35 am

    Nawa o 15K, below minimum wage. God help naija, God bless you ma.
    Companies like this should be made to suffer, are there no regulatory bodies or standards to ensure compliance to the national minimum wage?

  39. tunmi

    March 19, 2015 at 2:04 am

    So who’s doing the gofundme account?

  40. lola

    March 19, 2015 at 8:10 am

    and this is why money lost dont get returned often. ma God bless you,people like u are exceptional cos me for one will think twice and returning it is out of the thought ,just saying

  41. Chuka

    March 19, 2015 at 9:01 am

    Ideas come and go and in fact die-out except someone steps up to truly champon it. I am afraid of someone using this idea to enrich himself/herself. BN can you help? Give us heads-up on how best this can be done transparently- i lack the tech know0how although i will try and educate myself on how we can do it.

    To the person suggesting one individual does all the rewarding for this lady, i say, no matter what … say Dangote for instancce does, i will want to chip-in too.

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      March 19, 2015 at 11:02 am

      You and me both. I’m very keen on the idea of donating to a gofundme page but would want to be sure of full visibility of whoever’s going to be responsible for administering the donations. No offence to BN’ers because I believe many of these suggestions are coming from a real desire to help this woman.

      What do we think would help with ensuring transparency? Should the person who creates the page link it back to a social media account so that we can verify they’re legit? Or should they contact BN and reveal names, contact numbers as well as details of a couple of reputable people who can stand as character references/guarantees? I know BN prefers to not be the focal point of responsibility for managing these ad hoc charities (and I know that there are good reasons for this stance) but all that’ll be required is to make the background checks before publishing information about how to donate to the cause.

      It’s a brilliant initiative and there are ways and means to make it work.

  42. jefka

    March 19, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    my people i agree with every one of you, but been honest and doing good should be part and parcel of us all and not a way to be rewarded.
    i commend this ladies act, in a country where the economy is poor to let go of that kinda cash takes the special grace of God.

  43. Tawakalt

    March 19, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    Yes, her reward is in Heaven ,but we can also reward her here,,,,,pls BN come up with a platform, so Nigerias with Good mind can help this blessed and thruthful woman. She can start something with any amount nigerians contribute for her, and by his grace her future will be great!

  44. 3ples

    March 19, 2015 at 1:33 pm

    Waiting for the donation platform ooooo…. Too much talk!!!

  45. Nnenkoyoette

    March 19, 2015 at 5:36 pm

    It will be nice to donate something for her. It makes a lot of sense, don’t let the idea die let’s start now.

  46. makx

    March 23, 2015 at 11:06 pm

    someone kindly let me know when the account is opened..totally ready to donate

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