Josephine Agwu, the celebrated airport cleaner on N12,000 monthly pay, who returned $28,000 (equivalent of N12 million then) a year ago has every reason to be grateful. Her honesty has catapulted her from an ordinary cleaner with Patoviliki to a level 17 officer at Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).
Josephine Agwu is indeed grateful for the honour and elevation but still appealing to the government to do more for her.
In this interview with ENCOMIUM Weekly, she opened up about her heart felt desires and where she’s headed.
One year after returning the huge amount of money you found at the airport, what would you say has changed about you?
I am very happy. It was the best decision I made. It was better to return the money than keeping it to myself. It has earned me respect. I am known all over. If you mention my name in Aso Rock, they will recognize me for what I have done.
How will you describe life since you returned the lost money?
I am thankful. I know God has been good to me. I didn’t know He would announce me the way He did. Though I may not have money, I am happy that I am a woman of integrity.
But you got some money as a result of what you did?
Yes, I got some but I used it to take care of my brother’s family. He has no job. I am the one taking care of his needs. One is even entering the university now. As I am talking to you, I don’t have any money on me.
Will you say you regret returning the money?
No, I can’t regret it. I am very happy. If I see such money again, I would return it. God has used that gesture to announce me to the world.
Will you say you have been compensated enough?
I know my reward is still coming. I wouldn’t be faster than my shadow. I am pleading with the government to do more for me. They should use my story to encourage the youth to emulate what I have done so that they can learn how to be honest at all times.
There is a lot that the government can do for me. Someone once told me that I am supposed to be paid monthly salary and I should have a house in Abuja. I believe the government knows what to do, I am appealing to them to come to my maid.
Will you say you are enjoying your new job?
I am enjoying it. I am happy. It is better than being a cleaner. I was placed on level 17 according to my qualification.
You had a desire to get a better house, have you moved now?
I don’t have money to rent a new house. I am still living in that same house.
What about the business you wanted to set up?
I don’t have money to do that. Like I said, I had to help my brother. He is out of job. He owed two years’ rent.
What advice do you have for the youth?
They should be satisfied with what they have. They should wait for God’s time. Good things will come their way if they wait. They shouldn’t reject any job they get even if the money is small. I started as a cleaner, I didn’t say I wouldn’t do it.
It is that same job that elevated my status and made my name known all over the world.