Integrity in Service-The Josephine Ugwu Example

How does integrity with honesty pay? Integrity with honesty does not pay immediately. This is why it is difficult to embrace by many. But one thing is sure, it must pay and when it does, the benefits are indescribable.  Josephine Ugwu is a witness to emulate.

Josephine Ugwu has been a cleaner Akanu Ibiam International Airpot, Enugu and later at Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja.


Josephine Ugwu in 2006 was reported to be earning N12,000 monthly but found and returned over N10 million at Enugu Airport.

Then in 2014, she found and returned N8 million at Lagos Airport.

Again in 2014 she found and returned N7 million at the Lagos airport.

Once again, in 2015, it was reported that she found and returned $12, 200. This is an equivalent of N4.3 billion.

Again and again, in 2019 she found and returned N200, 000 in Lagos airport private wing.


Josephine has got about N1.4 million from well-meaning people Nigerians in appreciation.

She was honoured by Lagos State House of Assembly.

She was honoured for exemplary conduct by St. Leo’s Catholic Private School, at its 2016 graduation and award ceremony.

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria offered her a job in one of its departments, Aviation Security

The Nigerian Government on Tuesday, November 19, 2019, rewarded Mrs Josephine Ugwu, with an apartment and an award for her honesty. The award was presented to her by President Buhari at the opening of the two-day National Summit on Diminishing Corruption in Public Sector held at the State House Banquet Hall in Abuja.


Kolawole Taiwo, the Deputy Speaker, who presided, presented a letter of commendation and an undisclosed amount of money to Ugwu.

“For her honesty and patriotism for returning the N12 million on January 23, we find her worthy of honour.

“Her action was a great inspiration to many who believe in the future of Nigeria.

“Your conduct has positively affected the image of Nigeria internationally.

“It is an act worthy of emulation; this is why we decided to hold a special parliamentary session to celebrate your honesty, integrity, uprightness, sincerity, truthfulness and patriotism”, he said.


Contributing to the debate, Segun Olulade, (APC-Epe I) urged the legislature to give Josephine Ugwu employment in the Assembly or recommend her to the governor for employment to encourage other Nigerian youths to emulate her.

In his contribution, Rotimi Olowo, (APC-Shomolu I) urged the state government to honour Josephine Ugwu by naming an institution or monument after her.

“This will drive home the need for honesty and integrity among the youths in the country”, he said.

The Deputy Chief Whip, Rotimi Abiru, expressed happiness that the motion he moved during plenary on March 2 urging the house to celebrate Ugwu had seen the light of the day.

He congratulated Ugwu for demonstrating to the world that there was hope for Nigeria, adding that she had written her name in gold.


Josephine Ugwu thanked the legislators for honouring her.

“I never expected that I will be honoured to stand before this Assembly not to talk of being recognised and honoured by this institution.

“I was just doing my duty and following the rules of the organisation I am working for and also living according to the training I received from my parents who brought me up”, she said.

Josephine Ugwu said her parents inculcated the virtue of honesty into her from her childhood.

“My family trained me not to take anything that does not belong to me.

“I also want to prove to the world that Nigeria is a good country with people of integrity unlike the wrong impression given about the country”, she said.