As part of efforts to encourage honesty and integrity among workers at the Lagos Ports Complex (LPC) of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), an adhoc staff, Mrs. Ruth Isaac has been awarded a plaque of honour for finding and disclosing a missing wallet.
Ruth Isaac, who is one of the cleaners at the LPC, recently found a missing wallet containing N20,000 and other valuables and returned it to NPA security personnel despite being owed several months salaries at the time.
While presenting the award of honour in her office yesterday, the Port Manager of Apapa Port, NPA, Mrs. Olufunmilayo Olotu described the act as inspiring given the fact that Ruth Isaac as well as her colleagues were being owed some months’ salaries when she found the wallet.
Olotu classified Ruth Isaac as “a noble Nigerian who has showcased high-level integrity”, despite poor moral standards in the nation.
Her words: “Ruth Isaac isn’t a direct staff of the NPA and doesn’t work directly with me, but when I was told that someone found a wallet and returned it to the security personnel, I asked how much was in the wallet and was told that N20,000 and other valuable items were in the wallet. I was inspired by her integrity to have returned the wallet. She is one of the cleaners at the Lagos Ports Complex of NPA”
“For someone in that kind of situation who found such amount of money, she showed a commendable degree of uprightness to have returned the wallet. No one was with her when she found it; so, she could have decided to keep it and no one would have known. She chose to return the wallet through the NPA Security Department and it was later returned to the owner. I said that we must celebrate this feat because it calls for recognition and commendation.”
Addressing Ruth Isaac, the Port Manager said; “You returned a wallet containing N20,000 but we have chosen to gift you a token of N50,000. In addition, we are presenting you an award plaque that you could place in your home and show to your family and everyone that visits. It would encourage and convince people that honesty and integrity pays.”
The Apapa Port Manager added that a photograph of Ruth Isaac will be crested on a roll up banner to display her a symbol of integrity to be strategically placed at the entrance of the port complex.
Also speaking at the event, the Head of Human Resources at LPC, Ms. Esther Akinfiro commended Ruth Isaac, even as she opined that probity is worthy of emulation.
“When I heard about this incident, I assumed that it was a young person but I’m challenged and shocked that it’s an elderly person. Well, I believe that such character must have been instilled into you as a child and I’m sure that you have raised your children the same way. Congratulations ma. I’m proud of you,” Akinfiro stated.
On her part, the Public Relations Officer at the LPC, Arit Nwokedi described Ruth Isaac as a shinning example to her other colleagues and a proof that honesty pays.
“It’s not everyday we see such high-level integrity and honesty on display in Nigeria. Charity begins at home and it’s a trait that isn’t buyable. It’s an inherent quality and by appearing on the banner to be positioned strategically at the ports complex, Madam Ruth is invariably in the Hall of Fame for integrity and honesty,” Nwokedi said.
In her response, Ruth Isaac expressed delight at the commendation and celebration, stressing that truthfulness and discipline were instilled into her as a child.
“I want to thank everyone here and the management and staff of NPA for this recognition and award. Indeed, this is one of the characters I learnt as a child. When I was younger, if I picked anything that wasn’t mine and got home with it, I wouldn’t only be severely beaten but I would also not be given food for that day.”
“I can walk into a place where money is stacked in millions but wouldn’t be moved to collect a dime because I wasn’t trained that way. I sincerely thank the Port Manager, Mrs. Olotu and everyone here to celebrate me today. You will all have multiple reasons to be celebrated,” she said.