By EZINNE AZUNNA
The management of the Lagos Port Complex has honoured Madam Ruth Isaac, a cleaner at its facility with an award as its Face of Integrity for finding and returning a wallet containing cash and valuable items few weeks ago.
Speaking at a ceremony held in honour of Isaac on Monday, the Port Manager, Mrs Olufunmilayo Olotu, the cleaner demonstrated a high-level of honesty and integrity at a time when the cleaners who worked at the port had not been paid their earnings by the contractor for about three months.
“She 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”, Olotu stated.
On behalf of the port, she presented Isaac with a token of N50,000 , an award plaque and named her the port’s “Face of Integrity” adding that a roll up banner with Ruth Isaac’s photograph would be on display at the Port’s administrative block.
Addressing Ruth Isaac during the event, the Head of Human Resources at LPC, Ms. Esther Akinfiro who highlighted the contributions of parenting in raising people of integrity commended Ruth Isaac for role modelling integrity in spite of her challenging financial status at the said time.
“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.”
On her part, the Port’s Public Relations Officer, Ms Arit Nwokedi said; “It is not every day 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 port’s complex, Madam Ruth is invariably in the Hall of Fame for integrity and honest.”
Responding, an elated Ruth Isaac who expressed delight at the commendation and celebration, disclosed that honesty is culture for her as it was 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.