Despite the economic hardship, some Nigerians still stand out in their disposition to honesty.
Recently, a civil servant in Kogi State, Mrs. Husseina Mohammed, a level seven accountant attached to the Teaching Service Commission (TSC) in Lokoja returned the sum N1, 780,500 paid in excess of her March salary to the coffers of the state government, The Guardian Nigeria has reported.
The screening exercise embarked upon by the Governor Yahaya Bello administration generated so much controversy and confusion, with the accounts of some workers who were not owed any salary arrears credited in huge sums, while some owed as much as 15 months waited in vain for alerts crediting their accounts.
Mrs. Mohammed, who could not contain the surprise package delivered to her account, was cautious, even with the knowledge that her spouse, also a civil servant, was cleared in screening exercise, but still waiting payment of his 16 months salary arrears.
Her phone received an alert one early morning indicating that her account had been credited with almost N1.8million as her monthly salary, which is approximately N34, 000. The message read: “Salary for the month of March, 2017.”
Husseina, who was surprised, read the message severally and on getting home, narrated her excitement to her husband. They had a brief family meeting to consider the implication and decided to refund the money, convinced that it was the right thing to do.
The decision to refund the money was not unexpected, especially being an accountant and knowledgeable of the implication of spending the money. Though a difficult decision, especially with outstanding school fees of their children running into the entire session, but the spouse would not be tempted to do otherwise.
She quickly rushed to the Director General, Bureau of Information and Grassroots Mobilisation, Alhaji Abdulkareem Abdulamlik, explain that she received an alert from her bank in the afternoon of May 21 and discovered that a huge sum had been credited in her favour.
She said she started the process of returning the money to the state government on May 22, adding that the money was paid into the government account with the Lokoja branch of the Zenith Bank Plc.
She then handed over the bank teller and other documents used in paying back the money to Abdulamlik. She pleaded with government to reciprocate her good gesture by paying her husband’s outstanding 15 months salary arrears being withheld over discrepancy in his age declaration, which she said had since been rectified.
Abdulamlik commended Mohammed for her honesty, saying with people like her in society, Nigeria was sure of winning the ongoing war against corruption.