Olayinka Adeniyi, a cab operator under the Airport Car Hire Association of Nigeria (ACHAN), Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, has returned $2,400 (about N888,000), and an international passport forgotten by a passenger.
Mr Adeniyi told journalists on Wednesday that he discovered the items in an envelope at the back seat of the car he was driving on July 29.
This was shortly after he returned from Ibese in Ikorodu where he dropped a passenger.
The cab driver said he never had it in mind to take someone’s belongings because it would put sorrow in another family’s life.
Mr Adeniyi, who had been operating at the airport for over 15 years, said: “At about 1:30 a.m. on July 29, I met this passenger on arrival at the International airport.
“I negotiated with him and we agreed at N6,000 to transport him to his destination at Ikorodu.
“I returned to the airport immediately I dropped him at his house.
“But no sooner than I arrived and parked my car at the airport, I discovered an envelope had been left behind on the back seat of my car.
“I picked the envelope and opened it.
“What I saw was his international passport. I looked further into the envelope and discovered there was another white envelope inside.
I opened the second envelope only to discover that something was wrapped in it. It was dollars in $100 denomination. I counted and they were 24 in number,” he said.
Adeniyi said he reported the items to the officer- on- duty at the airport’s arrival car park and was instructed to drop the parcel at ACHAN’s secretariat.
Speaking on the recovery, the passenger, Dele Ayeni said he was a living testimony to the advantages of taking cab from registered points at airports.
“I arrived Lagos from Cairo on July 29 at about 1:30 am on Monday. As I was coming out of the terminal, I met this polite driver who agreed to take me to my destination at Ikorodu.
“While on the way, I decided to drop my jacket on the floor of the car to avoid being noticed as an important man sitting in the rear seat of the car.”
He disclosed that after some time at home he discovered that some items were missing from his belongings.
“Immediately we got to my house in Ikorodu; I removed my jacket from where I had kept it and also my luggage, without noticing that the envelope in the jacket had dropped on the back seat of the car.
“Unfortunately, I did not open my luggage to bring out what I had for my family members until after I woke up in the noon. That was when I discovered that the envelope was missing in my jacket,’’ he said.
Mr Ayeni said his wife then advised that he should go to the airport to inquire if it had been found.
He said due to her encouragement, he came to the airport and went to the car park where he had entered the cab.
Mr Ayeni said immediately he approached and complained to one of the drivers on duty, he was informed that the driver had found the envelope and was taking it to his house.
“This is a living testimony that Nigeria has hope. We are not all bad people. I have started campaigning to people via social media to always patronise airport registered cabs.
“I want to thank ACHAN for having this type of arrangement in Nigerian airports. It is wonderful,” Ayeni said.
The Chairman of ACHAN MMIA, Olubi Ojo, said Mr Ayeni’s case was just one of the many cases the association handles on regular basis.
“This is a regular occurrence in this airport; passengers forget many things such as passports, money and other personal belongings in our cabs.
“But they are very sure of finding them if truly the items are left in any of our cabs.
“We give regular orientation to drivers on why they should return to the secretariat any item left behind by passengers in their vehicles,” Mr Ojo said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Mr Adeniyi, the driver, is a commissioned driver because he has no car.