One of the workers of the World Bank, who is a security specialist, has been accused of conniving with a consulting firm, GardaWorld Consulting Firm, to shortchange the private guards manning World Bank Abuja Office, Easterner has learnt.
The source also alleged that the worker, identified as Mark Anthony, had a commission from the proceeds made by the consulting firm from the fraud process.
Easterner had earlier reported that the private security guards at the World Bank were lamenting that they were being paid “slave wages” despite putting their lives In danger to ensure the safety of workers of the bank.
The security guards, who are employees of Gardaworld Consulting Firm, had called on the management of the bank to resolve the matter and address their plight.
It was further gathered that after exposing the unfair practice and systematic slavery upon the guards, the firm threatened and warned them not to confirm the shortchange story if asked by the World Bank Team investigating the claim.
The firm, therefore, added the sum of Six Thousand Naira (N6,000) to the guards’ salaries in June 2022.
“Ideally, Five Thousand Naira (N5,000) is added yearly to a guard’s salary after the review of the contract and nothing of such was seen this year until the report of this very systematic corruption; then, Six Thousand Naira (N6,000) was added to their salary,” a source told Easterner.
Meanwhile, according to one of the guards who spoke to Easterner anonymously, the first thing GardaWorld Consulting Firm did in February 2020, when they came on board was to slash the guards’ monthly take-home by 50%.
For instance, a guard that was earning N80,000 was offered N40,000 by the consulting firm.
“When the firm came, they took us back to the salary level we were earning 11 years before their arrival. I joined the team in 2009, my first salary was N40,000. It had increased to more than N80,000 in January 2020.
“But in February 2020, when this present consulting firm (GardaWorld) took over, they reduced my salary back to N40,000. And our voices were silent. Anytime we spoke, they would threaten us with a sack. But the Nigerian situation makes us helpless. There are no jobs in this country,” he added. According to findings, most of the guards presently receive N51,000 monthly while drivers employed directly by the bank get about N300,000 monthly, a similar salary level that the guards deserved if not for the short change.
Meanwhile, when Easterner contacted World Bank for their reaction to our findings, particularly on the alleged connivance between one of their staff, Mark Jones Anthony with GardaWorld Consulting Firm, their response was evasive.
“Recently, questions have been raised regarding the wages and remuneration of contract security personnel stationed in the World Bank premises in Abuja. The World Bank acknowledges the importance of every personnel offering services to our organisation. We follow strict corporate guidelines and policies that entail a rigorous competitive selection process.
“The World Bank office in Nigeria continues to engage with its service providers, including for security services, and is exploring better ways to ensure reflective compensation for personal engaged by such service providers,” said the World Bank.
Also, when contacted, the Regional Manager, GardaWorld Consulting Firm, simply identified as Jude, said, “Mr…. Your findings are not valid. I advise you. Make more research.”
But when asked what the true position on the matter was, he did not give any further response and stopped responding to subsequent texts.