World Bank Private Security Guards in Abuja frown at ‘Slave Wages,’ begins fight against global poverty in Nigeria - OPID News

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Tuesday, 22 March 2022

World Bank Private Security Guards in Abuja frown at ‘Slave Wages,’ begins fight against global poverty in Nigeria

 World Bank Private Security Guards in Abuja frown at ‘Slave Wages,’ begins fight against global poverty in Nigeria

The security guards, who are employees Gardaworld Consulting Firm, called on the management of the bank to resolve the matter and address their plight.

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Some private security guards working at the Abuja branch of World Bank in Nigeria have alleged that they are 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 Gardaworld Consulting Firm, called on the management of the bank to resolve the matter and address their plight.

 

According to them, the action has exposed them to hardship and unbearable living conditions.

Speaking through an activist, Awunah Pius Terwase, the workers accused the management of the company of being insensitive to their plight, alleging that the employer has on several occasions threatened to sack them whenever they demand a review of their salaries.

According to Terwase, most of the guards receive N45,000 monthly while drivers employed directly by the bank get about N300,000 monthly.

He said, “Before now, driving jobs at the Abuja Branch of World Bank were contracted the same way the employment of security guards is contracted. The salaries of drivers were always paid by World Bank to the company that was supplying drivers and before the drivers get their salaries, their company would have to slash and take the larger part, leaving the drivers with something little. At that time, some drivers were receiving Forty Thousand Naira (N40,000) as their salaries per month and some even less.

“You can confirm that a driver at the World Bank now receives up to N400,000 or more as his salary for a month because the employments of drivers are no longer under contract.

“However, this has clearly demonstrated that contract employment as done in Nigeria is fraud and a reputable organization like world Bank should not practice such.

“On December 5, 2001, employment letters on Short Term Local Temporary Appointment were given to private security (guards) and drivers by the then World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Dr. Mark Tomlinson because he discovered the fraud in the system and wanted to address it.

“Similar employment letters were also given to cleaners and gardeners because they were under contract too. A few days after, the letters given to the security guards, gardeners and cleaners were retrieved but those of drivers were not taken back.

“The retrieving of the letters was done by the then facility manager and others that saw the letters as a threat to them and as a food that was going out of their mouths because they were benefiting from the contracts given to the private companies that were supplying the guards, the cleaners and the gardeners.

“Now, because the letters given to drivers were not retrieved, you can see a driver receiving up to four hundred thousand naira (N400,000) or more as his salary for a month while a security guard gets only forty-five thousand naira (N45,000) as his salary per month. Is that fair?

“I was shocked after discovering that the palliatives to ease the lockdown effect amid COVID-19 pandemic was not even given to the security and there was no increment in their salaries. I am aware that during the lockdown, World Bank increased the salary of all its staff and palliatives were equally given but the security guards were neglected in all these. 

“The guards are seriously suffering and they need help. Those slashing their salary in the name of contract employment should be arrested and punished. Other local organizations that are not even known nationwide pay their workers more than the forty-five thousand naira (N45,000) a security guard working at the World Bank receives as his salary per month.

“The right thing to do now is to abolish the so-called contract and give direct employment to the security guards, cleaners and others working as contract staff. I am appealing to you and I believe you have the power to address this long-standing injustice against the security guards and others.

“It is a pity and a disgrace to see the security guards working with world Bank poor since World Bank fights to eradicate poverty but those working with the same World Bank are still poor. World Bank gives millions and billions of dollars to underdeveloped countries to help them fight poverty and also execute projects that would improve their standard of living.

“Yet, a security guard working with World Bank cannot afford to eat three times a day because his salary is not enough to get him enough food. Is that not a disgrace?”





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