Save Our Jobs: Workers of Kwara Express Appeal to Govt

Date: 2014-04-08

Workers of Kwara State Transport Corporation, otherwise known as Kwara Express, have appealed to the state government to  safe their jobs over the alleged plan by the management of Harmony Holdings Limited to sell the outfit to the private owners.

Already, the workers have sent "save our souls" to the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu Gambari, the National leadership of Ilorin Descendants Progressive Union and all that matters in the state over the issue.

Speaking with journalists in Ilorin at a news conference, the chairman of the workers union of the Kwara Express, Comrade Ajao Jaji accused the management of Harmony Holdings of  gradual liquidation of the transport company with aim of selling its assets, such as land, vehicles, equipments and rendering the staff redundant in preparation for outright sale to private owners. 

He also cited irregular payment of workers' salary, among other issues, adding that the management outfit allegedly seized the corporation's Certificate of Occupancy with the aim of selling the land.

The workers also accused the management of continuous borrowing of money in the name of the corporation, "even when the corporation generates enough revenue to stand on its own", arguing that the corporation was not liquidated as being reflected.

However, in a swift reaction to the allegation, in Ilorin, the Group Managing Director of Harmony Holdings, Mr. Tope Daramola, said the allegations were nothing but fabrication of facts by a set of cabal among the workers.

Daramola, who said his outfit came in to oversee the transport corporation when auditors  brought in by the state government classified the place as insolvent, added that large sum of money was unaccounted for, while bank loan secured by the corporation was not also serviced.

He said the bank were about impounding vehicles in its fleet, until his outfit came in and succeeded in paying N140 million out of N150 million loan from the Union Infrastructural Bank, adding that the workers were not paying insurance on the vehicles even when the cars were new.

Among other measures which he said were put in place to correct alleged financial mismanagement included automated ticketing, daily banking of proceeds and redressing of structural deficiency in marketing.

"We met four months salary arrears, but workers are now getting salaries before end of every month. And instead of retrenching workers, we even gave them options to serve in ministries, which they termed to be threat. What they fail to understand is that effective transformation of the business is in the larger interest of everyone", he said.

On alleged sale of land, Mr. Daramola denied any plan to sell the land, adding that calibre of Ilorin indigenes on the board of Harmony Holdings would never allow that.

He said the plan of the new management of the transport company was to upgrade its services to national business rather than local level it operates presently.




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