Governor AbdulRazaq is not responsible for paying Harmony Holdings Group staff

Date: 2021-05-29

• Mgt. condemns politically motivated protest

• Hails responsible staff for resisting incitement by opposition

The management of Harmony Holdings Limited is aware of a protest by a few staff of one of its subsidiaries, Harmony Investment and Property Development Company (HIPDC) and its sub-unit, Harmony Ventures and Supplies Limited (HVSL). Against this background, we want to make these clarifications.

Management acknowledges the fact that there are unpaid salaries, most of which it inherited and has been servicing according to available resources. We have also continued to demonstrate commitment to clearing current salaries just like the outstanding ones as a going priority. We are in a challenging situation and staff should not lose sight of the ruins and deficits the current management met on the ground.

We expected that following the series of appeals made to the agitating staff from the time they started the protest this morning, they would have sheathed their swords if the intent was just to amplify their concerns over unpaid salaries, especially when they clearly understand that apart from the problem being an inherited one, the lack of productivity on the part of a majority of them is also a huge part of the current crisis of insolvency facing the company.

We therefore condemn in strong terms the willingness of the few protesting staff to be used by some opposition elements to score cheap political points. These opposition elements are the same people who created the bulk of the mess that has crippled the company and of which the current management is making frantic efforts to clean.

It is clear that there is a political dimension to the protest when the protesting staff rejected appeals to give the management just two weeks to clear two months of the backlogs after giving approval for the payment of one month salary yesterday out of the five months owed. They insisted on going for a protest, saying they want the whole world to know they are being owed salaries. Also, the period chosen for the protest speaks volumes about the intent and disposition of the staff involved. Such a protest just a day to the second year anniversary of the State Governor who has been receiving accolades from all quarters suggests foul play instigated by some political warlords.

We are not surprised that the protest is coming less than 24 hours after the report of the White Paper committee was released revealing clearly the humongous fraud that were perpetrated in entities under Harmony Holdings with HIPDC taking a lead in the list. We see it as a case of corruption fighting back.

Coincidentally, the agitation also comes 24 hours after the GMD/CEO of Harmony Holdings, Mallam Abdullahi Abdulmajeed announced the completion of the Digital Asset Register and Land Information System Application which was developed to serve as the platform for the management of all properties, assets and real estate investments of the company going forward. In addition to that, we have also announced the commencement of the process for the revalidation of all land sales and real estate transactions that transpired in the company in the years past using this digital application to resolve all the barrages of complaints and misconduct that trailed the process of allocation in those era.

We are optimistic that with the planned unveiling of the application in two weeks, we would have succeeded in providing a final solution to the age long institutional illegality, corruption and malfeasance that have trailed majority of the company's transactions in the past while also exposing all corrupt elements in the system. Clearly therefore, their protest is an attempt to frustrate the success of unearthing the shady deals in the system.

However, today's action will certainly not deter us from the methodical and accountable cleaning up of the augean stables we inherited in line with the turnaround management strategy and mandate of His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Kwara State.

To be clear, the Kwara State Government does not pay the salaries of Harmony Holdings Group staff. Harmony Holdings is a Limited Liability Company that is expected to pay salaries from its revenues and pay dividends to the Kwara State Government from its profit. HIPDC as a subsidiary of Harmony Holdings is expected to remit profit to the government through the holding company. It is however on record that HIPDC has not remitted any profit for more than seven years despite its huge asset base and the turnover of its transactions. Rather than maximising profit from the huge turnover of transactions in those years when its operations were robust with land schemes all over Kwara, Kaduna and Abuja the Federal Capital Territory, the previous managenent plunged the company into a ceaseless pool of debts close to One Billion Naira which the current management is struggling to manage.

The few land schemes (site and service) that are currently availabile in the custody of the company were not also aggressively marketed by the staff to generate income for their organization. It's with the coming of this administration that we started the reactivation of their revenue lines and businesses and we have been paying salaries when they have the resources especially through the blockage of wastage and plugging of leakages in the system. Harmony Hub 2 has been reactivated and customers with unfulfilled obligations will be relieved upon its completion.

Management is further vindicated that there is a political undertone to the protest when protesters were accusing the Governor of stealing. His Excellency, Mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has not stolen anything from HIPDC, he's rather been at the forefront of lending support to it. We recall that the Governor doled out bailout fund to Harmony Holdings severally that was used to clear backlogs of salaries of the holding company and some of its subsidiaries including Harmony Ventures and Supplies Limited.

We commend majority of our staff in that company and across other subsidiaries and the holding company who blatantly refused to participate in the politically sponsored protest. We see it as a demonstration of responsibility, understanding, maturity and sensibility.

In conclusion, we wish to state unequivocally that the current GMD/CEO of Harmony Holdings, Mallam Abdullahi Abdulmajeed has not also stolen anything from HIPDC as alleged. He has been at the forefront of reforming the company’s systems while activating and expanding the revenue lines for sustainability and profitability. He should be appreciated for that and not blackmailed. In any case, the GMD's door is always open for well meaning staff to continue the dialogue process to chart a way forward for Harmony Holdings and its subsidiaries.

Finally, we implore the protesting staff to listen to the voice of reason and return to the roundtable for an amicable discussion.

Corporate Affairs Unit

Harmony Holdings Limited

May 28th, 2021

 


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