• Says firm committed to workers’ welfare
Group Managing Director of the Harmony Holdings Limited Abdullahi AbdulMajeed on Monday said the investment firm is being repositioned to truly benefit and be accountable to the people of Kwara State whose assets form the core of its existence.
“The task in Harmony Holdings is quite herculean but we believe that we can transform that organisation to become an institution of pride to the people and government of Kwara State,” he said on Monday during a courtesy visit to the Office of the Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to the Governor.
AbdulMajeed lamented that the firm had been riddled with impunity and underhand dealings not consistent with the mandate of its establishment in 2013, adding however that the new management has resolved to not only make the firm profitable but to also open its books to the public for the sake of probity.
“We understand that the public confidence in our organisation has been largely eroded because the last administration ran that place like a shell company. They were not talking to the public. They were not open to transparency and scrutiny, and they did not give the people of the state that sense of belonging that is required of a company that belongs to them. And I want to state that henceforth that has stopped,” AbdulMajeed said.
“We are opening up that organisation to more public scrutiny and transparency, that is why we are beginning to go to the media. And there is no better place to commence than from the office of the image maker of the Governor.”
He said the firm under him has put together a turnaround management team to midwife full repositioning of the company, pledging to achieve operational stability to become core revenue generator for Kwara State.
“Leakages that have been identified across the holdings groups, running down from all the strategic business units (SBU) down to the holdings group in itself are being blocked as I speak to you. One of the core things that we need to do to attain operational stability… Our cost ratio to revenue in all of those organisations (SBUs) is quite unsustainable. In some areas we have cost to revenue of 70% to 100%. In any organisation where operational cost takes as much as even above 50% you can be sure that you cannot turn in a profit. And in our case we have some as high as 70%. That is quite unsustainable and at the moment we are beginning to make efforts to ensure that that is no longer the case.”
AbdulMajeed, meanwhile, has explained why some workers in the agency are being owed salaries since the dissolution of the board of the investment firm, adding however that the issues are being resolved.
He added: “Since the dissolution of the board, there has been a partial severance of that relationship. The SBUs were no longer reporting to the Holdings… and there was therefore no how they could get fund from the SBUs. And that has resulted in the inability of the holdings company to pay salaries till date. Salaries have accumulated to about 7 months and we have spoken with the government.
“We have appealed for some sorts of bridge fund which will help us attain operational stability before our businesses return to normalcy. And then I can tell you confidently that His Excellency is already looking into that situation and we have assurances that things will soon look good for all the workers.”
Ajakaye, for his part, assured the firm of the support of the state’s information managers to project its activities and repositioning efforts.
“We recognise the fact that your success is our success because this is all about the interest of the people of Kwara State which His Excellency has been working to protect, especially with regards to ensuring that public assets truly work for the interest of the Kwara public,” he said.