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Harmony Holdings performance, attracts governor's commendation

Yusuf Olayinka

Following the allegation leveled against the executive management of Harmony Holdings Limited over misappropriation of fund, diversion of property and the subsequent quit notice issued to them by the Kwara State House of Assembly as reported by some media, facts have emerged debunking the accusations as frivolous and lack no basic proof.

The myriad of attention on the company tickled the interest of National Moonlight, which in its avowed responsibility to its readers, decided to do some check on the company which has continued to generate so much debate among Kwarans, especially in view of recent developments as noted earlier.

The question has been asked at several fora, what has Harmony Holdings added to the development of Kwara State since inception. It has been asked: what are the achievements of this company? What is very clear from the objectives of the company which we glimpsed from its website is that the company was set up to among others turn around the fortune of moribund entities, companies owned by Kwara State Government which had become drainpipes on the finances of the State.

In other words, the company was to turn around these companies into profitable entities, capable of generating more revenue, create employment opportunities for Kwarans among others. It will appear that the company has delivered substantially on these mandate from the in depth investigation carried out by this medium.

For instance, informed sources established that the modernization of Adama Bola Saadu Building, which was undertaken and completed by the Holding company, has directly made available more than 1000 jobs for Kwarans through the telecommunication company which leased some floors of the building, as the company was attracted to it because of the modernization.

We also reliably gathered that the expansion and re-negotiation of terms of engagement of Olam company at the Kwara Cashew Nut Processing Company by Harmony Holdings led to saving of more than 800 jobs for Kwara women and youths who were on the verge of being sent into the unemployment market by the company as it was just on the verge of relocating to Cote d'Ivoire before Harmony Holdings intervention. The source also affirmed that the holding company has created either directly or indirectly more than 3,500 jobs for Kwarans within 5 years of its operation.

Furthermore, an investigation carried out by this medium also revealed that most of the companies taken over by the company in 2013 were loss making entities, which the company was able to turn to profitability running into millions of Naira in the first year of its operation. It was also reliably gathered that Governor Ahmed was so impressed by the performance of these companies under Harmony Holdings that he decided to hand-over under-performing assets of the State to the company for effective management in 2014 during its inaugural Annual General Meeting.

It is surprising that a company that has not performed badly could at the same time get its hand soiled in the area of mismanagement of assets which the State entrusted into their hands. This contradiction led to further investigation by this medium, and much was revealed.

The verdict by the Kwara State House of Assembly that the management of the company should refund the sum of N67Million to the coffers of the State Government should ordinarily be the clearest indication of fraud of conversion of government assets by the management of the company; after all, you do not refund what you have not initially taken. In addition, informed sources actually confirmed that such request for refund could have been misplaced or misunderstood chronicle of events. We reliably gathered that a particular ground for refund directive was N20m from the sale of a property in Kaduna by the company.

We gathered that though the property's first sale value was put at N120m by estate valuers, the property's market value was N100m at which it was sold at the peak of the Boko Haram crisis in the North in 2014.

The N20m difference in sale value is part of the N67m the House of Assembly wants refunded. The source also enthused “do you refund what you have not received?” The other N47m alleged unremitted was the unpaid balance of sales of properties in Kulende and Adewole Estates, which are being paid instalmentally by Kwaran buyers, and which are duly recognized as debts in the books of the company. The question is can uncontroverted debts be “refunded” by other parties?

What has become clear from our investigations is that the letter of commendation by the State Government on the Management and Board of Harmony Holdings is not misplaced bearing in mind some of the achievements highlighted above.

It is also clear that the company needs to do more in terms of publicity and public communication to announce some of the unheralded but quite commendable achievements it can boast of. Maybe when the company does, a lot of the stick and opprobrium it has received will cease. For now, Harmony Holdings looks very much like a project that should be supported by Kwarans.

Harmony Holdings performance, attracts governor's commendation Reviewed by Unknown on May 08, 2018 Rating: 5

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