'HHL Salaries' : Issues Recieving Accelerated Attention, Says GMD, Abdulmajeed - 9japarrot


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Thursday 8 July 2021

'HHL Salaries' : Issues Recieving Accelerated Attention, Says GMD, Abdulmajeed

• Says roundtable still the best option not showmanship or grandstanding

The Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (GMD/CEO) of Harmony Holdings Limited, Mallam Abdullahi Abdulmajeed says he's not unaware of the ongoing activities among some members of staff of the parent company in the past few days as relating to their agitation for the payment of outstanding salaries and other entitlements.

He posited as usual that they have every right to seek their entitlements, noting however that the way and manner they are going about it is not ideal as the roundtable which had earlier on been activated remains the best option to chart a reasonable headway.

“The situation in which we find ourselves at Harmony Holdings is no doubt quite unfortunate, but it's a fact that the result we are getting at the moment is a function of the seeds of mismanagement and maladministration that have been sowed a long time ago. Does any reasonable person think we can just wish away the misdeeds of the past 8 years with a magical wand in about 16 months, a significant part of which was affected by the effects of Covid-19? It's certainly not possible!

“This is the past that most of the staff agitating today belonged to, and of which they never saw anything wrong with the way and manner it laid the foundation for the near destruction of the bulk of our state owned enterprises or so it seemed because in spite of how heartrendering the anomalies that were perpetrated at that time were, it never witnessed a single write up or press release by this same set of staff to condemn or protest the actions in as much as their salaries and entitlements were paid,” the GMD/CEO said in a statement on Wednesday.

“The overbloated cost, low staff productivity and the unproductive nature of the company's operations was neither a matter of concern to many of them then. The fraud that trailed many of the transactions carried out by the company was not enough to provoke the staff to picket the company or shut down its operations in protest. Notwithstanding, we take the challenge of the moment with the highest sense of responsibility realizing that the buck of the company's affairs stands on our table today and we are working assiduously to ameliorate the situation in a most effective and permanent way.

“In spite of the above acknowledgement, we must still express our consternation about the fact that the bulk of the unpaid entitlements and allowances that the affected staff are protesting about today had accumulated since 2017 when the company was more solvent yet we are being maligned as though the infractions happened under our watch,” he added.

“I must also state unequivocally that the issue is a general one, everyone is affected even I as the GMD/CEO. I have however long foreseen this situation and made necessary steps to avert it because the company and its subsidiaries that we inherited were not only unsustainable, but they were also heavily indebted and enmeshed in series of litigations while the income generating lines and vehicles of business (machines and other tools) were mostly inactive. This informed the immediate activation of the turnaround management plan as mandated by His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Kwara State with multi-pronged strategies aimed at resolving the problem in a holistic way which is definitely beginning to bear positive fruits in different aspects of our business activities and sectors. The anticipated results is obviously not expected to be recorded evenly across board immediately, but there is definitely going to be light at the end of the tunnel for the whole group and Kwarans at large. The silver lining in our our dark cloud as represented by the improvements in operations and finances at Harmony Advanced Diagnostic Centre (HADC), Harmony Insurance Brokers (HIB) and recently in the reformed Harmony Transport Services Limited aka Kwara Express is a confirmation of the above expression. 

“I should also clarify that when the affected staff started their agitation about two weeks ago, I immediately convened several meetings and roundtables to discuss frankly with them as a family with a view to harvest opinions and reach grounds on how to put a stop to the recurring decimal of unpaid salaries that has been battling the organization even before my appointment as GMD/CEO. Those engagements were quite illuminating and I have escalated some of the takeaways to the business owner (KWSG) and I had assured members of staff that the matter was already receiving serious attention. There are however processes to it, which I think the staff should understand with their experience in administration while exercising the much needed patience to see to its materialization.

“The solution we are proffering is a win-win one. For instance, despite the fact that the staff have backlogs of allowances dating back to 2017 long before the coming of our administration, we have accepted to clear them off installmentally starting with the payment of salaries for some months as any attempt to pay off all the accumulated entitlements will only leave the company with no resources at all to pursue the revenue generation action plan of the turnaround management efforts which is our joker to guarantee the monthly payment of salaries going forward. All efforts to appeal to the protesting members of staff to prioritize the need to activate some of our businesses in a way and manner that can guarantee resources to meet up with our monthly overhead as and when due without having to go cap in hand to the state government at the time were rebuffed leading to the current picketing of the office.

“At the end of the numerous rounds of negotiations, the members of staff in question insisted they wanted all their entitlements paid even if it means getting disengaged from the company afterwards since we had stated it clearly that the implications of implementing their demands in full while foregoing the investment plan will leave the company without any guaranteed revenue and therefore its inability to maintain its current workforce which is overbloated in the first instance. 

“Following the above submission, while some members of staff reasoned with the above and communicated their willingness to make further sacrifices for the survival of the company, numerous others rather wrote their letters of resignation as a group while restating their insistence on receiving all outstanding immediately failure to which they will shut down business activities in the company. This is what was effected from last week Thursday. 

“Sequel to the above, efforts have been made to source for the funds required to meet up with the above obligations and thereafter proceed on a thorough rightsizing exercise to reposition the company appropriately. I therefore do not see any genuine reason for the showmanship and theatrics as they do not resolve the issue on ground. After everything, we are still going back to the roundtable. Therefore, this grandstanding does not add up for me.

Concluding, Abdulmajeed said: “I wish to assure all concerned Kwarans and well wishers of Harmony Holdings who have expressed concerns and sent us their well wishes in the last one week that the matter is already before the Kwara State Government which is the business owner and it is recieving accelerated attention which will see us resolving the matter decisively within the next couple of days.”

Corporate Affairs Unit
Harmony Holdings Limited

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