• How political interference, management crisis in previous govt crumbled transport company

Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Harmony Holdings Limited, Mallam Abdullahi Abdulmajeed Thursday, November 19 formally received the report of the Business Review and Investigation Committee (BRIC) on Kwara Express in his office in Ilorin, the state capital.

BRIC was inaugurated on Friday, September 11, 2020 by the GMD/CEO at the conference room of Harmony Transport Services Limited (HTSL) as part of the efforts of the Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq AbdulRazaq administration's effort to reposition and revamp all state-owned business entities left to rot by the previous administration.

The committee had Comrade AbdulRazaq Hamzat as its chairman, Mrs Olaide Adebanjo Adejobi as secretary alongside 12 other eminently qualified professionals who are top players in both private and public sectors drawn from various local government areas of the state.

Some of the committee members are Kwarans playing prominent roles in the management of successful private sector model run transport companies owned partly or fully by some state governments in the country such as the Bus Rapid Transport (BRT)of Lagos State.

Abdulmajeed gave the committee three weeks, which was however extended to six weeks due to the volume of work and stiff resistance from Kwara Express staff, to conclude its assignment.

The new Harmony Holdings helmsman is determined to bring sanity to all the subsidiary companies under the HHL, and has been effectively managing them contrary to what obtained in the past.

This idea birthed the inauguration of the committee to salvage Harmony Transport Services Limited (formerly Kwara Express) from the brinks of extinction it was dragged into due to the recklessness and inefficiency of the previous handlers.

In its 91-page report, the investigation committee gave a blow-by-blow account of its findings after weeks of information sourcing and fact finding mission.

According to the report, undue interference in the operations of the transport company by some political interests identified as “government house” in the succesive administrations of the past is one of the key factors that drove the company to the state of disrepair.

The report reads “However, since 2015 when Kwara Express transitioned to Harmony Transport Services Limited, the company has not been running as a full fledge business of its own. There has been too much undue interference in the company’s business by both the holding company and other political interest, which was described as ‘‘government house’. 

“Our investigation showed that, the company is being managed by three layers of management, which include HTSL official management, the holding company (HHL) and unknown political managers from government house, a development that has made it impossible for the company to function properly, execute its plans successfully or run the business profitably,” the report read in part.

The report also contained revelations of how an illegal union was operating in the transport company even after transition into a private company, noting that the in-house union backed by some political interests of the previous order orchestrated bully, assault, intimidation and threat to the peaceful operation of the company.

BRIC also explained how staff indiscipline constituted a major setback for Kwara Express as many staff members engaged in theft, sabotage and outright mismanagement of company's assets under the watch of the previous administration.

A total overhaul of the system was recommended by the BRIC, which asserted that a new start for the company has the potential of blocking leakages that could save an average of N100 million naira annually.

“Finally, having discovered all of the above, the Committee recommended a total overhaul of the system, with a view to creating a new start for the company. The new start has these immediate results of low hanging fruit of improving revenue by quickly and innovatively providing mechanism of blocking leakages of both Revenue and Direct cost expenses. The Revenue side of inbound journey requires innovative approach of blockage and increase the number of inbound passengers. There is potential of bringing into HTSL coffer increased revenue of between N50m to N100m by these exercises.”

The Harmony Holdings boss thanked members of the committee for their time and courage to take up the daunting challenge, assuring them of implementing the recommendations stressing the fact that the Kwara State government under His Excellency, Givernor Abdulrahman AbdulRazaq posses the require expertise and single minded commitment to forthrightly turnaround all state owned enterprises to serve Kwarans better while establishing many other viable ones to stimulate the economy. He promises that Kwara Express will not be an exception. 

Corporate Affairs Unit
Harmony Holdings Limited 
November 20, 2020

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