Issues relating to how the affairs of the Harmony Holdings Limited, Kwara State are run have become a topic for discussion for about six years now. The outgoing administration of Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed penultimate week again reacted and faulted the statements credited to a former Managing Director of the Harmony Holdings Limited, (HHL) Dr. Shehu Kuranga on social media alleging corrupt practices in the way government properties are managed by the company. Dr Muhideen Akorede who is the Senior Special Assistant to Governor Abdlfatah Ahmed said allegations of corruption at HHL involving management of the state-owned property are creations of the fertile imagination of its authors and promoters .
‘We have become aware of a social media post alleging corrupt practices at the Harmony Holdings Limited, a company fully-owned by the Kwara State government. For the avoidance of doubt and in the interest of the people of the state who are the ultimate owners of HHL and the assets it is managing, we wish to state clearly that the allegations in the said post are lies concocted in a futile bid to embarrass the administration of Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed. Harmony Holdings Limited is a product of the administration’s quest to innovate new funding sources for government programmes in the light of a fragile global economy and unstable federal allocation.
To insulate the state from these uncertainties and keep it on a firm pedestal for the benefit of its people, reforms were , no doubt, necessary. One of them was HHL, especially given the existence of state assets which were constituting a drain on state resources rather than augmenting them’, he said. Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed and the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki were also absolved of any involvement in the planned lease of a prime state-owned property located in Lagos or in any illegal transaction involving other state-owned assets.
The transactions relating to the proposed lease, according to the state government, followed due process and involved relevant state agencies. The state government also denied the claim that Dr Mohammed resigned sequel to pressure mounted on him from the Government House to engage a particular company to manage the Victoria Island, Lagos property and to financially disadvantage the state in favour of a private company or individuals. Dr Mohammed was, according to Akorede, rather asked to review the companies shortlisted for managing the property, recommend one or come up with an alternative company but however, resigned before the process was completed. Dr Mohammed, was also, according to him, personally head-hunted by Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed based on his corporate finance experience and capacity and not at the request of the Ilorin Emirate Descendants Progressive Union (IEDPU) as wrongly claimed. The state government , therefore, urged the public to ignore what it described as the lies promoted about HHL and warned those reportedly bent on playing politics with government-owned entities to have a rethink and be mindful of the long-term impact on the image of the state as investors may be reluctant to partner the state if the negative atmosphere of needless controversy is, according to him allowed to persist.