By Abdullah Abdulganiy
Mallam Abdullahi Abdulmajeed, Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Harmony Holdings Limited, is, indeed, an inspiration to the youthful population. He is one of those we advocates of #NotTooYoungToRun look up to and feel fulfiled that our struggle is in order. A disciplinarian to the core, his well thought policies and leadership acumen are playing great roles in repositioning and reorganising Harmony Holdings Limited and her subsidiaries.
Harmony Holdings Limited, for starters, is an establishment set up by the Kwara State government during the administration of former Governor AbdulFatah Ahmed. It is to coordinate a number of state-owned business entities, dubbed subsidiaries in a bid to promote efficiency and proper management. The overall goal is to shore up the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the state to meet critical developmental projects and provide employment opportunities for Kwarans.
Some of the subsidiary companies include but not limited to: Harmony Advanced Diagnostic Center, Harmony Transport Services Limited (Kwara Express), Kwara Hotels, Harmony Insurance Brokers, Harmony Investment and Property Development Company, and Harmony Securities Limited.
Harmony Holdings Limited was such a fantastic innovation. But did it really achieve the objectives it was set up for? Not really. It lacked sincere leadership for so many years and was operating under a government that was deep-seated in corrupt and shady practices. This made it a subject of distrust and controversy among Kwarans, many of whom believed it was another big conduit pipe to corner public funds. And it was rightly so.
There came the present administration of Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq ushered in by the ‘O to ge’ revolution. In his avowed mission to make Kwara work for all, Governor AbdulRazaq took careful observation of institutions he inherited from the previous administration. A cosmopolitan politician, suave administrator and successful business mogul, he failed to tow the path of regular politicians who pull no punches in decimating the legacies of their predecessors. He rather made consolidations and restructuring.
Part of the institutions he made fervent attempt to revitalize was Harmony Holdings Limited, the unsung “cash cow” of Kwara State. He then brought a man he strongly believed is up to the task: Mallam Abdullahi Abdulmajeed. Abdulmajeed was made GMD/CEO of the Harmony Holdings Limited. A very huge task, not meant for the lily-livered.
Abdulmajeed came on the job with years of experience in leadership, business management, investment facilitation and promotion, and of course activism. He had managed one of the constituencies that is most difficult to manage: Students/Youths. As one-time President of the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), the umbrella organisation of over 70 million youths, he was renowned for his uncompromising commitment to youth development and nation building. No doubt, he was selected to lead Nigerian youths to the 2014 National Conference where he made very spectacular contributions towards the emancipation of young people and renaissance of Nigeria.
A front line graduate of Accounting at the first generation ivory tower, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria with numerous post graduate certifications including being a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Consultant and also a fellow of the Chartered institute of Finance and Control of Nigeria (CIFCON), his qualification and resume were stunning and intimidating enough.
“Public service should objectively be for service,” he passionately preached and demonstrated. Upon his assumption, from his immediate responsibility of Director General of the Arewa Trade and Investment Promotion Coucil (ATIPC), he made a number of steps geared towards revamping the Harmony Holdings Limited and her subsidiaries. To the credit of his ongoing turnaround management in line with the policy of Mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq is the introduction of biometric attendance for staff members of the HHL and her subsidiaries. Truancy and ghost working are challenges hampering the growth of the civil service. Under the watch of Abdulmajeed, these would certainly not be condoned. It was a lifetime shocker for workers who’ve been gaming the system for long.
The good work did not stop there. A holistic reform of the business process, system and strategy was initiated group wide. Enhanced control measures have been introduced across board to block all identified leakages while implementing a more effective cost structure. Enter Harmony Advanced Diagnostic Center. Not a kobo was at any time saved by this buoyant institution under the past leadership. It depended largely on subventions from the state government which goes to show that it was not given the freedom to run. The story is going to change under Mallam Abdulmajeed. HADC now has savings it can bank on during rainy days. It recently procured some machine from the savings. It will also remit millions of naira as returns of investment for the first time since establishment in 2013. This is the restructuring we are talking about.
Damaged equipment and machines were also left unattended to at the medical facility. Pray, how can a Diagnostic Center operate with faulty machines? It became worse as the previous leadership owed GE, an equipment manufacturing company, a huge sum of 10 million naira. It was left unpaid. This severed the relationship between the company and the health facility. The corollary was that faulty machines were not given any attention.
Interestingly, the present leadership of Harmony Holdings under Mallam Abdulmajeed through the support of our egalitarian Governor, Mallam AbdulRazaq ensured the payment of the debt. This renewed the relationship, and the company is now looking into the reported cases of faulty machines. How about UPS? Many of them were left dead by the previous leadership. Nevertheless, this has not deterred the present leadership of HHL from giving approval for the repair of the UPS and other faulty machines. At the same time, new machines are being bought.
Shall we talk about the moribund Kwara Express left by the previous insincere leadership of Harmony Holdings? What’s supposed to be an asset to the government was turned into a liability. Despite huge government fundings sunk into this establishment, there was no reciprocation. Where does that happen? Who ventures into business for loss? With the coming of this administration, numerous strategies were introduced to reposition the company, enhance its service delivery and increase its productivity which unfortunately was resisted by the workforce who have been used to running a corrupt system that rewards nobody but the corrupt members of the system who make huge daily income at the expense of the company and citizens who patronize the place.
Pronto, Mallam Abdulmajeed shut down the transport company, and set up a Business Review and Investigation committee (BRIC) to look into its operations. It is expected that this subsidiary would come back bigger and stronger. It will also give other companies in the transport industry a run for their money. Wait for it.
The process for the redevelopment and upgrade of Kwara Hotels, a significant iconic legacy asset of Kwara State is at the advanced stage. Many thanks to the visionary leadership of Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq who continues to support the current leadership of HHL to do what is right at all times with a view to provide satisfaction to Kwarans. At the end of the facilitation process, Kwara Hotels is destined to become the cynosure of all eyes as its upgrade into a standard state of the art four star Hotel with international management is imminent.
Many other entities under the HHL are certainly work in progress with huge potentials for success and profitability in the nearest future.
Let me cap it all with the Innovation Center in the pipeline. It is moving nearer to completion. Upon completion, it will make Kwara State the digital hub of the North. It is part of the concerted efforts of the AbdulRazaq administration to equip young persons with requisite skills to survive in the digital era. Away from that, it will provide employment opportunities for youths in the new economy and serve as another cardinal source of revenue for the state.
All these achievements are not by sheer coincidence. They are a product of hardwork, dedication and resilience which are the hallmark of Mallam Abdullahi Abdulmajeed, the new Harmony Holdings Limited boss. The good work is definitely not going to stop here. It’s “ise n lo” — work continues. The purposeful leadership Harmony Holdings lacked for years is right under our nose. Mallam Abdullahi Abdulmajeed, a great youth ambassador, is rewriting the narratives. It’s a new dawn at Harmony Holdings Limited, indeed.
We the NOT TOO YOUNG TO RUN generation therefore express our appreciation to our indefatigable Governor, an avowed believer in the capacity of young persons for giving numerous young leaders the opportunity to showcase their capacity under his tutelage while providing uncommon support to ensure their success. #ISENLO