By Steve Oni, Ilorin
The Kwara State House of Assembly has restated its commitment towards recovering state government’s properties in private hands, to ensure equity, probity and accountability in government owned companies.
The Speaker, Dr. Ali Ahmad gave the assurance in Ilorin, while inaugurating an ad- hoc Committee to investigate allegations of misappropriation, relating to government assets under Harmony Holdings.
Dr. Ahmad explained that the investigation, became imperative, as the legislature was inundated with several stories, petitions and reports of mismanagement and alleged fraud that Harmony Holdings, its subsidiaries, or some of its staff converted or sold choice properties to themselves or their acquaintances and allegedly failed to show evidence of payment of commercially competitive prices into appropriate government accounts, pointing out that director’s breach of fiduciary duties to the company has been widespread and other sundry allegations inconsistent with running of a purely commercial, profit – driven conglomerate.
The Speaker commended the state Governor, Alhaji Abdul Fatah Ahmed, for coming up with the initiative of Harmony Holdings Limited, to oversee other smaller and industry- specific entities to reinvigorate and redirect all potentially income – yielding and revenue generating agencies and parastatals of government.
He said the investigation was geared towards establishing facts, proffer recommendations and ensure that the company, which he said, is the repository of the state’s collective wealth, is salvaged and restored to the path of profitability and enjoined Kwarans to give the committee and the Holdings, the benefit of the doubt.
Dr. Ahmad who allayed the fear that the House was out to witch hunt or victimize any one , urged members of the ad- hoc committee to discharge their duties in accordance with the salient provisions of section 128 of the nation’s Constitution.
He disclosed that the House has given a week of grace to individuals or institutions to return what they have earned unduly from the company to the State and praised a member of the committee Hon. Adamu Usman who returned his landed property, given to him by the company free of charge many years ago in Abuja.
Responding, the Chairman of the Ad- hoc Committee and House Leader, Hon. Hassan Oyeleke promised to carry out thorough investigation, without fear or favour, pointing out that “we will not leave any stone unturned in our attempt to unearth the mystery behind the management of our collective resources “.
Meanwhile, a member of the committee Hon. Adamu Usman who was a senior Accountant of the company between 2012 and 2013, has willingly surrendered all benefits accrued to him, to enable him to be fair in the discharge of his duty, pointing out that the investigation was long overdue.