Jeddah Municipality ‘weak’ on project delivery: Report

Updated 10 July 2013
0

Jeddah Municipality ‘weak’ on project delivery: Report

Jeddah Municipality has one of the country’s worst records in terms of tender processes and project delivery, according to a report compiled by the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs.
The report looked at the performance of municipalities and secretariats across the country for the 2011/2012 fiscal year, according to sources quoted by local media.
Jeddah Municipality is one of the four worst performing municipalities in the country, said the sources, but did not specify which other administrations had also performed badly.
The sources said Minister of Municipal and Rural Affairs Prince Mansour bin Miteb sent a telegram to Jeddah municipality demanding it submit regular reports on projects and tenders.
Jeddah Mayor Hani Abu Ras has called on all departments to carry out the minister’s orders.
Prince Mansour stressed that steps must be taken to deal with weaknesses and shortcomings and ensure projects are completed on time.
The ministry had earlier ordered Jeddah Municipality to list the reasons for delayed projects and why it had abandoned the principle of competition in awarding contracts.
Reliable sources said Prince Mansour held an urgent meeting with the Jeddah mayor to get a briefing on all delayed projects.
“The minister asked for a detailed report on the projects that were included in the budgets of the fiscal year 2011/2012,” said the source.
The request included all new projects and ones rolled over from the previous year.
Prince Mansour also wanted a list of companies that had lost bids for contracts, projects that went over deadline by more than 25 percent, and those projects that had failed to meet deadlines and had therefore resulted in expired contracts.
Another meeting is scheduled soon to discuss measures taken to solve these problems, the sources said.


Saudi businesswomen eye greater role in the economy with end to driving ban

The end of the driving ban is expected to help bring an economic windfall for Saudi women. (Shutterstock)
Updated 23 June 2018
0

Saudi businesswomen eye greater role in the economy with end to driving ban

  • The historic move is a huge step forward for businesswomen in the Saudi Arabia, says businesswoman
  • A recent survey by the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce indicated that transportation was a major concern holding Saudi women back from joining the labor market

The end of the driving ban will boost women’s financial power and allow them to play a bigger role in economic and social diversification in line with Vision 2030, prominent businesswomen said on Friday.

Hind Khalid Al-Zahid was the first Saudi woman designated as an executive director — for Dammam Airport Company — and also heads the Businesswomen Center at the Eastern Province Chamber of Commerce and Industry. 

She sees the historic move as a huge step forward for businesswomen in the Kingdom.

“Women being allowed to drive is very important; of course this will help a lot in sustainable development as the lifting of the ban on women driving came as a wonderful opportunity to increase women’s participation in the workforce,” she told Arab News on Friday, ahead of the end of the ban on Sunday.

She added that women in the job market are under-represented; they make up to 22 percent of the national workforce of about six million according to official estimates. Lifting the ban will help to take women’s representation in the workforce to 30 percent by 2030, she said.

“This is not just the right thing to do for women’s emancipation, but also an essential step in economic and social development as part of the reforms,” she said.

She said that there were different obstacles in increasing women’s participation in the workforce and other productive activities, and the driving ban was one of them. It was a strategic issue that needed to be addressed on a priority basis. With the issue resolved, it would help immensely in giving Saudi women better representation as they would help to diversify the Saudi economy and society.

She said that women could contribute hugely to the workforce and labor market as half of Saudi human resources were female, and unless allowed to excel in different sectors it would not be possible to do better, mainly because of restricted mobility.

A recent survey by the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce indicated that transportation was a major concern holding Saudi women back from joining the labor market.

Nouf Ibrahim, a businesswoman in Riyadh, said: “It will surely boost female economic participation and help increase women’s representation in the workforce immensely. It will also help to reduce the overall national unemployment rate as most of the unemployed are women and many of them are eligible as university graduates.”

She echoed the opinion that the move would help to bring an economic windfall for Saudi women, making it easier for them to work and do business, and thus play a bigger and better role that would help economic and social diversification in line with Saudi Vision 2030.

“Being able to drive from Sunday onwards after the ban is lifted will be a wonderful experience. Earlier we were dependent on a male family member and house driver to take us to workplace, to the shopping center, school or other required places for some work, now we can drive and that will allow active participation in productive work,” Sulafa Hakami, a Saudi woman working as the digital communication manager with an American MNC in Riyadh, told Arab News.

“Saudi women can now share effectively the bigger and better responsibilities,” she said.