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Gov’t must pay its dues to engineering consulting firms to offset major losses — JEA


The Jordan Times


AMMAN — The Jordan Engineers Association (JEA) has estimated that the engineering sector’s consulting services have suffered a loss of around JD30 million in the past few months due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
According to JEA President Ahmed Zoubi, the sector’s consultative work declined during the first six months of this year by 21 per cent and is expected to drop by 50 per cent by the end of the year.
Zoubi demanded that the government pay its dues to engineering offices and companies, which are estimated at JD7 million, to enable them to fulfill their obligations towards their engineers and technical staff, “especially since most of them have not received salaries for several months”.
He added that the late payment of these dues, the decrease in the volume of local consulting work and the stoppage of consulting work for foreign firms are among “the key challenges faced by the sector”.
According to Zoubi, the union “made efforts to prevent the collapse of the consulting sector and to take advantage of some defence orders to pay the salaries of employees”, claiming that the solution “lies in the payment of the firms’ dues”.
The head of the association’s office and engineering companies Abdullah Ghosheh said that the Kingdom has a total of 1,253 engineering offices and companies employing a total of 8,000 employees and engineers, in addition to 3,000 supporting staff members.
Engineering offices and companies export engineering services to more than 31 countries around the world, he said, adding that four Jordanian companies in this field are “among the best 225 companies in the world”.
The revenue from engineering services in 2008 was estimated at JD60 million, rising to JD170 million in 2016 and falling in 2019 to JD45 million, according to association data.
Mohammad Abu Salem, the deputy chairman of the Office of Engineering Corporations,  said that the association has played a “great role” in saving the engineering consulting sector from collapse during the coronavirus crisis.
He highlighted the high quality of the services provided by the sector, stressing its role in supporting the national economy, as well as the importance of employing engineers in light of the high unemployment rate within the profession, which is estimated at 18 per cent.

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