Irbid local councils struggle for funding despite outlined projects

(File photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN — In a recent meeting of the Irbid Governorate Council's advisory committee, headed by Khaldoun Bani Hani, discussions were held to assess the progress of ongoing projects, achievements, and the council's budget for 2023. اضافة اعلان

Despite the outline of numerous projects, the council expressed the need for additional financial support to overcome obstacles and challenges hindering their success, according to a local media outlet.

Insufficient budget allocationBani Hani emphasized that the current allocation of 1 percent from the general budget to provincial councils is inadequate and impacts the nature of their achievements and projects. 

Complicating matters further, these allocated funds were not disbursed until March, causing delays in the execution of projects. 

To address this issue, he called for a legislative amendment to the local administration law, allowing for the circulation of allocated funds for ongoing projects in the following year without returning them to the state treasury.

Amending local legislation
While acknowledging the support received from the Local Administration Ministry, Bani Hani emphasized the need to amend legislation to better facilitate the council's work. 

The meeting, chaired by IGC Secretary Maan Set Abuha and attended by leading officials, ministers, and ex-ministers involved in local government, underscored the importance of supporting decentralization to achieve desired goals and eliminate obstacles faced by provincial councils.

Projects underway
Iman Obeidat, director of the Governorates Administration in the Public Works and Housing Ministry, provided updates on ongoing projects. 

The construction of the 53km Irbid Ring Road, which has been in progress for the past decade, witnessed the completion of 18km connecting Irbid with Al-Hosn last year. 

The remaining 35km are slated for completion, with 12km earmarked as a priority to alleviate traffic congestion.

Additionally, studies have been prepared for the Umm Qais-Irbid Road at a cost of JD35 million, and the Ministry of Planning is working to secure the necessary funding. 

Obeidat added that the dilapidated Baghdad-Irbid Highway, particularly the section near Al-Hassan Industrial City, is in need of maintenance, and the ministry plans to address the most affected parts. 

Other projects discussed included the expansion of the Irbid-Zarqa Road to four lanes and maintenance work on the Irbid-Amman Highway.

Challenges Aside from the aforementioned projects, the meeting touched upon various other issues, including sanitation projects, administrative inefficiencies, centralized decision-making, and a lack of investment interest.

As a conclusion, participants emphasized the urgent need for a radical solution to recycling problems and budget constraints faced by provincial councils. 

They called for increased annual budgets and amendments to the law to enable councils to carry out their tasks more effectively in the face of centralized decision-making.

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