The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has provided for downtime, warranty and after-sales support in its Service Level Agreements (SLA) for the authorization of IT projects for Ministries, Departments and Agencies ( MDA) from the government.
Mr. Kashifu Inuwa, Director General of NITDA, speaking at a two-day Consumer Protection Forum in Abuja on Tuesday, said that the authorization of IT projects proved to be a big cost cut for the Federal Government.
The forum was also to review guidelines for the introduction of service level agreements (SLAs) in government IT contracts.
The forum is a platform through which NITDA seeks to bring together consumers and providers of IT products and services to address areas of challenges, creating awareness of IT products and services for better service delivery.
Representing Olawunmi, the Director of Framework and Standard Guidelines, Inuwa stated that the agency was beginning to take a new approach to solving specific problems affecting the sector.
“Today, we are addressing a critical issue that arose from our previous consumer protection forum and subsequent complaints within the industry.
“As a result of that, NITDA has developed guidance for the introduction of Service Level Agreements (SLAs) in Government Information Technology Contracts.
“We have previously identified that the lack of warranty and after-sales service agreements on our IT product and service purchases have cost us dearly.
“We agreed that IT contracts in MDAs should have an SLA from now on to make provisions for downtime, warranty and after-sales support,” he said.
Inuwa further said that the agency would continue to develop the culture of using and adhering to SLAs when implementing government IT contracts.
The CEO added that IT project approval had proven to be a great cost reducer for the Federal Government and further encouraged MDAs to continue adopting it along with the use of SLAs.
Inuwa said that NITDA, under its mandate to regulate the IT sector in Nigeria and in support of its development regulation pillar, always sought to ensure the efficient and effective delivery of IT products and services.
Inuwa said: “This is due more to the significant role that IT has played in this economy in recent years and the more critical need for the digital economy to provide much-needed support from the prevailing global economic downturn.
“It is in these times that we need to ensure that there is a viable enabling environment for the digital economy to thrive.
“This is not just about emerging technologies, but about ensuring industry players thrive in a mutually cohesive environment.”
The Director General recalled that at the recent Digital Conference in Nigeria, there were recommendations to break down the barriers that stifle innovation in the Digital Economy.
According to him, the Consumer Protection Forum is a platform to identify such barriers.
Source Credit: NAN