The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has made provisions for downtime, warranty and after sales support in its Service Level Agreements (SLAs) for IT projects clearance for Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government.
Mr Kashifu Inuwa, Director-General of NITDA, while speaking on Tuesday at a two-day Consumer Protection Forum in Abuja, said clearance of IT projects by MDAs had proven to be a huge cost cutter for the Federal Government.
The forum also was to review the guidelines for the Introduction of Service Level Agreements (SLAs) in Government IT contracts.
The forum is a platform through which NITDA seeks to bring the consumers and vendors of IT products and services together to address areas of challenges, creation of awareness on IT products and services for enhanced service delivery.
Represented by Mr Deji Olawunmi, the Director, Standard Guidelines and Framework, Inuwa stated that the agency was beginning to adopt a new approach of resolving specific issues that affect the sector.
“Today, we are addressing a critical issue which emanated from our past consumer protection forum and subsequent complaints within the industry.
“As a result of that, NITDA has developed a guideline for the introduction of Service Level Agreements (SLA) in Government Information Technology Contracts.
“We previously identified that the lack of warranty and after sales service agreements on our IT products and service purchases have cost us so much.
“We agreed that IT contracts in MDAs should henceforth have an SLA to make provisions for downtime, warranty and after sales support,” he said.
Inuwa further said that the agency would keep developing the culture of the use and compliance to SLAs when implementing government IT contracts.
The D-G added that IT projects clearance had proven to be a great cost cutter for the Federal Government and further encouraged MDAs to continue to embrace it in conjunction with the use of SLAs.
Inuwa said that NITDA, under its mandate of regulation of the IT sector in Nigeria and in furtherance of its Developmental Regulation pillar, was always seeking to ensure the efficient and effective delivery of IT products and services.
Inuwa said: “This is more so because of the significant role IT has played in this economy in recent years and the more critical need for the Digital Economy to provide the much needed succour from the prevailing global economic downturn.
“These times are when we need to ensure that there is a viable enabling environment for the Digital Economy to thrive.
“This is not just by having innovations in emerging technologies, but ensuring players in the industry thrive under a mutually cohesive environment.”
The D-G recalled that at the recent Digital Nigeria Conference, there were recommendations to pull down barriers which stifled innovation in the Digital Economy.
According to him, the Consumer Protection Forum is a platform to identify such barriers. (NAN)