The Nigerian Government has asked public institutions to ensure that they include provisions for warranty, downtime, and after-sale support in their Service Level Agreements, (SLAs) to reduce cost incurred by government in the procurement of Information Technology products and service.
The Director General of National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa, stated this at the Consumer Protection Forum tagged “Review of the Guidelines for Introduction of SLA in Government Contracts.
The objectives of the Guideline which is in consonance with Section 6a, 17, 18(4) and 32 of the NITDA Act 2007 are to ensure that; IT projects in government are implemented and supported in a sustainable and timely manner; IT services to government are of consistent good quality and delivered in a way to enable government to get the best value for investment in technology and digital technology assets and investment of government are protected.
In his opening remarks, which was delivered on his behalf by the Director, Standards, Guideline and Framework, Mr. Oladejo Olawunmi, Inuwa stated that NITDA intends to commence the development of culture of compliance to SLAs when implementing government IT contracts adding that “the NITDA IT Clearance has proven to be a great cost cutter for the Federal Government.”
Describing the forum as a platform that brings the consumers and vendors of IT products and services together to address areas of challenges in IT service delivery, the NITDA boss noted that it will also create awareness on consumers’ rights on IT products and services to ensure efficient and effective service delivery.
He disclosed that the Consumer Protection Forum would serve as platform that identifies hinderances to digital economy growth in Nigeria.
“Two weeks ago, NITDA had a very successful international conference, the Digital Nigeria International Conference where the need to pull down barriers which stifle innovation in the Digital Economy was highly recommended. The Consumer Protection Forum is a platform to identify such barriers,” He recalled.
He added that, NITDA under its mandate always seeks to ensure the efficient and effective delivery of IT products and services due to the significant role IT has played on the country’s economy.
He also said that there is the need for a “viable enabling environment” for the Digital Economy to thrive, adding that it is not only enough to have innovations in the emerging technologies but to ensure that players in the industry thrive under a mutually cohesive environment.
The lead reviewer of the guideline, Mr Babatunde Bamigboye in a sideline interview explained that the guideline is to ensure sustainability of government IT projects and services among the Federal Public Institution.
He said the move would help the government to save cost.
“The SLAs means that government will not have to be spending money repeatedly on ICT. Once we have achieved one, we move on to the others.
“That is the ultimate goal and it would make our digital economy be built on something that is sustainable because if we are talking about the digital economy, the infrastructure should be on solid ground in terms of ICT and how can we get the solid infrastructure if we don’t have agreements or guidelines on how to get those infrastructures in place,” he stated.
He stated further that the SLAs supports the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy because it falls under Developmental Regulation Pillar and it would promote solid infrastructure and development of indigenous contents in IT.
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