Mr. Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, Director-General of NITDA

Consumer Protection: NITDA introduces warranty, after-sales support for IT project clearance procedures

*Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, Director-General, National Information Technology Development Agency, explains the consumer forum is designed to bring the customers and vendors of Information Technology products and services together to create awareness of IT products and services, address industry challenges for enhanced service delivery

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

In line with the Nigeria Digital Economy programme of the Federal Government, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has activated  provisions for downtime, warranty, and after-sales support in its Service Level Agreements (SLAs) for Information Technology (IT) projects clearance for Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

Mr. Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, Director-General of NITDA, disclosed this development at a two-day Consumer Protection Forum in Abuja, FCT.

ConsumerConnect learnt the NITDA Director-General stated that clearance of IT projects by the government MDAs had saved the Federal Government a huge fund.

The forum was expected to review the guidelines for the Introduction of SLAs in Government IT contracts in the country.

Inuwa also noted that 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 on the occasion by Mr. Deji Olawunmi, Director of Standard Guidelines and Framework at NITDA, Inuwa said that the regulatory agency had activated the adoption of a new approach of resolving specific issues affecting the sector, agency report said.

He stated: “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.”

The Director-General also noted: “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.”

The NITDA Chief assured the stakeholders the agency would keep developing the culture of the use and compliance with SLAs when implementing government IT contracts in Nigeria.

According to him, IT projects clearance has proved to be a great cost-cutter for the Federal Government.

He, therefore, encouraged MDAs to continue to embrace it in conjunction with the use of SLAs in the country.

Inuwa further 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.

“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,” stated the Director-General.

Inuwa said: “This is not just by having innovations in emerging technologies, but ensuring players in the industry thrive under a mutually cohesive environment.”

He recalled at the recent Digital Nigeria Conference, there were recommendations to pull down barriers which appeared to have hindered  innovations in the Digital Economy.

The Consumer Protection Forum is a platform to identify such barriers, stated he.

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