NITDA, Stakeholders Begin Review Of SLA Guidelines

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A cross section of stakeholders during the Consumer Protection Forum in Abuja.

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) is currently engaging stakeholders on the review of its Service Level Agreement (SLA) guidelines into government Information Technology (IT) contracts.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of a two-day consumer protection forum 2022 today (November 8, 2022) in Abuja, the NITDA director-general, Mallam Kashifu Abdullahi, underscored the importance of reviewing the guidelines expected to usher in quality and uniform standard of service delivery from contractors.

“Today, we are addressing a critical issue which emanated from our past consumer protection forum and subsequent complaints within the industry. As a result, NITDA has developed a guideline for the introduction of service level agreements (SLA) in government information technology contracts. We intend to familiarise you with the guidelines today through our experienced resource persons and we believe this will mark the beginning of compliance to better service delivery in the sector. 

“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 and agreed that IT contracts in MDAs should, henceforth, have an SLA to make provisions for downtime, warranty and after-sales support,” he said. 

Represented by the agency’s director, standards, guidelines and framework, Oladeji Olawunmi, Abdullahi posited that the guideline will spur compliance by IT vendors to better service delivery and ensure the protection of consumer rights.

“We have here today officers in charge of procurement and finance from various MDAs and also companies registered as IT companies by NITDA and, together, we intend to commence to develop the culture of the use and compliance to SLAs when implementing government IT contracts. The NITDA IT clearance has proven to be a great cost cutter for the Federal Government and I wish to use this occasion to encourage MDAs to continue to embrace it, in conjunction with the use of SLAs,” he stated.

Speaking to journalists, the lead presenter, Barr. Babatunde Bamigboye explained that the programme was put together by NITDA in furtherance of its mandate to ensure that it develops the ICT sector in Nigeria to guarantee sustainability.

“So, the idea behind this is to bring stakeholders together and have a review of a guideline on service level agreements on government ICT projects such that those projects, when executed even from design and through implementation, are sustainable. That is the idea. So, everything we have in the guideline points towards sustainability.

“This means that government will not have to be spending money over and over again on ICT. Once you have achieved one, we move on to the other. That is the ultimate goal.

“Our digital economy should be built on something sustainable. If we are talking about the digital economy, the infrastructure should be solid in terms of ICT.  How can we get a solid infrastructure if we do not have agreements or guidelines on how to get that infrastructure in place? It is about supporting the national digital economy policy and strategy (NDEPS) and the pillars thereof that we must have a solid infrastructure, indigenous content development and all those developmental regulations. These are some of the things and part of this is developmental regulation which is the first pillar of NDEPS,” he added.

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