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The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has advised Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), to avoid using the services of unregistered companies on Information Technology (IT) projects.

Kasim Sodangi, National Coordinator, Office for Nigerian Content Development (ONC), on Information Communication Technology (ICT), gave this advice in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja.

Mr Sodangi explained that heeding the advice would ensure better implementation of the 2018 budget.

He said NITDA was poised to ensuring the promotion of the development of indigenous IT in the country through the validation of the Executive Orders 003 and 005 of the Federal Government, which sought to promote local content.

The coordinator recalled that the agency had earlier in the year issued a framework for the registration of indigenous IT service providers and contractors in the country, which would serve as a guide to projects implementation.

According to him, MDAs engaging certified and registered companies by NITDA will ensure quality service delivery of IT projects.

“The process of engaging indigenous IT service providers and contractors is designed to ensure that local companies with proven indigenous capability are given priority in executing IT procurement jobs in Nigeria.

“NITDA, therefore, directs all indigenous IT service providers and contractors not yet registered with the agency to immediately commence their registration process for verification and classification of capacity as IT companies in Nigeria.

“In implementing the 2018 budget, NITDA will advise MDAs to avoid implementing IT procurement with companies not registered with NITDA, as they may not have the capacity or professionalism to deliver IT projects.

“This is to reduce the high incidence of failure and poor delivery of IT projects in Nigeria,” he said.

Mr Sodangi said the agency was currently amending the guidelines for Nigerian Content Development in ICT of 2013 to further enable the agency to accomplish its mandate.

He said the 2013 Guidelines for Nigerian content development in ICT as a coherent framework for ICT development in the country saw to the establishment of the ONC.

He added that the ONC was mandated to coordinate the implementation of the programmes and supervise compliance to the guidelines.

According to him, the review will ensure ease of doing business and give priority to indigenous registered IT companies.

He said they were working with stakeholders to review the guidelines, adding that the agency would issue the amended guidelines before the end of the third quarter of 2018.

Mr Sodangi said that the ONC had issued series of notices and had intervened in ensuring that the guidelines were enforced.

“The ONC has ensured that data hosted by MDAs outside Nigeria is repatriated to Nigerian Data Centres in line with the provisions of the guidelines.

“NITDA is also utilising various instruments within its operations to ensure implementation of its guidelines and ensure local content policy implementation.”

He added that NITDA had directed strict compliance with the guidelines through the IT project clearance process.

Mr Sodangi further said that MDAs implementing IT procurement projects were compelled to disclose project alignment with government’s local content policy and comply with all extant regulations.

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