Minister of Communications, Mrs Omobola Johnson
By Emma Okonji
Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NIRA), the body managing Nigeria’s country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD), the dot ng domain name, is shocked at the slow rate at which Nigerians are registering domain names, despite campaigns by NIRA to create awareness.
President of NIRA, Mrs. Mary Uduma who made the disclosure in Abuja at the weekend, challenged the Chief Operating Officer of NIRA, Mr. Ope Odusan and the publicity committee of NIRA, headed by Mr. Remmy Nweke, to come up with more strategies that will help populate dot ng registration among Nigerians.
According to Uduma, NIRA has a target to grow the number of registrants of the dot ng domain name to 500, 000 by the end of the year, and she has mandated the COO and the publicity committee to meet up with the set target.
Confirming the orders of the President, Odusan told THISDAY that he was hopeful NIRA would meet and surpass the 500, 000 target by the end of the year, going by the rate at which the registration was going.
According to him, over 42, 000 domain names have so far been registered.
Disclosing the planned strategies that will enable NIRA meet up with the 500, 000 target, Odusan said the first step was to beef up its infrastructure base, and that NIRA had already called for Request For Quote (RFQ) from interested vendors, through the placement of adverts.
He explained that selected vendors would be contracted to rollout a strong infrastructure base for NIRA. Another step was the Switch to dot ng campaign, which he said would be launched in the six geopolitical zones, having been launched in Lagos last year. “We launched Switch to .ng campaign in Lagos last year, and our next launch is in Abuja. We planned having the launch in the six geopolitical zones, just to create awareness on dot ng domain name registration in the country,” Odusan said.
According to him, “NIRA is considering partnership with international bodies that are championing the promotion of web based products, to help increase the adoption of dot ng domiciled domain name.”
Another strategy is by direct marketing of dot.ng domain to corporate and individuals, which according to Odusan, has commenced with some level of achievements. He gave instances with THISDAY Newspapers and some corporate bodies that already have the second and third level domain names, with THISDAY having thisday.ng as a second level domain name.
He encouraged more corporate organisations to buy into the vision of dot ng domain name, and populate the Nigeria domain name, instead of populating foreign domain names like dot com, dot za, dot co.uk, among others.
Odusan listed the available second level domain names in Nigeria to include
com.ng ( open to Commercial entities and purposes); edu.ng ( Restricted to Higher and Further education and Reseach Institution); name.ng (open to Personal names); net.ng (restricted to Internet Services/Telecoms Providers' Infrastructure); org.ng (open to Non-For-Profit entities); sch.ng (restricted to Academic Institutions); gov.ng (restricted to National, Regional, and Local government bodies and Agencies); mil.ng (restricted to Military and related purposes) and the mobi.ng (open to mobile devices operators.
In technical parlance, the dot ng domain name is Nigeria’s identity in the cyberspace, which assigns an Internet Protocol (IP) address and number to a Nigeria. It is through the IP address that data could be sent from one point to another through the Internet in the cyberspace.