Nigeria’s Domain Name Registration Hits 74,293 in September


Emma Okonji

The Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA), the body managing the country’s domain name registration, is still struggling, through its registrars, to register Nigerians with the country’s online identity, the .ng domain name.

This is just as the country’s domain name registration moved up slightly by 3,236 in September this year, bringing the total number of registered domain names in the country to 74, 293 as at September 2016, according to the statistics released recently by NiRA.

President of NiRA, Mr. Sunday Folayan, in his monthly release, gave details of domain name registration for the months of August and September 2016. According to him, “Domain Name registrations and renewals at the registry have steadily increased on a monthly basis and year per year basis. The increase can of course be attributed to the hard work of the NiRA accredited registrars.”

The domain names registered and renewed in September 2016 was 4,915, which is more than twice the registration in September 2014, that was 2,370 and far more than the registration in September 2015, that was 3,322, Folayan said.

A breakdown of the figures, show that in August 2016, Nigeria recorded 3,007 domain name registrations with 1,567 renewals and 118 transfers, while in September 2016, Nigeria recorded 3,236 domain name registrations with 1,679 renewals and 43 transfers.

As at July 2016, the total number of .ng domain names registered in the country in the last 10 years, was 68,050, but with the additional registrations by the registrars in the months of August and September, which were 3,007 and 3,236 respectively, the total number of registered domain names in the county, currently stood at 74,293.

THISDAY, however, gathered that the reduction in the cost of registering domain name in the country like to N500 for end users, triggered the steady increase in domain name registration in the country. NiRA expects all Nigerians to register their names, using .ng domain name, instead of the yahoo, gmail and hotmail that most Nigerians registered with.
According to Folayan, the initiative to reduce the cost of domain name, was to populate the .ng domain name in Nigeria.

In technical parlance, domain name which could be country code Top Level Domain name (ccTLD) or generic top level domain (gTLD), is the identity of individuals and organisations in cyberspace. For anyone to have access to internet activities privately, the individual must register with a domain name that represents a country. For instance, Nigeria’s domain name in cyberspace must have the suffix .ng, Canada is .ca, South Africa is .za, United Kingdom is, among others.
The federal government had in the past, reiterated the need for Nigerians to identify with the country’s domain name, which is .ng, which NiRA is promoting in the country.

In order to further boost domain registration in the country, Folayan said: “NiRA has accredited 57 registrars, as of 11th October 2016. These registrars may have resellers, who use the platform of the NiRA accredited registrars for the registration of the .ng domain names.”
He however stressed that NiRA is not in the business of building websites or website hosting, using the country’s domain name, but that it is the duty of registrars to do so.

In a related development, Folayan also revealed in his monthly release that the contract between the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and the United States Department of Commerce National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), to perform the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions, officially ended on the 1st of October 2016.

According to him, the historic moment marks the transition of the coordination and management of the Internet’s unique identifiers to the private-sector, a process that has been committed to and underway since 1998.

ICANN Board Chair Stephen Crocker, said: “This transition was envisioned 18 years ago, yet it was the tireless work of the global Internet community, which drafted the final proposal, that made this a reality.” He assured the global internet users that there would be no change or difference in the experience of Internet users as a result of the steward transition.