Emma Okonji

The Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA), the organisation that is charged with the management of Nigeria’s country code Top Level Domain Name (.ng ccTLD), has come up with new strategies that will further grow the country’s domain name, which is .ng domain name, the country’s identity in cyberspace.

Listing the new strategies in Lagos on Tuesday, the President of NiRA, Rev. Sunday Folayan said NiRA would, among other strategies, recognise Nigerians and award them for promoting .ng with their business names.

Other strategies, were the signing of Memorandum of Understanding between NiRA and the Kenya Network Information Centre (KeNIC), the managers of Kenya’s domain name, called .ke ccTLD, and also the signing of another Memorandum of Understanding between NiRA and the African Network Information Centre (AFRINIC). Both pacts are meant to create more awareness of on .ng domain name and increase its current registration that is less than 100,000 across all registrars.

The .ng domain name is a critical national resource and Nigeria’s unique identity in the cyberspace.
According to the Chief Operating Officer of NiRA, Mrs. Edith Udeagu, the awards aim to showcase Nigerian businesses, individuals, charity, public and private sector organisations that have helped to make the internet a more secure, open, accessible and rewarding experience for all.

“NiRA acknowledges the great work being done out there and desire people to know, talk about it, engage with it and put it into the spotlight,” Folayan said. He listed criteria for the awards to include outstanding online presence, companies; organisation and individual must have registered and active online with .ng domain names; domain name must have been registered for more than six months; and the website associated with the domain name must be active on the internet.

The nomination for the .ng domain name awards by the general public commenced by January 31, and will run through till February 14, while voting commences February 20 and closes April 3.
The different memorandum signed by NiRA, are expected to also raise the consciousness of people over .ng domain name. The Dean of NiRA, Mr. Sikiru Shehu signed on behalf of NiRA, while the Chief Executive Officer of AFRINIC, Mr. Alan Barrett signed on behalf of AFRINIC. The memorandum seeks to train Nigerian engineers in Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6), which provides the opportunity for Nigeria to increase the number of internationally recognised and skilled IPv6 engineers, following the pattern established by AFRINIC.

The President of NiRA signed the memorandum between it and KeNIC, while the Chief Executive Officer of KeNIC signed for Kenya body. The memorandum specifies the mutual rights and obligations of the parties to foster a working registry relationship to enable accredited registrars under both registries to provide registrar services and associated services for prospective applicants and registrants.