Sunday-Afolayan
President of NiRA, Rev. Sunday Afolayan

Emma Okonji

The .ng domain name registration, the country code top level domain name (ccTLD), which is Nigeria’s identity in cyberspace, has recorded a quantum leap in the last two years, bringing the total number of active .ng domain name registrations in the country to 90,696 as at June this year.

A breakdown of the figure showed that third level domain name registration alone, recorded 74,177, while the second level domain name registration recorded 16,792, bringing it to a total of 90,969 active domain name registrations in the country.

The registration figures, which were released recently by the Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA), the body responsible for the management of Nigeria’s domain name, showed that Nigeria had more registrations in the last two years, following different strategies put in place by NiRA to populate the country’s domain name registration, which included reduction in the cost of second and third level domain name registration and the accreditation of more registrars for .ng domain name registration.

In technical parlance, domain name which could be 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 has the suffix .ng, Canada is .ca, South Africa is .za, United Kingdom is .co.uk, among others.

Commenting on the growth of domain name registration in Nigeria in the last two years, the President of NiRA, Rev. Sunday Afolayan, said: “Within June 2017, the country recorded 5,831 fresh domain name registrations. This figure is more than the June 2016 registrations of 4,453, and also far more than the June 2015 registrations of 3,301 for both fresh registrations and renewal of existing registrations.

“This is a remarkable improvement in the year to year comparison. The total number of active domain names is on the increase. By 30th June 2017, Nigeria recorded 90,969 active .ng domain names. We have also noted the increase in the number of applicants who wish to become NiRA Accredited Registrars,” Afolayan said.

According to the figures released by NiRA, the total domain name registrations were accumulation of fresh registration and renewal of existing domain names for the second and third level domain name registrations.
The figures showed that in June 2015, Nigeria had fresh registration of 2,087 and renewal of 1,214. In June 2016, Nigeria had 2,767 fresh registrations and 1,686 renewals. In June 2017, the country recorded 3,947 fresh registrations and 1,884 renewals.

Transfers of registered domain names in June 2015 were 54 in June 2016, it was 96 and in June 2017, it was 58.
As at April this year, Nigeria recorded 87,290 domain name registrations; in May this year, the number increased to 87,184 and as at June 30th this year, the figure rose to 90,969.

Aside reduction in the cost of domain name registration and the accreditation of more registrars in order to populate domain name registration in the country, Afolayan said NiRA Academy also set up an Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) laboratory with African Network Information Center (AFRINIC) at NiRA office complex, designed to improve on the infrastructure for doing business, using the .ng domain name.

Another strategy to populate the .ng domain name is the 2nd edition of the NiRA .ng Awards, which further appreciated excellence and innovation for those online using .ng domain names, Afolayan said.