Tag Archives: Nigeria

Nigerian Government Hands .NG Reins to NIRA As Growth Continues

Nigeria’s National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has handed over administration of the country’s top-level domain to the Nigerian Internet Registration Association (NiRA) as registrations went past 138,000 in April.

NiRA has managed .ng for some years now, with the government overseeing their role. But now the Nigerian government has taken a hands off approach using what is accepted as best practice globally.

“In line with global best practice, where the country top level domain in every country is not directly managed by the government, but by multi-stakeholder bodies’ setup by the government, NITDA has delegated the management responsibilities of the .ng string in Nigeria to NiRA,” NITDA Director General, Mr Isa Pantami, said at the at the recent Presentation of the Reviewed. “The government then plays a supervisory role in the administration of the domains”.

It comes as in recent years NiRA has been implementing growth strategies that are gradually paying off. In April 2019 NiRA held a .ng Resellers Entrepreneurship Programme (REP) that aimed to develop and train entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs in the Domain Name Industry. NIRA has begun an accreditation process that has seen 29 registrars accredited to date, most of whom are Nigerian companies, as a step in improving the registration process with an automation programme in progress. Registrars are categorised into Platinum, Gold, Silver and Standard categories.

There was also a 3-day intensive workshop on Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC). There is also the .ng Awards, for which nominations have now closed, that seeks to recognise and acknowledge those who are contributing to the growth of .ng and promotion of the DNS Industry.

The Nigerian government has also been undertaking several initiatives to push government agencies to use the country’s ccTLD so government can be seen to be leading by example. There are currently 2,274 are .gov.ng domain names and 278 .mil.ng.

“This means that 418 new domains were registered between November 2016 and April 2019, which signifies a percentage increase of 18.3%,” according to Pantami. “This can be attributed to the various drives embarked upon by the agency at ensuring the adoption of the .gov.ng and  the .mil.ng.”

“Responses to request is now faster as it takes an average of 2 hours to acquire a .gov.ng or .mil.ng domain. With a 24hrs helpline where their technical team can offer assistance on issues relating to domain name service.”

Total registrations have grown from 101,805 at the end of December 2017 and 131,100 at the end of December 2018 to 138,060 at the end of April.

As .NG Passes 100,000 Registrations, Calls For Nigerians To Use Local Hosting Services

NiRA_NG_logoDomain name registrations for the Nigerian ccTLD passed the 100,000 mark in 2017 with growth consistently over 75% year-on-year. Now the Nigerian registry, NiRA, has its focus on the one million registrations mark.

But despite this consistent growth on the back of promotions being run within Nigeria, the Nigerian government isn’t happy that many registrants are using hosting services outside the country. On 4 December 2017, the Management of National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) advised Nigeria’s Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) as well as private sector organisations on the need for them to patronise Nigerian Data Centres.

The rate of adoption and utilisation of ICT in both the public and private sectors of the economy makes hosting data and information inevitable. The Management of NITDA had noted the current practices of both public and private sector organisations hosting data offshore, despite Nigeria having highly reliable Tier III Data Centres, certified by various international organisations and guaranteeing almost 100% availability as well as multiple layers of security. Members of the public are to note that hosting data locally guarantees reduction in cost and capital flight, digital job creation, increased security, and increase in tax revenues thereby boosting the local economy.

Quoting Section 14.1 of the Guidelines for Nigerian Content Development in ICT, NITDA pointed out that it is mandatory for Data and Information Management Firms to “host government data locally within the country and shall not for any reason host any government data outside the country without an express approval from NITDA”. The audience was informed that NITDA is working with local data hosting firms to set appropriate service level requirements and standards for data service provisioning. The Office for Nigerian Content Development in ICT (ONC), NITDA’s Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), has been restructured and charged with the responsibility of developing, promoting and monitoring indigenous ICT adoption and utilisation. In addition, adequate measures have been put in place to facilitate full compliance with these guidelines.

Kenya to Host ICANN’s African Regional Engagement Office

ICANN logoICANN has launched its first African regional engagement office in Nairobi. ICANN made the announcement today (24/5) at a press briefing during bilateral engagements with the ICT Cabinet Secretary, Mr. Joe Mucheru. Tarek Kamel, Senior Advisor to the President and Senior Vice President, Government and IGOs Engagement, Sally Costerton, Senior Advisor to The President & Senior Vice President, Global Stakeholder Engagement, and Pierre Dandjinou, VP Global Stakeholder Engagement for Africa were present at the briefing. The office located on 17th Floor of ICEA building will be officially unveiled at an event at the Intercontinental Hotel later in the evening, with various industry stakeholders present to witness the momentous occasion.

The move by ICANN to select Kenya as its African home is a stamp of approval to Kenya’s increasingly important role in the Internet ecosystem. The regional presence will further deepen ICANN‘s engagement with African Governments as well as the private sector players.

Statistics by Communications Authority estimate that Kenya’s mobile phone penetration stands at over 88% while Internet penetration stands at 82.6%, reaching about 35.5 million people making Kenya among the most connected population in the world. Kenya also boasts one of the most active online populations on the continent with users increasing every day. The growing reach of the Internet coupled with the rapid spread of mobile phones and the wide diffusion of social media have immensely contributed to Kenya’s socio-economic development growth.

ICANN is a not-for-profit public-benefit corporation with participants from all over the world dedicated to keeping the Internet secure, stable and interoperable. It promotes competition and develops policy on Internet. Through its coordination role of the Internet’s naming system, it does have an important impact on the global expansion and evolution of the Internet.

Addressing the media at a joint press briefing, ICT Cabinet Secretary Mr. Joe Mucheru, said that the government of Kenya recognizes and supports the efforts made by ICANN in ensuring the growth and development of Internet.

“Kenya has continued to work with regional bodies towards the growth of the Internet use in Africa and we are glad to have ICANN make Nairobi its first engagement office location for Africa. We believe that collaboration with ICANN will encourage investors in ICT to provide services from the Kenyan cyberspace through the hosting of root servers, Data centers, cloud services among others.” Mr. Mucheru said.

Communications Authority of Kenya chairman Mr.Ngene Gituku said ICANN‘s regional presence in Africa and its choice of Kenya is a big boost to the ICT sector and further reasserts Kenya’s position as an ICT powerhouse.

“As a regulator of the industry we are delighted that Kenya has been chosen to take a front row seat in matters of Internet policy. We are also glad that stakeholders across Africa will congregate here to help set and drive the ICT agenda for the continent. I therefore call upon the various actors in this space to join hands so that our synergies can lead to a better, safer ICT sector in Kenya and Africa at large,” said Mr. Gituku.

“We are excited about this new phase for ICANN in Africa with the opening of our first engagement office in the region, here in Nairobi. Moreover, we are very thankful to the Kenyan Government and the community for their amazing support. Over the past three years, there has been much effort, dedication and goodwill from the community and ICANN staff in the implementation of the Africa Strategy,” said Sally Costerton, Senior Advisor to The President & Senior Vice President, Global Stakeholder Engagement. “In March this year, during ICANN55 in Morocco, the ICANN board of directors and senior leadership announced the opening of the first ICANN engagement office in Africa. This is an important moment for us, as we increase our institutional engagement and outreach in Africa, to better serve the region.”

ICANN follows a multi-stakeholder model in which individuals; non-commercial stakeholder groups, industry, and governments play important roles in its community-based, consensus-driven, internet policy-making approach. Its headquarters is based in Los Angeles, California USA, with two operational hubs in Istanbul, Turkey and Singapore. In addition to engagement offices in Beijing, Brussels, Geneva, Montevideo, Seoul, Washington, D.C and today Nairobi, Kenya to afford wider reach and accessibility.

This ICANN announcement was sourced from:

Daily Wrap: M+M Takes Control of .BOSTON, .NG Grows in 2015 and Top December Keywords For .COM and .NET

Minds + Machines logoThe .boston gTLD has changed hands, with Minds + Machines, which currently operates 24 gTLDs that have gone live including .work, .london and .beer, taking a 99 percent interest in Boston TLD Management LLC, the owner of rights to the .boston gTLD, and the agreement of its subsidiary, Minds + Machines Limited, to act as the Registry Service Provider.

Minds + Machines provides backend registry services for an additional four gTLDs including .bayern.

“Over the last five years MMX has worked hard to establish itself as the owner/operator of choice for cities and municipalities on geo TLDs. We intend to continue growing this part of our portfolio as relevant opportunities emerge,” said Antony Van Couvering, CEO of Minds + Machines.

“We look forward to working with BTM, Boston Globe Media, the City of Boston and our distribution partners to ensure the successful launch of .boston later this year, which we believe will become a major digital asset to the City of Boston, its businesses and communities.”

The Nigerian ccTLD is growing, albeit more slowly than most. During 2015 the Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NIRA) said a total of 22,113 new .ng domains were registered, an increase of 3,240 on 2014 with 14,462 renewed.

Verisign have released the top ten trending keywords in .com and .net for December 2015. For .com the top ten keywords had a heavy Chinese influence. They were clinic, fund, wang, lice, cai, fang, dai, lian, jin and traffic. For .net there was also a Chinese influence, but not as strong. The top ten .net keywords were porn, pure, perfect, parts, stem, zhai, edit, fang, dairy and tshirts.

Domain Names and Cybersquatting as Deadly Threats to Trade Marks: Any Remedy Under the Nigerian Law? by Afolake Obawunmi, Joseph Onele & Alade Temidayo

Social Science Research Network logoAbstract: Although the process for registering domain names is a separate one from trademark registration, many countries have reached the conclusion that there is a strong need to take precautionary measures to prevent conflicts between trademarks and use of domain names. However, since the advent of the internet and the birth of domain names, Nigeria has failed to adapt its trademarks protection framework to the exigent demands of participating in the network of computers on the World Wide Web.

This paper examines the concept of trademark infringement, cyber-squatting and the use of domain names, as well as considers the appropriateness of an action for trademark infringement or passing off in the event of a dispute arising from use of domain names. The paper also makes a bold attempt at imploring the judiciary to join the moving train in the fight against trademark infringement even as technology advances.

This paper is available to download in full from the Social Science Research Network website at:

NiRA Aiming To Boost .NG Registrations Among Nigerians Giving Away 100,000 Domains

NiRA Proud To Be A Nigerian logoThere is currently a push underway to boost Nigerian’s use of their .ng ccTLD. Currently there are around 60,000 registrations, the Nigerian newspaper This Day reported. This is remarkably low given the country has 174.5 million people.

In a move to help boost registrations, the .ng registry, the Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA) has said it will give out 100, 000 free domain names to interested Nigerians in 2014 as part of its plan to celebrate the nation’s 100 years centenary anniversary, This Day reported.

NiRA has set up a working committee to examine ways to boost registrations. The President of NiRA, Mary Uduma, said the initiative was borne out of desire to promote the use of the .ng domain name by Nigerians.

The committee is to pass on its recommendations on boosting registrations to the Ministry of Communications Technology by February

While assessing the adoption of .ng domain name in the country so far, the NiRA President said, “in 2009 we had less than 2,000 domain names but now we have about 60, 000 registered domain names.”

Uduma also “called on registrars to take advantage of the opportunity to offer free domain name hosting which they will give to their registrants,” This Day continued. “This she stressed will open doors of loyalty between them and their registrants.”

.NG Booms On Reduced Prices But Still Outrageously Overpriced

NIRA logoRegistrations for Nigeria’s country code top level domain (ccTLD), .NG, have boomed compared to previous registration statistics following a dramatic cutting in the registration fee. But the ccTLD, along with many others, is still saddled with overpriced registration fees.

Today registrations have passed the 30,000 mark, up from around 9000 in 2011 with a reduction in the fees from ₦500,000 ($3170) to “just” ₦15, 000 ($95).

While the reductions are laudable, one has to ask how any TLD can justify such a high price? Especially in a developing country with a population of 174.5 million and a gross domestic product of $2700 (coming 180th out of 229 countries and territories according to the CIA Factbook). This compares to the United States with a GDP of $49,800 and .com domains easily available for $10 to $20.

Speaking at the fifth Annual General Meeting of the Nigerian Internet Registration Association (NiRA), Mr. Ope Odusan, the organisation’s Chief Operating Officer, is reported to have said:
“It’s ironical that the foreigners who many often say are not always ready to do business with any business with .ng domain constitute the largest owners of the .ng domain names.”

Odusan is also reported to have said “only 32 .ng domain names were sold in three years, and 30 out of the 32, were bought by foreigners doing business outside Nigeria, while only two were bought by Nigerian residents, THISDAY Newspapers and MTN Nigeria,” according to a This Day report.

Well, it’s hardly surprising. Not many Nigerians would be in a position to afford a .ng domain name and were they intending to, it is much cheaper for them to register a .com domain.

But in part NiRA recognises that the high costs contribute to registrations, with Odusan saying that as part of measures to increase the usage of .ng, NiRA ‘crashed’ the cost according to Nigeria’s National Mirror. But this reduction still makes .ng domains unaffordable to a large proportion of Nigerians.

Google And NiRA Aiming For 250,00 Nigerians To Use .NG

Switch to NG logoThe Nigerian government is promoting the .NG ccTLD, encouraging the public and businesses to “switch to .NG.”

The campaign has several aims and objectives, all with the goal of encouraging more registrations of .NG domain names by Nigerians.

The campaign has the support of Google in Nigeria who are helping to promote .NG to small to medium enterprises, and in partnership with Google, MTN Business and Ecobank the campaign aims to get 250,000 public, private and individual entities using .NG domains by 2013.

The goals and objectives of the Switchto.ng campaign are to:

  • educate the public on the existence of .NG
  • provide a forum for government ministries, departments and agencies to understand the policies and procedures for registration of .gov.ng domains
  • give NiRA accredited registrars information to help them promote .NG
  • promote the use of .NG domains across the six geo-political zones of Nigeria
  • provide awareness of cybersecurity and scams.

More information on the Switch To .NG campaign is available from www.switchto.ng.

.NG Targets Half Million Registrations By End 2012 From 42,000 Now

NIRA logoBuilding on its low base of domains under management of 42,000, the Nigerian ccTLD is targeting 500,000 registrations by the end of 2012.

The Nigeria Internet Registration Association has recently improved its infrastructure, Ope Odusan NIRA’s Chief Operating Officer recently said, and the organisation has been collaborating with some national and international organisations to increase .NG’s usage, reports Nigeria’s National Mirror.

To improve local registrations, the president of NIRA, Mary Uduma challenged Odusan and the publicity committee of NIRA to come up with more strategies that will help increase .NG registrations among Nigerians, according to another report in This Day.

NIRA is also targeting direct marketing to corporates and individuals, which according to Odusan, has commenced with some level of achievement.

Nigeria Promotes .NG As Domain Of Choice For Nigerians

The Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NIRA), registry for the .NG ccTLD, in collaboration with the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), have held a joint NITDA/NIRA Workshop to galvanise a general adoption of .NG as the domain name of choice, particularly among Nigerians.

The government has become interested in promoting the country’s ccTLD due to the realisation it could contribute over N250 million ($1.6m) to government coffers yearly, according to a report in the local Guardian newspaper.

In a chat with The Guardian, the President of NiRA, Mrs. Mary Uduma, said the growth in .NG registrations both locally and internationally will have the same effect on the economy as the mobile explosion, in that ancillary jobs would be created in advertisement, web designing and hosting, there would be foreign exchange earnings from sale of .NG domain names to foreigners.

Uduma, who linked low adoption in Nigeria to lack of awareness of the domain name business, hinted to The Guardian that the .NG domain name is accepted anywhere in the world and it is Nigeria’s unique identity in the cyberspace, adding that, there are no issues, save for Nigerians to embrace and own .NG as the preferred brand in domain name registration, as well as a critical resource for the nation.

The registry and government are trying to entice Nigerians, including the government, to use .NG as their preferred TLD instead of the predominance of the adoption of .COM and CO.UK.

The Switchto.ng Campaign is an affirmative action on the value of .NG, and why the Nigerian government, Ministries, Departments and Agencies should adopt the Nigerian identity.  It is a call to Nigerian institutions, industries, SMES, individuals to switch to .NG.