The Nigerian Internet Registration Association, (NiRA) has said it is planning new strategies to beef-up the Country Code Top Level Domain name (ccTLD), the dot ng domain name.
Although the NiRA Board is yet to adopt the latest strategy, its Chief Operating Officer, Ope Odusan, told THISDAY in a chat that if adopted, it would drive registration of domain names in the country and populate it with over 50 percent increase.
The new strategy is to create multiple registries for domain name and position NiRA as a regulatory body that will control the activities of all registries, through guided principles and regulations that will govern domain name registration in the country.
Disclosing the planned strategy, Odusan said: “I am coming up with a proposal to change the way we do the business of dot ng. Some countries have more than one registry, and we in Nigeria could equally have multiple registry operators. A private company could take on dotcom.ng domain name and they will push and market that domain name such that they can employ registrars that will help them populate that domain name.
Another Private investor could be licensed to operate .org.ng and NiRA will be the regulator, just as we have it in the telecoms industry, with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) as the telecoms industry regulator.”
According to Odusan, the various registry operators would pay a fee to get the domain name and all the current registrars that would sell domains for the multiple registries.
“What we currently operate is a pattern where a single Registry which is NiRA and several Registrars are selling domain names for NiRA, and the pattern is slowing the entire process,” Odusan said.
He added that the new strategy would make it compulsory for registries to invest in the business, hire registrars and populate that segment of the domain name.
NiRA, which will act as a regulator, according to him, would sell the licence rights to the registries and regulate what the registries are doing, just the same way the NCC was structured, and the system would enable NiRA to be more involved in research and social responsibilities.
Since the creation of NiRA in 2008, it has devised several strategies to populate domain name in the country, but the responses appear too slow.
NiRA had over the years lamented the low response of Nigerians and corporate organisations as well as MDAs in registering their domain names, despite intense awareness creation carried out by NiRA since 2008.
According to Odusan, only about 40, 000 to 45,000 domain names were registered as at last three months, which is a far cry from the country’s population of over 160 million, but maintained that the figure kept increasing and changing because of new registrations and renewal of registered domain names.
Speaking on the benefits of domain name, Odusan said it would reduce internet traffic and cost of internet service.
Emails sent by a Nigeria to another Nigerian living in Nigeria will no longer travel to the UK or US where the server is being hosted, before delivering such mail to the recipient in Nigeria.
Local traffic will remain local and controlled locally.
Security wise, it enables the operators to know their customers and understand the kind of customers they are dealing with. The .ng domain name is Nigeria’s identity and mails Nigerian could be easily identified. If we register a dot gov.ng or dot org.ng domain names and there are issues along the line, we will quickly contact our registry that is in Nigeria, but if there are issues with dot com or dot co.uk, or a yahoo domain name, it becomes very difficult to reach the registry to lay any complaint, Odusan said.
In technical parlance, dot ng domain name is Nigeria’s identity in the cyberspace. Every country has its code name with which they are identified when sending electronic mails through cyberspace, via the internet. The cyberspace address of individuals or organisations in Nigeria carries the suffix dot ng.