The Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NIRA), managers of the country’s .ng Internet domain name, has set out an ambitious plan to surpass the one million mark record of South Africa’s .za name space.
Nigeria currently has less than 100,000 .ng domains while South Africa has over one million domains, a feat that took the country over 20 years to achieve.
Mrs Mary Uduma, ex-President of NIRA, believes that Nigeria will surpass the one million mark of the South African country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD), the .za, “in the next few years.”
The current push by the NiRA to get more Nigerians to use the .ng domains will definitely yield positive result, Uduma told attendees Saturday at the NIRA .ng Web Awards and 10th Anniversary Dinner held at the Oriental Hotel in Victoria Island, Lagos.
”We will surpass South Africa because we are the giant of Africa”, Uduma said while receiving a NIRA Presidential Special Recognition Award for her contributions to the growth of the .ng domain name system.
According to her, ”Nigerians should be patriotic enough to patronise whatever is Nigerian to spur the economy and even create more jobs, especially in the Domain Name System (DNS) industry.”
She further urged Nigerians to embrace .ng to assist in boosting the economy and creating more jobs for the youth and cutting down on capital flight.
On his part, Reverend Sunday Folayan President of NIRA expressed his happiness to establish the .ng Web Award noting that the recognitions strive to expose all to the opportunities in the booming DNS industry.
”Today we are honoring the best within the .ng community through that cuts across the globe. The DNS industry is a revenue generator with business opportunities”, the NIRA President said.
NIRA believes that using the .ng brand enhances Nigeria’s local content and provides visibility of local business products and services on the global Internet.
“We get to project our culture heritage and NIRA is happy to be numbered amongst those highlighting and providing job opportunities to and for our youths” Folayan told attendees at the event that attracted a cross section of youth groups and personalities from industry and government.
“We must create jobs, distribute wealth and grow our economy. Nigeria youths must take advantage of the abundant opportunities to be employers of labour and not white collar job seekers. There are many honest business opportunities such as app developers, content developers, website designers, .ng re sellers” Folayan added.
Dr Vincent Olatunji, Acting DG of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), in his goodwill message to the event, appealled to the leadership of NIRA to come up with policies that will encourage and boost the uptake of .ng in Nigeria.
The Acting D-G, represented by Mr Olayinka Adejube, a Director of South-West Zonal Office at NITDA, pledged the continued support of the Federal Government to NIRA in its push to promote .ng in Nigeria.
According to him, ”the government will continue to support NIRA in taking the association to the next level.”
Mr Shina Badaru, a member of Board of Trustee of NIRA, in his goodwill message said that the .ng domain name has now become an investment that inspires confidence among the Internet community.
Badaru also recognized some of the key players in the local DNS industry including Reverend Sunday Afolayan, President of NIRA and Mrs Ibukun Odusote, the first administrative contact person for the .ng domain name, for their pioneering initiatives that have fostered growth among the Nigerian Internet community.
”We are here tonight to celebrate the Oscars of the Nigerian Internet community”, he said about the award event that had two sets of awards: the first was the .ng Web Awards and the second, the Presidential awards.
Badaru, who is also the Chairman of the NIRA .ng Web Awards Jury said that the award criteria adopted for the 2016 .ng Web Award was the nominated organisations must be doing business with a .ng domain name either at the second level or third level.
He noted that for the 2016 .ng web award, all qualifying websites were considered irrespective of whether they are hosted locally or not
”Winners for each category were determined through online voting and decisions of a Competent Award Jury selected based on their relevant expertise and industry experience”, he adds.
The awards and the winners of the NIRA .ng Web Awards 2016 include:
- 1.Technology company of the year – google.com.ng (Google)
- 2.Most innovative web company – jumia.com.ng(Jumia)
- 3.Best banking portal- fidelitybank.ng(Fidelity Bank PLC)
- 4.Best Educational Institution Website/portal -unilg.edu.ng(University of Lagos)
- 5.Technology Startup company of the year-eazyhire.com.ng (Eazyhire)
- 6.Best Hosting company-galaxybackbone.com.ng (Galaxybackbone)
- 7..ng Media award-guardian.ng (The Guardian)
- 8.Most valuable youth organization-nacoss.org.ng(National Association of Computer Science Students)
- 9.Public sector star website award- jamb.org.ng(Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board)
- 10.Best State Government- lagosstate.gov.ng(Lagos State)
The other set of awards were given by NIRA President to organisations and individuals that have been committed to the development of the ICT industry in Nigeria.
Uduma, immediate past President of NIRA received the special recognition award for her contributions to the growth of the .ng domain name ecosystem.
Another recipient, was Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata Jnr. (CFA), Presenter, Tech Trends on Channels TV and Founder, Techsmart.ng, who received the NiRA Presidential Award for Youth Development, an award that recognizes and encourages youths with a combination of the best .ng website, best online local content and best use of ICT.
Also Dr. Wunmi Hassan, who was recognized for her role in the advancement of women in technology.
Also at the event cash prizes were given to winners of the NIRA social media competition.