By Olubunmi Adeniyi
Lagos. December 4, 2012: The Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NIRA) has set a target of 100,000 uptakes by the Q2 2013 for .ng, the internet domain name for the country.
Over the last few years the Nigerian country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) name has continued to witness growing interest from individuals, businesses and organisations in the public and private sectors.
Mary Uduma, President, NIRA disclosed this today in Lagos at the 2012 edition of the NIRA Registrar Forum, while outlining plans to boost growth in the domain name business in the country.
NIRA manages the Nigeria’s identity in cyberspace and its associated sub-level domain names and ensures cost-effective administration of the .ng ccTLD.
According to Uduma, NIRA’s accredited registrars have so far registered over 26,000 .ng domain names.
In order to achieve the set target, NIRA is encouraging the registry to come up with sound strategies that will help boost the Nigeria’s identity on the internet.
On NIRA’s part, Uduma says, “we are opening up second level domain name that is why we are encouraging the registrars to come-up with creative names and those creative names we ready to do it on second level, not just the .com.ng.”
Uduma says that, “we have a very good brand; .ng is one of the best brand in the market. It is the only identity we have on the cyberspace.”
NIRA also has the full support of the Federal Government through National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), the nation’s IT Policy implementing agency.
Also at the forum, Ope Odusan, Chief Operating Officer, NIRA, hints that the association will be organizing Internet Content Producer workshop in February 2013 to encourage local content development in the country and to improve ease of access to .ng registry.
Odusan said that NIRA will be having the workshop in collaboration with the Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria (IXPN).
Biyi Oladipo, a member of the NIRA Executive Board, who also stresses the need for the registrars to develop local contents on the internet notes that “people will not use your domain unless you have contents they want. It is a way of helping our economy to drive it own growth.”
Under the NIRA plans for the Internet Content Producers event billed to hold next year, Odusan, had earlier noted that people go to the social media because of content.
According to him, “content is the driving force. This is not to say that technology is not important.”
NIRA says that the planned workshop is conceived around reaching out to the content producer and that is anyone who creates digital content using basic tools.
This would include journalists, movie producers, bloggers, banks, Registrars; among others within the content creation ecosystem.
A workshop like this, according to Odusan, will help reach those people who create content.
At the inaugural meeting of the Organising Committee for the event, it was unveiled that the ICP workshop has the set goals of:
· Reaching anyone that creates graphics, text, audio or video
· Correcting the erroneous perception that .ng has only a local reach, and is difficult.
· Helping Nigerian youths channel their energy to positive and profitable online activities
· Promoting a pattern where Nigerian internet users will upload much more content on the internet, and download less.
Odusan says that overriding objective is to domicile content generated in Nigeria locally.
Giving further insight into the programme, the convener clarified that the event is not a “talk shop”, and that although it is meant to showcase .ng, it is not an exclusively NIRA event.
This, he noted, has informed the formation of an LOC for the Workshop with membership drawn from various segments of internet content producers.
While applauding the objective of the Workshop at the inaugural meeting of the LOC, Muhammed Rudman, CEO, Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria (IXPN), notes that the initiative would help set Nigeria on a right course, and free her from the present internet consumerist culture.
He observes that Nigeria faces triple jeopardy of not generating content; of capital flight emanating from hosting our content in servers located outside the country and the associated security risks.
Rudman cites examples of nations such as Germany which has no landing fibre on its shores and the EU which is putting the right policies in place in order to generate C60 billion into their economy through cloud computing, as the way to go.
The planned Internet Content Producers Workshop share the vision of the Internet Society of Nigeria (ISOC) to reverse the present content hosting ratio in Africa of 80:20 where 80 per cent of African content is currently hosted outside, and 20 per cent is hosted locally, NIRA says.