Nigeria loses N300 million annually to foreign Internet domain names, NIRA says
By Olubunmi Adeniyi
Lagos. April 16, 2013: The Nigerian economy loses over N300 million annually in capital flight to foreign countries due to the low adoption of the country’s DotNG Internet name, the local managers have said.
The DotNG domain name which is Nigeria’s Internet country code top-level domain (ccTLD) is managed by the Nigeria Internet Registration Association of Nigeria (NiRA) which is pushing uptake of the online resource.
Ope Odusan, Chief Operating Officer, Nigeria Internet Registration Association of Nigeria (NiRA), disclosed this yesterday while speaking ahead of a two-day forum on Local Internet Content hoped to promote the DotNG among the local content developer ecosystem.
The forum tagged “Sustaining Local Internet Content, The Way Forward for Nigeria” is organised by the Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria (IXPN) in partnership NIRA. The forum is hoped to galvanise a renewed push for local players in the Nigerian local content ecosystem and comes up at The MUSON Centre in Onikan, Lagos on April 25-26, this year.
Odusan says that Nigeria loses an average of N600million to the use of foreign domain names yearly noting that when you estimate the “.net, .org, .com, and combine all the domain names registered by foreign registrars is over 3000, multiply by 1000 renewal fee yearly, cost Nigeria’s economy an annual capital flight of over N300 million.”
He is not alone as Muhammed Rudman, Chief Executive Officer of the Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria (IXPN) also laments the capital flight caused by the use of such foreign domain names for websites operated from Nigeria.
Rudman said that though the DotNG is Nigeria’s unique identity on the domain name space, yet there is predominant adoption of .com and .co.uk due to some misconceptions about the country’s unique identity on the Internet.
According to Rudman, it is high time that the general public shifted from that awareness to proffer timely solution to this issue.
According to him, IXPN embodies the physical network infrastructure that allows Internet Service Providers (ISPs), telecoms operators, educational institutions and other IP-centric organisations to exchange data traffic between their respective networks.
The main purpose of IXPN is to allow networks to interconnect through the exchange, providing the necessary environment to keep local Internet traffic local, stable and reliable, Rudman says.
In effect, the IXPN delivers benefits of reduction in costs, latency and increased speed among others to all the network operators and end-users at large.
IXPN enables the nation’s identity in cyberspace as well as the emerging relevance of local hosting of content, which has a multiplier effect on the economy through capacity building and job creation, he adds.
While both organisations, IXPN and NIRA, agree that efforts must be stepped up to put a stop to capital flight, Rudman says that the upcoming forum is a unique event that would facilitate discussions on how to solve this problem in the country and issues surrounding local Internet content.
“Invariably, the forum will foster more on uploading and less downloading. And the overriding objective is to domicile content so generated in Nigeria,” he adds.
To further encourage the adoption of DotNG , Nigeria’s identity on the Internet, Odusan says that NiRA has slashed the registration fees of DotNG which happens to be the well-sought after ccTLD in Nigeria from N200,000 to N15,000.
According to him, the traffic volume around DotNG is changing every week as NIRA register about 700 domain names weekly.
The two-day event, both agreed, holds a veritable marketplace for the content producer and webhosting companies as well as the key to promotion of the Nigeria’s identity in cyberspace.