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Nigeria pushes improved Internet usage as U.S. withdraws control

Nigeria pushes improved Internet usage as U.S. withdraws control
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The Nigerian Internet Registration Association (NIRA) has advocated for improved usage among the local Internet community amid withdrawal of control by the United States government.

Early this month, the United States Government stood down from providing oversight to the management of Internet resources.

Before this development, the oversight of the Internet resources (also called Internet Assigned Numbers Authority, IANA), was done via a contract between the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the body responsible for the coordination and management of Internet Resources, and the US Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).

Reverend Sunday Folayan, Nira President, speaks at the 8th AGM of the Nigerian domain name manager body
Reverend Sunday Folayan,, President, Nigerian Internet Registration Association (NIRA)

Reverend Sunday Folayan, the President of NIRA in a recent reaction to the Internet liberation charged Nigerian government to see this as an opportunity to improve the level of its presence in the cyberspace, and called for certain Internet services to be provided free.

“Government services must be readily available and accessible to all, at no cost. We should start immediately, with essential services. For example, Nigerians should not pay for Internet Access to file their Tax returns online, register births and deaths, apply for a Government ID online or give critical and important Information to the Police. We must look at how to educate our teeming youths using the Internet as a supplementary classroom, because they are the bedrock of a productive economy,” the NIRA President said.

[quote font=”georgia” font_size=”22″ font_style=”italic” align=”left” arrow=”yes”]“Government services must be readily available and accessible to all, at no cost. We should start immediately, with essential services. For example, Nigerians should not pay for Internet Access to file their Tax returns online, register births and deaths, apply for a Government ID online or give critical and important Information to the Police. We must look at how to educate our teeming youths using the Internet as a supplementary classroom, because they are the bedrock of a productive economy,” the NIRA President said.[/quote]Folayan also said individual Nigerians should also take advantage of this to improve their productivity by getting online, which he said should no longer be seen as a luxury.

“Locally, we must now turn to confront the various impediments working against the average Nigerian getting online and being productive. The Internet is no longer a luxury, rather a tool for basic existence, so we must be proactive,” he said.

According to him, there is also a need to localise Internet content in order for the internet to have real meaning for Nigerians, which will in turn encourage the use of Internet in the country.

“People must find content in their own languages. NIRA is working with other Institutions such as the Office of National Content (ONC), Nigeria Internet Group (NIG) and the Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria (IXPN) in re-energizing the Local Internet Content Forum (LICF) to strategize on how to keep Nigeria’s content local, and conserve scarce Foreign Exchange resources as the nation adjusts to the current realities,” Folayan said.

The NIRA President therefore urged all to continue to support the government’s effort to address the scourge of cybercrime, especially the advance fee fraud that has tainted Nigeria’s image Internationally.

“We all, must continue to assist the Government in developing, promoting and enforcing policies that will make many Nigerians anchor the emerging knowledge economy. That is when we can truly enjoy the dividends of the symbolic but significant IANA transition,” he said.

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Success Kafoi Journalist at Technology Times Media. Mobile: 08077671673 email: success.kafoi@technologytimes.ng

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