NiRA urges media practitioners to intensify campaign on .ng

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The Nigeria Internet Reg­istration Association (NiRA), has called on media practitioners in the country to intensify the cam­paign aimed at educating the pub­lic on the technological and eco­nomic benefits of embracing .ng domain name.

NiRA President, Mrs Mary Uduma, gave the charge while welcoming participants at a re­cent one-day .ng Media College organised by the Association in Lagos, adding that, as a national resource, .ng is a unique identi­fier for every possible Nigerian on the world wide web.

Uduma, hinted that since the country could realise ccTLD which was hosted about 12 years ago in the United States by Ran­dy Bush, an American, it has become very imperative that Ni­gerians are informed to take the advantages of the system.

She disclosed that even though about 60,000 domain names have been realised on .ng registra­tion, there is a large space for individuals, Small and Medium Enterprises,(SMEs) large corpo­rations, Non Governmental Or­ganisations (NGOs) and govern­ment agencies to leverage.

“The essence of the .ng Media College is to enable us interface with the practitioners who are critical stakeholders in dissemi­nating information as regards .ng domain name registration. Also the Media College accords NiRA opportunities to explain on some policies, and operational guide­lines in the registration process­es. In all, we know the media are able to lead the course on public awareness on .ng domain name adoption and switchover”, she said.

She explained that after the As­sociation was founded on March 23, 2005, as a stakeholders-led or­ganisation, they have gone ahead to adopt a multi-layered registry module for its operations, add­ing that “With NiRA at the apex as the registry, we have certified Registrars, to work with us. The registrars may choose to employ the services of re-sellers. Cur­rently, we are giving Nigerians 10 per cent discount on registration with the aim to get our local busi­nesses online. Content is the cur­rency for the future and Nigeria cannot be left behind.”

Sunday Folayan, NiRA’s vice president, also said that with the modification of the Association’s Domain Name Policy in 2013, Ni­gerians now have direct registra­tion rights on the second level, with added advantages.

He explained that NiRA re­serves the right to maintain some list of domain that shall not be available for general public reg­istration such as offensive names, restricted names- military, gov­ernment, etc., while premium names like cooki.ng, bi.ng, etc are reserved for auctioning.

Some second level domain names in Nigeria, he said, are .com.ng open for commercial registration; .edu.ng, peculiar to degree awarding institutions; .sch.ng for non-degree awarding institutions; .gov.ng registr-able by governmental organisations only; .mil.ng for military and re­lated purposes; .org.ng open to NGOs; .net.ng open to network organizations; .name.ng open to personal names while .premium.ng is reserved for auction.

There are others for third level domains, and on the policy thrust, Folayan said that NiRA at the moment does not operate interna­tionalised domain names (IDN) which allows domain names in the natural languages of the us­ers, adding that NiRA hopes it could be achieved in future.

In his words: “There are rules and conventions that govern the choice and registration of do­main names. The naming conven­tions have been carefully created to avoid confusion and make it easy for users to navigate on the Internet.

“NiRA as much as possible abides with the global best prac­tices, in the implementation of domain names. In the nearest fu­ture, NiRA will offer IDN that will allow the use of natural language text, e.g. Arabic, so that more people will have access to the in­ternet”.

NiRA is the registry for .ng In­ternet Domain Names and main­tains the database of names regis­tered in the .ng country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD). The As­sociation is a self-regulating body and managers of the .ng national resource, the ccTLD name space in the public interest of Nigeria and global internet communities.

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