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.