Nigeria’s National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has handed over administration of the country’s top-level domain to the Nigerian Internet Registration Association (NiRA) as registrations went past 138,000 in April.
NiRA has managed .ng for some years now, with the government overseeing their role. But now the Nigerian government has taken a hands off approach using what is accepted as best practice globally.
“In line with global best practice, where the country top level domain in every country is not directly managed by the government, but by multi-stakeholder bodies’ setup by the government, NITDA has delegated the management responsibilities of the .ng string in Nigeria to NiRA,” NITDA Director General, Mr Isa Pantami, said at the at the recent Presentation of the Reviewed. “The government then plays a supervisory role in the administration of the domains”.
It comes as in recent years NiRA has been implementing growth strategies that are gradually paying off. In April 2019 NiRA held a .ng Resellers Entrepreneurship Programme (REP) that aimed to develop and train entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs in the Domain Name Industry. NIRA has begun an accreditation process that has seen 29 registrars accredited to date, most of whom are Nigerian companies, as a step in improving the registration process with an automation programme in progress. Registrars are categorised into Platinum, Gold, Silver and Standard categories.
There was also a 3-day intensive workshop on Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC). There is also the .ng Awards, for which nominations have now closed, that seeks to recognise and acknowledge those who are contributing to the growth of .ng and promotion of the DNS Industry.
The Nigerian government has also been undertaking several initiatives to push government agencies to use the country’s ccTLD so government can be seen to be leading by example. There are currently 2,274 are .gov.ng domain names and 278 .mil.ng.
“This means that 418 new domains were registered between November 2016 and April 2019, which signifies a percentage increase of 18.3%,” according to Pantami. “This can be attributed to the various drives embarked upon by the agency at ensuring the adoption of the .gov.ng and the .mil.ng.”
“Responses to request is now faster as it takes an average of 2 hours to acquire a .gov.ng or .mil.ng domain. With a 24hrs helpline where their technical team can offer assistance on issues relating to domain name service.”
Total registrations have grown from 101,805 at the end of December 2017 and 131,100 at the end of December 2018 to 138,060 at the end of April.