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Nigeria registers 80,000 domain names in three years



Nigerian Communications Commission Headquarters

ABOUT 80, 000 Nigeria’s Country Code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) name, the .ng have so far been registered in the country since the campaign began in 2012.

This was disclosed to The Guardian, by the President of the Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA), the agency incharge of administering domain names in the country, Mrs. Mary Uduma.

Uduma however, disclosed that out of the 80, 000, only about 60, 000 are active; stressing that Nigeria’s domain name is the cheapest in the world at N1, 000 per year.

Domain name is an identification string that defines a realm of administrative autonomy, authority or control within the Internet. Domain names are formed by the rules and procedures of the Domain Name System (DNS).

In specifics, the ccTLD is a country code top-level domain name allocated to a specific country in terms of the DNS tree, by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and is open to having sub-domains below it. Examples include, .ke; .mg; .za; mz; .ca; .co; .uk; .ng, .com; .net, among others.

Uduma, who said the NiRA is making frantic efforts to ensure widespread adoption in the country, noted that Nigeria’s Internet economy and e-commerce have not really started, that the country’s DNS industry is till at the lowest ebb. “Internet access is a challenge, so for that reason we are losing a lot of money which we would have retained. So far about 80, 000 .ng have been registered in Nigeria with about 60, 000 active. The .ng is the cheapest in the world, at N1, 000 per year.”

She said Nigerians, especially the private sector operators need to connect to the .ng domain to stem capital flight to other countries whose domain names we patronise and pay huge sums.

Uduma defined domain name as a “unique name that identifies an Internet resource, such as a website, it is an identification string that defines a realm of administrative autonomy, authority or control on the Internet.

She said the growth of .ng domain names (increased uptake) at both local and international scene will have the same effect on the economy as the mobile explosion, in that ancillary jobs would be created in advertisement, web designing and hosting, there would be foreign exchange earnings from sale of .ng domain names to foreigners.

Uduma, who linked low adoption in Nigeria to lack of awareness of the domain name business, hinted that the .ng domain name is accepted anywhere in the world and it is the country’s unique identity in the cyberspace, adding that, there are no issues, save for Nigerians to embrace and own the .ng sting as the preferred brand in domain name registration, as well as critical resource for the nation.

Reports have it that in 2014, the number of active domains reached 271 million globally. According to Web Technology Surveys, the .com is used by 51.7 per cent of all the global websites. It is followed by long distance from .net with 5.1 per cent; .ru with 4.9 per cent; .org with 4.1 per cent; .uk with2.0 per cent; .jp by 1.9 per cent; . info by 1.2 per cent. The .buz controls 0.8 per cent and .edu has 0.1 of the global emails to its kitty.

Unfortunately, Nigeria’s .ng falls within top level domains that is used by less than 0.1 per cent of the global websites, according to Web Technology Surveys.

Apart from the poor recognition of .ng, the country may as well be loosing billions of dollars to foreign domain names.

For instance, report has it that the United States generates $600 million yearly from its domain name industry, which is part of the potential of the Internet.

In 2009, Austrian top-level domain name the .AT contributed over E13.5 million to the Austrian economy, with the contribution growing each year. Besides, the likes of Yahoo; Google; Facebook, Twitter; YouTube are making billions of dollars from their domain names.

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