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Nigerian ccTLD suffers set back

Remmy Nweke

Fourteen months after the Internet community in Nigeria agreed to have the Nigerian Internet Registration Association (NiRA) as the manager of the nation’s Country Code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) name .ng, has suffered another set back due to its inability to take off effectively, even as there was no follow-up meeting thereafter.

ITRealms Online recalls that following the resolution passed on June 23, 2005, at a stakeholders meeting in Lagos, NiRA was adopted as the chosen name among several other suggestions for a non-governmental organisation (NGO) to manage the ccTLD, the .ng.

Otherwise referred to as the adaption of nation’s flag on the cyberspace, ccTLD offers the opportunity of registering a name on the world wide web (www) and basically the Universal Resource Locator (URL) using .ng at the end like in the ‘Limited’ in incorporation of names.

Current set back came as a result of the inability of the stakeholders under NiRA, numbering 22 including the representative of the federal government, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Nigeria Internet Group (NIG), Association of Telecom Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), Computer Registration Council of Nigeria (CPN) and the Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSEs) to name a few.

Pioneer Director-General (DG) of NITDA), late Prof. Gabriel Ajayi became the administrative Point-of-Contact (PoC) of the ccTLD on the orders of the Federal Government, as an aftermath of a lingering controversy on the domestication of the .ng, which culminated into the federal Ministry of Science and Technology instituting a forced redelegation to NIG.

This was vehemently opposed by the likes of NCS and CPN in support of the then incumbent, Mrs. Ibukun Odusote.

Although late Prof. Ajayi assumed this position few months before his death on December 16, 2004, NiRA came into being on June 23, last year and was expected to have expedited actions on its official registration as NGO with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) in Nigeria, set up its own structure and then communicate appropriately to the administrative arm of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). The administrative arm is known as the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA).

Investigations disclosed that late Prof. Ajayi is still the PoC at IANA website and efforts to contact authorities at NITDA, showed that the idea of statusquo was reached by some stakeholders in NiRA, as at June this year, pending its proper take off which is yet to see the light of the day.

At the rise of .ng controversy in 2003, which gave birth to NiRA, Nigeria has only 576 .ng domains since it was registered at InterNIC on March 1995, which the head, corporate affairs at NITDA, Mr Inye Kem-Abonta described as "alarmingly dismal" for a nation of over 120 million Nigerians.

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