Wednesday, January 30, 2008

NiRA seeks comments on 13-policy documents

In line with its board of trustees’ stand on industry engagement, the Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA) has finally released the first set of policies to guide its operations, thus inviting comments on the proposed 13-policy documents that would ensure a successful take off of the group’s mandate.

Champion Infotel recalls that NiRA and the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), an agency for the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology (FMST), fortnight ago signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the official handover of the management of the nation’s Country Code Top Level Domain (ccTLD).

Disclosing this at the weekend, NiRA President, Mr. Ndukwe Kalu said that the group is calling for comments on the 13-policy documents to facilitate the formal commencement of activities after the MoU signing was accomplished.

“These policies are finally out for comments, debates and inputs,” he declared, adding that the first sets of policies are domain related which are 11 in number, including, Policy Development Process, Domain Name Policy, Special Domain Name Policy, Fees policy, Privacy Policy and Dispute Resolution Policy.

Others, he said, are policies on general registration rules, Registrant Agreement, Registrar Agreement, Registrar Accreditation Process and Glossary as contained in the policy documents.

Apart from the aforementioned 11-policy documents, Mr. Kalu said that there would be two policy documents specifically mapped out to ensure good corporate governance in management of affairs of NiRA.

This, he said, is to ensure that NiRA procedures are aligned with international best practices.

According to him, the invitation for comments would be open for three weeks so as to enable citizens time to evaluate these policy documents and make necessary inputs that will move the nation forward in terms of intensifying the domain name registration and its relevance to national development at this era by Nigerians both at home and abroad.

He further explained that due to peculiar needs some policies would have immediate effect so as to avoid a vacuum.

“This exercise is part of efforts of the MoU that was recently signed to domesticate the domain name implementation system,” he explained.

Mr. Kalu also stressed that the call for comments avails NiRA the opportunity to carry every member of the nation’s Internet community along, noting that the 13-policy documents have received the approval of the board in this regard.

NiRA, he added, has planned to harmonise the comments within one week after the deadline for comments, which is expected to close before February 29.

Stakeholders, he said, would have the chance of debating and making inputs on their choice of interest either in one or all of the policy documents under review.

Mr. Kalu further said that NiRA has finalised plans to accommodate Nigerians in Diaspora as far as ownership of domain names are concerned, emphasising that domains are not owned by individuals but are licensed for use.

Comments, he said, could be made through and the yahoo IT professional discussion group on ngccTLD.

Also contributions could be sent by hard copy to NiRA office or via email

NIRA was founded on March 23, 2005 as stakeholders-led organization, charged with the management of the nation’s Country Top Level Domain Name (ccTLD), dot ng.

NIRA’s formation brought to an end the long years of .ng controversy in the country, following the intervention of the former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo.

Hitherto the .ng was being managed by NITDA on behalf of the federal government, even as NIRA’s constitution was adopted by stakeholders, at a meeting held on March 28, 2006 at the Musical Society of Nigeria (MUSON) Centre, Onikan-Lagos.

NiRA’s Board of Trustees (BoT) was elected among the stakeholders with Dr. A. Odeyemi as chairman shortly after the adoption of the constitution.

And by May 1, 2007, the first executive board of NIRA was elected with Mr. Ndukwe Kalu leading a 10-man board.

This move signals, according to industry analysts, is a true beginning for the local administration of the .ng domain in the country.

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