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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Stakeholders commend release of .ng policy-documents

Stakeholders in the nation’s Information Technology (IT) subsector have commended the release of 14 policy-documents by the Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA).

Champion Infotel recalled that NiRA and federal government agency, the National IT Development Agency (NITDA), recently in Abuja signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the take over of the Country Code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) by NiRA, subsequently, the association put into the public domain 14 policy-documents seeking comments from the Internet community.

Commenting on the policy documents in a chat with newsmen, some stakeholders commended the releasing of the documents into the public domain, which they said positions NiRA as truly carrying stakeholders along and organised in an open-door policy.

Some of those who spoke on the documents included the Director, Licensing at the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Mrs. Mary Uduma, Registrar, Computer Professional Registration Council of Nigeria (CPN), Mr. Sekiru Shehu and industry enthusiast, Mr. Tope Fashedemi.

According to Mrs. Uduma who also is the Vice President of NiRA, the recent endorsement of dotted lines by NiRA and NITDA for a successful take over of .ng management followed by the release of 14 policy-documents would enable Nigerians and Internet community precisely to contribute their quota from the beginning.

She also said that the take over would afford Nigerians to truly fly the nation’s flag on the Internet.

Nigeria, she said, has to ensure a secured but globally accepted standards for the local hosting of the ccTLD, “That is the only way to ensure transparency and stability.”

For the CPN registrar, Mr. Shehu, Nigerians must embrace the challenge posed by the long time controversies that trailed the .ng growth in the country by ensuring that they are part of the current revolution.

He also charged Nigerians and the nation’s media especially those in the core Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector to be really and actively involved so as to make the success of the input being seek by NiRA to ensure they understand the relevant needs of the policy-documents so as to contribute adequately and rightly informed the public and Internet community accurately.

Equally, Mr. Fashedemi, noted that it would give a boost to the local content as more and more Internet users are expected to push more local information into the network.

As said by him, the call for inputs on the ccTLD management policy documents should not pass any patriotic Nigerian by, because the take over is coming at an auspicious time and would significantly translate to a boom than what was witnessed at the advent of the Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) in 2001.

He pointed out that with the rebirth of .ng Nigerians have to rely on these domains to boost the local content which would result in cheaper Internet service provision in and for the country development.

Noteworthy is that NiRA relaxed the aspect of the policy guidelines that stipulated that domain registrants must be resident in the country.

Affirming this development, NiRA President, Mr. Ndukwe Kalu said this decision was taken by the group to enable Nigerians in Diaspora the opportunity to adequately tap into the nation’s Country Code Top Level Domain (ccTLD).

According to him, Nigerians in Diaspora have domains running into millions and by insisting that they must reside in the country to be able to incorporate .ng in their domain names is practically asking them to stay away.

He pointed out that NiRA has concluded strategies to contain Nigerians in Diaspora as far as ownership of domain names are concerned.

Mr. Kalu emphasized that domain names are not owned by individuals but are licensed for use, even as he enjoined Nigerian Internet community to add their voices to the policies expected to close for comments by February 29, 2008.

NiRA, he said, would post the final approved policies by March 10, this year, stressing that comments could be send via hardcopy to NiRA office or electronically by email to: policy@nira.org.ng.

These domain policy-documents consist of NiRA policy development process, domain name policy, special domain name policy, fees policy, dispute resolution policy, privacy policy and complaint policy.

Additionally, there are policies on general registration rules, registrant agreement, registrar agreement, registrar accreditation process and glossary, apart from the four-policy documents focused on good corporate governance in management of NiRA activities, namely the directors’ conflict of interest, meeting and information policies, technical infrastructure and service provider partners.

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