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Wednesday, January 05, 2011

NIRA releases guideline for 50,000 free .ng domains

Remmy Nweke:

The Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NIRA) has released guidelines for its 50,000 free .ng domains promotion, just as plans have been made for the formal launch of the project before the end of this January.

The promo which is in line with the Nigeria’s 50 years independence anniversary is to propel the adoption of the nation’s country code Top Level Domains (ccTLD) by interested Nigerians for free.

This was disclosed by NIRA president, Mrs. Mary Uduma at the weekend, saying that the promo is expected to last for 50 days.

The promo which commenced last weekend, Friday, December 31, 2010 and would last till March 21, 2011.

She noted that as managers of the Nigerian name space on the internet, the Association feels a great call to duty to identify with the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the nationhood.

“This sense of identification is tied to our perceptiveness of the collective responsibility required to project the true and appropriate Nigerian image; and our conviction that the nation’s country code Top Level Domain, .ng, is a veritable tool towards achieving this,” she said.

Uduma also said that NIRA is partnering with the Ministry of Information and Communications in the Re-branding Nigeria Project with the offer of 50,000 free .ng domains in 50 days, which is subject to availability.

The project to be championed by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), she said, would provide the necessary funding for the project implementation.

In addition, she said, NITDA has committed to training a substantial number of Nigerian youths as web developers in readiness for an envisaged increased demand for the services of web developers with the registration of 50,000 .ng domains in the first quarter of 2011.

This, she said, is more evident with the target population of the .ng registry with 250,000 domains by the end of 2011, thereby preparing them for gainful employment, even as it will sponsor the capacity building effort of NIRA in the setting up of a datacenter and co-location facility to support the activation of the 250,000 domains.

“NITDA is committed to promoting the adoption of government policy to recognize only .ng e-mails for Government-to-Government, Government-to-Business, and Government-to-Citizens transactions,” she stated in the project guideline published at NIRA website, stressing that the registration of free domains had commenced on Friday, December 31, 2010 and is expected to last till March 21, 2011.

The offer, she said, entails that registrars would register domains at no cost to registrants for a period of one year, while the free domains are limited to some of the second level domains, namely .com.ng; .org.ng; .name.ng; .mobi.ng, and .sch.ng with a proviso a process of verification must be adhered to.

ITRealms Online recalls that NIRA was founded on March 23, 2005 as a stakeholder-led organisation, charged with the management of the nation’s Country Top Level Domain Name (ccTLD), dot ng.

NIRA’s establishment was the end of a long period of inactivity and dispute on the appropriate management of this important National Resource. Coordinated by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Stakeholders within Nigeria’s Internet community participated in its formation.

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.

The realisation of the .ng ccTLD came after nearly 12 years in which the country code was hosted in the United States (USA) by an American named Randy Bush. While Bush was the host of the domain name, Mrs. Ibukun Odusote served as the administrative point of contact.

Although 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. Isaac A. Odeyemi as chairman shortly after the adoption of the constitution. By May 1, 2007, the first executive board of NIRA was elected with late Ndukwe Kalu leading a 10-man board.

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