Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA)

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Good Night, Florence!

The Nigerian ICT community received with shock, the news  of the death of the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Omatek Computer Limited, Engr. Florence Seriki, who died on Saturday 44th March 2017.

We served together, as professionals on the 2013-2015 Board of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA). We worked closely in the committee tasked with making recommendations to that Board, on Local Content and development. She was very passionate about moving Nigeria from a consuming nation to a producing nation, using equipment assembly as a stop gap to achieving the stated goal. She envisioned a Nigeria where every kid had a tablet and no teacher will hold any chalk. Florence walked the talk. She trekked on a very long and winding road, doing it with panache and candor, enjoying practically minimum support nor subsidy!

Her remains will be buried tomorrow, Friday 31st March 2017. The Nigerian ICT circle has lost one of her own best professionals and she would be surely missed. On behalf of the entire NiRA members, I hereby express our deep and heartfelt sympathy to the immediate family and the Nigerian ICT Community. God will grant us all, the fortitude to bear the loss. “Good Night”, dear sister.

Upcoming .ng Awards and Annual General Meeting

Please block the dates on your calendar for the two important NiRA events that will hold in April 2017;

The .ng awards is scheduled for 21st April 2017 at Oriental Hotel, Lagos, 3 Lekki- Epe Express Way, while the NiRA 9th Annual General Meeting (AGM) is scheduled for on 28th April 2017, at NiRA Office Complex, 8 Funsho Williams Avenue, Iponri, Surulere, Lagos.

The .ng Awards is a celebration of achievements and innovations of Internet initiatives in Nigeria.  It is aimed at showcasing Nigerian businesses, individuals, charity, public and private sector organizations helping to make the Internet a more secure, open, accessible and diverse experience for all. For the .ng Awards, the nominations by the general public commenced on the 31st January 2017 and closed on 14th February 2017. Voting for the nominees commenced on the 20th February 2017 and closes by midnight on Monday, 3rd April 2017.

The second major event would be the NiRA 9th AGM. Elections would hold to elect some new members into the NiRA Executive Board of Directors and Board of Trustees. At the moments, nominations into the soon-to-be-vacant positions are ongoing.

Ongoing, is an Electronic General Meeting (E-GM) of the Association. Members are debating on some resolutions that have been put forward by the Board of Registered Trustees and the Executive Board of Directors. All members are expected to participate. Please join the members’ mailing list - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

I look forward to seeing you all at the Award Night, and the Annual general Meeting.

 

Your President,

Rev’d Sunday Folayan

.ng Registry convenes meeting of relevant LEA and stakeholders

In the last edition of the NiRA e-newsletter, we stated that NiRA had taken concrete steps to deal with the menace of abuse within the Internet ecosystem, by creating a desk for dealing with Internet Abuse within the .ng ecosystem. Nigerians have responded positively with varied tales. NIRA has commenced investigations into those cases within its purview.

As part of its efforts, NiRA convened a meeting of representatives of relevant law enforcement agencies (LEA) and stakeholders on the need to collaborate to curtail the menace. Agencies represented include the Nigeria Police through the Lagos State Police Command, the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, Special Fraud Unit, ngCERT, Central Bank of Nigeria Plc, etc.

At the inaugural meeting, The NiRA President highlighted the high rate at which crimes were becoming engrained in the national life, using .ng domain names and reported that NiRA had received over 300 complaints on issues of Internet Abuse ranging from Domain Name Abuses to theft of individuals’ personal details and of course, Financial  Fraud.

Participants reviewed the Internal Procedural process developed in-house by NiRA to deal with the incidents of abuses, taking note of the areas of cooperation and collaboration with the various agencies present. It was a huge success as the law enforcement agencies expressed their willingness to collaborate to tackle the identified abuse in the Internet ecosystem and protect Nigerians. Henceforth, the group will meet quarterly, having identified other stakeholders whose involvement is crucial to the success of the programme

 

If you are privy to any form of abuse using .ng domain names, do send your email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

NIRA at the Maiden First-Bank organized Agric Expo

Such rewarding experience at the First Bank of Nigeria Maiden Agric Expo on Tuesday 14th March 2017! Oh, Yes! NiRA was there ‘live’ with some of its Accredited Registrars. This was an opportunity to further preach the essence of online presence to another sector of our growing economy; another sector eager to explore ways of collaborating to boost the value chain and improve the financial model.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Chief Audu Ogbeh who was the Special Guest of Honour, spoke on the importance of the agriculture sector in the growth of our nation and also declared the exhibitions open. It was made very clear that for every ship that berths at Apapa, foreign exchange flies out of Nigeria and there is the need to also de-risk agricultural projects to make agricultural financing easier. 

 

The FBN Agric Expo provided another opportunity to touch base with the Nigerian community and promote the .ng online identity for Nigerians. We believe that the .ng online presence can greatly enhance the growth of the agricultural sector, as it creates awareness of the products available and knowledge and experience sharing. Do not be left behind. Register your .ng domain name via a NiRA Accredited registrar. 

Five Reasons Why You must always Backup Your Website.

You must have heard a lot of talks about the importance of taking a backup of the contents of your hard drive, just in case something should happen to your computer. There are few things more painful than knowing that all of your precious files have been lost forever. The same holds true for websites. It seems like every day there is a new headline about the latest high profile website crash and server outage. Unfortunately, website and server threats are very real. Backing up your website helps you to safeguard against those threats and data loss. It is strongly recommended you take a backup of the contents of your website every time there is an enhancement to the contents of your website. Find below, five main reasons why a backup of the content of your website is important. 

1. Website Hackers

Unfortunately, hackers and scammers have become commonplace on the web. While the aim of hackers and scammers may be to steal credit card numbers and other sensitive information, often people hack websites merely to prove themselves, deface websites or just to cause trouble. For every online website, there is always the chance that it may become compromised. For every compromise, you might wish to restore the last backup as it might be a safer restore option.

2. Computer Catastrophes

Storing a copy of your files on your computer is a good idea, but should your machine crash, get lost, or fall off a cliff, then your files will be gone with it. Backing up your files remotely is a more practical option in the event that something happens to your machine.

3. Updates Gone Wrong

Regular updates refer to updated features and increased security, but they don’t always go as planned. This is why WordPress always tells you to perform a backup before carrying out any system update. Websites have multiple components, including plugins, themes, software, and back-end programming. An awry update to any of these can take an entire website offline for any amount of time.

4. Employee Errors/Mistakes

The truth is that people make mistakes and can make mistakes. It’s perfectly possible that an employee or contractor might click a wrong button or delete a necessary file by accident. When you backup your files, there’s less chance that human error will mess up your operations.

5. Minimize the Damage

Say you log onto your website one day, only to be greeted with an unfamiliar error page. You try again and again, but it still doesn’t come up. You get a sinking feeling in your stomach as you realize that something has gone wrong. You could either a) Go into an all out panic as you try to figure out what went wrong, and whether or not you’ve lost all of your precious content, or b) Become a bit annoyed that you may have to spend some time reloading your website, but you won’t have reason to go into an anxious tailspin.

It is advised that you backup the contents of your website after every enhancement, using the grandfather-father-son method.  The backup files must be the same as you never know the crucial day/date when the backup files would prove to be a life-saver.

 

Getting more Nigerians online via IDNs

That some people cannot speak or write English does not make them illiterates. They already have a mastery of literature and grammar in their natural language. That some people must communicate in some other languages (either machine of human) apart from their natural language creates some additional barrier to communications and expressions. 

The Nigerian community, despite its diverse ethnic composition, is predominantly three main groups popularly referred to as Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba. With our population, advancements in Communication and Technology provides the opportunity for us to start promoting our languages on the Internet. 

Great scholars have arisen from Nigeria in ancient times, who codified their work in Arabic, and other languages that may not be exciting to scholars of the western world. What about oral literature and Poetry that is locked in our indigenous languages? Would it not be wonderful, if Nigerians can register their domain name in any of Arabic, Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba to give expression to their ingenuity and identity? 

This is the exact freedom that Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) brings to the table. It enables people, around the world use domain names in natural local languages and scripts. These IDNs are formed using characters from different scripts, such as Arabic, Chinese, Cyrillic or Devanagari. They are encoded by the Unicode standard and used as allowed by relevant IDN protocols.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is working hard as creating the next set of IDNs and this is the time to join the effort so that the next Billion people that will be connected from Africa, will find it easy to communicate on the Internet. ICANN’s working group on IDN does have volunteers working on IDN, and they have Yoruba as one of their languages of interest. This is apart from Arabic which is spoken is a larger part of Northern Nigeria.

NIRA will be complementing ICANN’s efforts with a National flavour, but we will be including the other two major languages in Nigeria, ie Hausa and Igbo. This is a first step, as NIRA believes all indigenous languages should remain natural to its speakers on the Internet. Of course, we must start from somewhere, if we must achieve anything, in this regard.

We have started, by co-opting ICANN’s IDN Latin Script community members – Dr. Tunde Adegbola a lecturer at the University of Ibadan and Mr. Seun Ojedeji of the Federal University, Oye-Ekiti to be pioneer members of the NIRA IDN working group. We now invite other interested individuals working either as Linguists, Language Technologists or plain enthusiasts, either in the Academia or the Industry, who wish to be part of the group, please send an Email to us via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We do have an opportunity to preserve our heritage and languages by putting them online, naturally. 

If not now, when? If not us, who? Let’s do it!

Your President,

 

Rev’d Sunday Folayan

 

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