Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA)

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AFRINIC 27 MEETING

Happy New Year – 2017 is Here!

A new year comes with lots of hopes, aspirations, goals and target setting by all. It might be about new businesses, or expansion plans, propelling everyone to eagerly commence the activities for the year and tap into all the opportunities the New Year always brings.

There are many technology predictions (locally and globally) for 2017, with the prediction on the growth in domain name registrations very prominent. 

In 2016, we positioned NiRA to be a significant part of the industrial and economic growth of Nigeria in subsequent years. NIRA was very prominent in the Nigerian Technological space and we intend to continue on this path this year, so we can remain relevant not only as far as the Technology Industry is concerned, but also in the larger Socio-economic space.

In 2016, you will have noticed the .ng adverts and promotions on BRT buses, TVs, Newspapers, social media and other online platforms. One is pleased that Business owners now proudly flaunt their .ng domain names as part of their advert campaigns. It is a movement, and it is gaining momentum.  .ng is the future for the taking, and the future is here.

This year, some of the activities outlined to take the growth in .ng domain registration to another level are:

     Exploiting Internationalized domain names (IDNs) in the three main Nigerian languages (Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba).

     Introduction of Domain Name System (DNS)  in the Nigerian educational curriculum

     Appointment of .ng ambassadors from the Business and Art world

     .ng Roadshows to all geopolitical zones of Nigeria

     Collaboration with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Chamber of Commerce, Trademark Registry, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC),  etc.

We will act speedily on the above and many other things.

As we hope for the best of 2017, let’s not forget to count our blessings and appreciate everyone that has contributed to the progress of yester years. On behalf of the Executive Board of Directors and Staff of NIRA, I will like to thank all our stakeholders, Members, Registrars, Registrants, Gentlemen of the Press and all well-wishers for your wonderful support in 2016, It made our work easier!

We see a very bright 2017. We hope to accomplish our goals and aspirations for the year. We shall put in our best in all our endeavours. We count on the support of everyone.

 

Your President,

Rev’d Sunday Folayan

NITDA, LOCAL CONTENT AND LOCAL HOSTING EFFORTS

Wednesday 14th Dec. 2016 was a day well spent, sharing some ideas with Dr. Isa Ali Pantami, the Director General of National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) on ways to move Information Technology forward in Nigeria.

I led the Executive Board of Directors of Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA) to brief him on our activities, and the various strides within the ambit of the Memorandum of Understanding that exists between NITDA and NIRA for the management of the .ng National Resource.

Happy with what NIRA has done so far, he was desirous of further collaboration and we immediately picked two low-hanging fruits, arising from the NIRA presentation, which necessitated further meetings and meetings with his staff to drill down and bolt those issues.

There is no doubt that NIRA is one of the few successful and functional Public-Private Partnerships in Nigeria today. I cannot thank enough, members of the Board of Trustees, Members of the Board of Directors , the hard working Staff and all stakeholders in NIRA for giving life to our collective dreams. I learnt more than two things in the course of the visit, and these will guide me moving forward, as the Chief Steward in NIRA.

 Our advocacy for local hosting in Nigeria has been on for some years now. Local hosting needs Local Contents to be effective. Events and workshops have been organized to make Nigerians conscious of the need to host locally in Nigeria. This means hosting servers, websites and other forms of electronic contents.

NiRA continues to partner with with the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) through its Office of National Content (ONC), Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria (IXPN),  the Nigeria Internet Group (NIG) and several other organizations to host events via the Local Internet Content Forum (LICF). This is apart from the ongoing campaign of SWITCHTO .gov.ng for Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies.

When fully adopted, the domino effect of local hosting by most people would be:

  • Job opportunities
  • Reduction of capital flight
  • Data security
  • Faster access

We have organized meetings with several interested groups on ways of creating the enabling environment for local hosting in Nigeria. With a good percentage of government establishments having .gov.ng domains, It is very obvious the Nigerian Government is keen on local hosting of its contents.    we are canvassing on these establishments hosting their contents locally. We are passionate about this. We have issued a clarion call to all and sundry to commence local hosting of Nigeria Contents. We have the contents, from Nollywood, culture, tourism, etc. The Nigerian market is eager for local hosting.

The call for local content hosting is a collective responsibility, as the registry, a registrar, a registrant, an Internet Service Provider, a developer, a blogger etc. Let us all in our own little ways support this advocacy. 

I call on all of us, to be advocates for hosting our contents locally, this would help our dear Nation out of the present economic recession. It is a task to be done!

Merry Christmas and Happy, Prosperous New Year in Advance!

 

Your President,

Rev’d Sunday Folayan

 

Domain Names Registration Statistics for September, October and November 2016

Domain Name Registrations and Renewals at the Registry have maintained a steady increase, on month per month basis and year per year basis. The increase in domain name registration is more noticeable when viewed across the different years in comparison. The domain names registered and renewed in November 2016 (5,231) is more than the registration in November 2015 (3,195) and almost doubled the registration in November 2014 (2,723).

SOCIAL MEDIA OUTREACH FOR DOMAIN REGISTRARS

A school of thoughts defines Social media, as computer-mediated technologies that allow the creating and sharing of information, ideas, career interests and other forms of expression via virtual communities and networks.

Social media is now an integral part of everyday life of almost every person; every serious business maintains online presence on all social media platforms, taking advantage of social websites and applications to proliferate their market outreach and Internet advertising. Social media is used to communicate news, trends, best practices, market products, promote brands, and connect to past and current customers and foster new businesses.

A great number of companies have used the great social media to generate outreach. Domain Name Registrars and other businesses may use the social media to connect with clients on a more personal level and foster greater business relationships. To ensure successful social media marketing, some tips are listed as:

  •  Register your .ng domain name and use the .ng domain name for your website.
  • Ensure your website is current; with accurate and current information
  •  Have a social media marketing strategy
  •  Observe social media marketing trends
  •  Have your company Facebook page and post regularly about your products and services
  •  Respond to questions posted to the company via Facebook regularly
  •  Follow customers/clients on Twitter – from official accounts and personal accounts
  •  Connect with customers/clients via LinkedIn
  •  Reach out to customers/clients when you see something (good or bad) about your company and ask for private contact information to resolve issues in private
  •  Retweet to show you care about what they care about and your company is ready to provide high quality genuine services
  •  Achieve patronship for your brand
  •  Post your company latest news and events on all your social media platform
  •  Respond to tweets and messages directed to your company to resolve issues
  •  Offer introductions to those who can assist to resolve issues when you can’t
  •  Avoid social media marketing mistakes

With business being so competitive these days, it’s often the social connection that makes the difference. Customers/clients appreciate high quality service and can be loyal to your brand.

Establishing and maintaining relationships is a critical part of this business and companies should be using social media to engage constructively with clients.

Enable MSMEs to get more Businesses Online

Nigerians are not short of ideas. You just need to interact with the young ones, to marvel at the depth of ideas being nurtured by these upcoming entrepreneurs. It is therefore important to help them catalyze these business ideas into reality, creating more jobs, otherwise these ideas will soon turn to illusion. We must therefore cultivate more Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) because MSMEs are the catalyst for growing any economy.

According to a Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) report available at http://nigerianstat.gov.ng/pdfuploads/SMEDAN%202013_Selected%20Tables.pdf, there are about 37million MSMEs in Nigeria, which is about 22% of the total population of Nigeria that currently stands at 170 Million. What is instructive is that of these 37 Million MSMEs, only 335,604 representing less than 1% are in the Information and Communication area.

The fact that NIRA has only reached less than 10% of the ICT based-MSMEs population, going by our present domain count, suggests that there is plenty of work to be done, to make more Nigerians register .ng names. It is safe to conclude that growing the domain count is growing the MSMEs space in Nigeria.

MSMEs will flourish more in Nigeria, if we create a more conducive environment. The process of registering businesses must be simplified as well as the paperwork required. MSMEs need to enjoy better tax conditions, which should be between 5% and 10% of their profit, so that Government can bring more of them under the tax umbrella and better monitor their activities. Tax evasion is one of the key reasons that drives a wedge between the MSMEs and those relevant Government agencies that should monitor their activities.  Bringing them into view also gives them better access to business tips as well as financial support in form of loans and subsidies.

From recent interactions between the NIRA registry and the NiRA Accredited Registrars, it is clear that many are re-positioning for the year 2017. With the over 37million MSMEs in Nigeria, the potentials are there and it is heart-warming that your association is gearing for the future of online businesses in Nigeria. The future looks bright for all, if only the MSMEs can flourish.

As the year draws to a close, do not forget to register, protect and maintain your online business presence with a .ng domain name. Remember to stay safe online and keep your loved ones safe. There is a future for the online ‘real estate business’, and you should not hesitate to be a major player.

 

Your President,

Rev’d Sunday Folayan