Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA)

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Historic Moment for Internet

Stewardship of IANA Functions Transitions to Global Internet Community as Contract with U.S. Government Ends

The contract between the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and the United States Department of Commerce National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), to perform the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions, officially expired on the 1st of October 2016; the historic moment for Internet and its users globally. This historic moment marks the transition of the coordination and management of the Internet’s unique identifiers to the private-sector, a process that has been committed to and underway since 1998. There would be no change or difference in the experience of Internet users as a result of the steward transition.

“This transition was envisioned 18 years ago, yet it was the tireless work of the global Internet community, which drafted the final proposal, that made this a reality,” said ICANN Board Chair Stephen D. Crocker. “This community validated the multi-stakeholder model of Internet governance. It has shown that a governance model defined by the inclusion of all voices, including business, academics, technical experts, civil society, governments and many others is the best way to assure that the Internet of tomorrow remains as free, open and accessible as the Internet of today.”

In managing the coordination of the Internet’s unique identifiers, ICANN plays a small but significant role in the Internet’s ecosystem. For more than 15 years, ICANN worked in concert with other technical bodies such as the Internet Engineering Task Force, the Regional Internet Registries, top-level domain registries and registrars, and many others.

The final chapter of the privatization process began in 2014, when NTIA asked ICANN to convene the global multi-stakeholder community, which is made up of private-sector representatives, technical experts, academics, civil society, governments and individual Internet end users, to come together and formulate proposals to both replace NTIA’s historic stewardship role and enhance ICANN’s accountability mechanisms.

The global community developed the package of proposals based on the criteria set by NTIA.

Then ICANN and its various stakeholder groups worked tirelessly to ensure that all the necessary implementation tasks were completed, so the IANA functions contract could expire on 30 September 2016.

The proposals reinforce ICANN’s existing multi-stakeholder model and are also aimed at enhancing ICANN’s accountability. The improvements include empowering the global Internet community to have direct recourse if they disagree with decisions made by ICANN the organization or the Board.

The IANA stewardship transition is a testament to the tireless work of the global community, and a validation of the multi-stakeholder model that frames that community.

To learn more about the IANA Stewardship Transition, go here:



Domain Names Registration Statistics for July, August and September 2016

Domain Name Registrations and Renewals at the Registry have steadily increased on month per month basis and year per year basis. The increase can of course be attributed to the hard work of the NiRA Accredited Registrars. The domain names registered and renewed in September 2016 (4,915) is more than twice the registration in September 2014 (2370) and far more than the registration in September 2015.


Successful IANA Transition, Implications for Nigeria’s ICT Development

Without much fanfare, the United States Government stood down from providing oversight to the management of Internet resources (also called IANA functions), on 1st October 2016.

Hitherto, the oversight was done via a contract between the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the body responsible for the coordination and management of Internet Resources, and the US Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).

The road to the symbolic event started in 2014, when ICANN was asked to convene a global multi-stakeholder community that will provide the needed oversight when the NTIA contract expires. You can read more about this transition in the News section of this Newsletter.

That the global Internet community was able to pull this off, is testimony to the globalization of the Internet and the level of inclusiveness that ICANN has been able to achieve. Your Association, NIRA is one of the many global institutions participating in the Internet Governance ecosystem. We salute all the visionaries and those who worked tirelessly in the various committees and institutions to achieve this symbolic milestone. Congratulations to all.

As a true Multi-stakeholder entity in Nigeria, NIRA’s setup, composition and governance is proof that the Multistakeholder model works, and will continue to assure a global, inclusive, pervasive, scalable and reliable Internet.

Locally, we must now turn to confront the various impediments working against the average Nigerian getting online and being productive. The Internet is no longer a luxury, rather a tool for basic existence, so we must be proactive.

Government services must be readily available and accessible to all, at no cost. We should start immediately, with essential services. For example, Nigerians should not pay for Internet Access to file their Tax returns online, register births and deaths, apply for a Government ID online or give critical and important Information to the Police. We must look at how to educate our teeming youths using the Internet as a supplementary classroom, because they are the bedrock of a productive economy.

People must find content in their own languages. NIRA is working with other Institutions such as the Office of National Content (ONC), Nigeria Internet Group (NIG) and the Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria (IXPN) in re-energizing the Local Internet Content Forum (LICF) to strategize on how to keep Nigeria’s content local, and conserve scarce Foreign Exchange resources as the nation adjusts to the current realities.

We should ensure that the physically challenged are not left behind. We must address the scourge of cybercrime, especially the advance fee fraud that has tainted Nigeria’s image Internationally. We all, must continue to assist the Government in developing, promoting and enforcing policies that will make many Nigerians anchor the emerging knowledge economy. That is when we can truly enjoy the dividends of the symbolic but significant IANA transition.

Come along, Lets do it!


Your President,

Rev’d Sunday Folayan


The world’s technological advancement especially in the aspect of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has been so rapid and innovative.  Internet accessibility has been integrated into every gadget, making it easy and fast for everybody to access the Internet, contributing and/or consuming available information online. Over the years the Internet has proven to be the best and largest computer network where files/information of any kind can be easily shared and accessed with no restrictions. It has been noted that some people have taken advantage of this privilege in the negative form/direction/manner. These negative acts have forced the introduction of censorship on the Internet.

Internet censorship is the monitoring or control of files, webpages, contents that can be accessed, published, or viewed from/on the Internet. Censorship can be done by the Government, Private Organizations acting on Governmental policies or their own policies or by individuals out of fear of legal or social consequences that might arise from the misuse of the Internet.

Internet censorship can be in various forms. For example, a country might see some social media websites/platforms as a national threat thereby restricting citizens’ access to such sites/platforms. There are also Child Online Protection Act, Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, etc. These are all geared towards online protection of children and the youths.

The Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA), the manager of the Nigerian Internet resource, .ng, has policies,, guiding domain name registrations. There are guidelines against registration of domain names, which can be termed offensive to the Nigerian community and the Global community.

In conclusion, whilst the Internet has helped many organizations and individuals attain global recognition, the wrong use of the Internet can also cause harm or infringe on the rights of other individuals/organisations/countries. Internet users are advised to be careful with the kind of content they upload and view because everything that goes over the Internet can be regarded as public content for public consumption and can be accessed by anybody.

The .ng Crusade needs you and Welcome Dr. Pantami

In recent times, Internet penetration has been on the increase with more Businesses getting online, people connecting more with others and the world gradually becoming socially active. Many people are beginning to appreciate the essence of the .ng brand. Many have come to realize that their products and services are best brought to the attention of their primary target audience using the .ng medium. It gives one joy that many more Companies are boldly branding their premises and cars with .ng domain names.

Brand awareness, publicity and protection are some of the benefits of being on .ng. I make bold to say that this is now the time to adopt .ng for your online presence if you have not made the move or the switch as appropriate.

The .ng string is our national resource, a national identity which we must be proud to have, use and advertise. We should support the brand and promote it. By using it, we are conserving our scarce foreign exchange, promoting employment and creating wealth. We are equally assisting Nigeria to find its way out of the current economic recession.

The process to register a .ng domain name or switch to a .ng domain name is easy. It starts by contacting an accredited Registrar of NIRA. The list is at

Please join us in the drive to bring .ng to the consciousness of Nigerians. There is a growing demand for the .ng brand. Let us key into this, enlighten the public more on the advantages of brandishing our national online identity, as well as promoting and marketing our businesses online.

Let me seize this opportunity to Congratulate and welcome the newly appointed Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami. We wish him God’s guidance and a successful and resourceful tenure. I congratulate the Immediate past Acting DG, Dr. Vincent Olatunji for holding fort successfully, and we wish him the best in his future assignments.


Your President,


Rev’d Sunday Folayan