The Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA), the .ng Internet Domain Names Registry, operates the 3-R (Registry/Registrar/Registrant) model. This means that registration of .ng domain names for Registrants is by the NiRA Accredited Registrars and not by NiRA, the Registry. NiRA has accredited 57 (Fifty Seven) Registrars, as of 11th October 2016. These Registrars may have Resellers, who use the platform of the NiRA Accredited Registrars for the registration of the .ng domain names. It must be noted that NiRA is not in the business of building websites or website hosting. Some Registrars do this.
A domain name is your identity on the Internet. It says who you are and/or the name of your business, used to locate an organisation or an entity on the Internet. A website is a collection of related web pages identified with a common domain name. Domain names are required for hosting websites or for an email addressing system/solution and/or both. You must have a domain name before you can have either one or both of these and having a domain name does not mean automatically that you have a website. A website must be built and hosted for it to be visible on the Internet. The same company can register a domain name, build the website and host the website for you.
For online businesses or businesses requiring online presence, you need to have a domain name and a website with your domain name. Some think that a domain name is a website and a website is a domain; they are not aware that these are different entities and serve different purposes. They are closely related but serve different purposes. In some instances, some believe that a domain name must be hosted by the same company that registered the domain name. For ease of management and one stop shop solution, if the Registrar/reseller/company has a hosting company and you require a domain name, it makes life easier to obtain both solutions from the same company/person. Hosting a website on the Internet is leasing space on the server of the hosting firm/company/registrar.
Can a .ng domain name be registered/renewed by a NiRA accredited registrar and the website be hosted by another company/registrar? The answer is YES. The choice of whom to provide you with a service is yours entirely.
All NiRA Accredited Registrars were accredited after undergoing the accreditation process and having met the requirements, are certified to register/renew domain names under the .ng ccTLD (country code Top Level Domain). The Registrars also undergo annual re-certification process. NiRA Accredited Registrars via the link, http://www.nira.org.ng/accredited-registrars/all, are authorized to register your .ng domain name.
Does a change of website hosting company automatically result in a change of registrar? The simple answer is NO. Since your domain name does not change and remains the same and the registration is valid as long as your contract with the registrar has not expired. The change of the hosting company does not mean a change to your registrar. NiRA does not certify or regulate or monitor hosting companies.
The registration of a domain name can be by a NiRA accredited registrar while the hosting can be either by that same registrar or another registrar or even any company that renders hosting services.
A registrant reserves every right to switch from one .ng registrar to another or even from one hosting company to another anytime. But a required change to a hosting company does not mean a change to the Registrar, who registered or renews the domain name.