It is very depressing that COVID-19 is still raging and lives are being lost to the pandemic. We are also encouraged by the numbers that are recovering from the COVID-19 virus. We appreciate all the work that is being done to curtail the virus, as well as the giant strides in the production of a vaccine against it. The world owes a debt of gratitude to the men and women in the frontlines who are fighting hard; doctors, nurses, ambulance drivers, policemen, volunteers and many others.
Nigeria, like other countries, has some major cities on lockdown. This has forced organisations to take their business online. Whether it is financial transactions, technical support requests or board meetings, online meeting platforms have become imperative for businesses to continue to thrive.
Many events that would have entailed gathering of many people in a single space have either been cancelled outright, postponed or moved online. The ICANN68 Public Meeting will be held online. The 2020 NiRA AGM and CPN 2020 IT Assembly/26th AGM, slated for April 2020, have been postponed. The Africa Internet Summit 2020 slated from 31st May to 12th June 2020 has been postponed. The postponements of these events are for the safety of the participants, organisers and service providers. We have also noted that decisions are yet to be taken on many events for the third and fourth quarters of the year 2020. It is understandable as organisations are keeping a close watch on the unfolding of the development of COVID-19 pandemic.
We are also witnessing many virtual meetings and webinars, teaching, enlightening people and businesses on how to conduct and attend virtual meetings; how to keep their businesses running and operational; how to maintain good health and one’s wellbeing during the lockdown. We have seen more educational programmes for children and those at school, virtual classrooms.
As company communication goes completely virtual during the lockdown, the need to secure those transmissions have become even more imperative. The last two weeks have seen the major online conferencing application, ZOOM, make some significant improvements to secure its platform after reports of imposters hacking into meetings. It is pertinent to congratulate ZOOM on its quick response to those incidents, and the modification of settings on the application such that meetings are now compulsorily accessed with a password, and the waiting rooms which used to be an option for meetings, is no longer optional.
I wish to encourage all to continue to find affordable, efficient but most importantly, secure ways to conduct businesses virtually. We recognise the tough calls organisations are having to make at this time, and appreciate the efforts of all, including NiRA Service Providers who are keeping their lights on.
The operations of the .ng registry are running and the team is available to continue to support everyone whose business is online, on the .ng platform. The NiRA Accredited Registrars are available to provide all required support; do make use of all provided support platforms as required. Visit the website of all the NiRA Accredited Registrars. You can obtain the list of all NiRA Accredited Registrars via the link https://www.nira.org.ng/ng-registrars
On Monday, the 13th April 2020, His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, in his national broadcast announced the extension of the lockdown in some states in Nigeria for further 14 days. We advise all to take note of the address of President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, presented on the 13th April 2020 and do the needful; adhere to the guidelines and advice from/by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
Do reference the website of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), https://covid19.ncdc.gov.ng/ for all updates and clarity on the guidelines/press releases from NCDC. These updates include safety measures, COVID-19 Regulations 2020, Self-Isolation Guide, etc. It is important we all keep safe.