Following the National Information Technology Development Agency’s (NITDA) readiness to compel the adoption of Nigeria’s country-code top-level domain name, especially among ministries departments and agencies (MDAs), a 14-man enforcement committee has been inaugurated to properly monitor its implementation.
It should be recalled that The Guardian had exclusively published on February 7 under the headline – ‘Nigeria’s domain name fails to gain traction, attracts 184,341 users’ – that compliance with the directive was still poor. The report showed how businesses and MDAs ignored Nigeria’s country code top-level domain while opting for .com, .net, .org, among generic domain names.
According to the agency, in line with the policy of the nation’s digital economy, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved the National Second-Level Domain Policy on February 16, 2022, making it mandatory for all government-owned websites and official email correspondence of all government personnel to comply.
Stressing the role of the agency, it is mandated by the NITDA enabling Act, 2007 to manage and administer Nigeria’s ccTLD (.ng). This gives NITDA the authority to allocate and administer the Nigerian Government Second-Level domains on .gov.ng; .edu.ng; .mil.ng; .sch.ng and any other second-level domain name that may be approved in the future.
Meanwhile, it is observed that the new policy is expected to drastically enhance public confidence in the authenticity and security of information and other services accessed from government-owned websites.
Recording the level of compliance of the new policy by the state and federal ministries and agencies, according to the agency, while 99% of federal MDAs have transited to the .ng domain and have maintained compliance with the Nigeria ccTLD scheme. This is not the same at the state and local government levels, where 80% of administration websites and email addresses lack the .ng validation.
The implication of this non-compliance by the state MDAs and private businesses hinders the Nigerian government’s identity, security, and global recognition on the Internet.
Therefore, while the newly inaugurated committee has mapped out a strategy for transitioning, all remaining government websites and mail addresses at all levels have been urged to adopt the .ng domain in earnest to prevent disciplinary measures.