The Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA) has reported a record 177,453 active .ng domain names.

NiRA is responsible for maintaining the database of registered names in the .ng country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) namespace in the public interest of Nigeria and the global internet community.

Muhammed Rudman, the President of NiRA disclosed the active domain name figure at NIRA’s 14th Annual General Meeting, held in Lagos, recently.

Apart from the increase in .NG domain name registrations and renewals, Rudman, said that some new registrars were accredited and that the Association will continue to acknowledge the efforts of all her Accredited Registrars as well as their Resellers, for NiRA’s success.

The President added that NiRA has been working with critical stakeholders including government institutions such as the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy and the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), to ensure improved .NG brand awareness, adoption and support.

“It is worthy of note that there has been little or no online complaints against the .ng in recent times. The effort of the executive board in terms of protecting the integrity of the brand is a key priority and we can be rest assured that the .ng brand is growing its footprints, one impression at a time”, he said.

NiRA continues to employ its special purpose vehicles; Ndukwe Kalu Foundation (NKF) and the NiRA Academy and Resource Centre (NARC) in giving back to the society.

To this end, the President told the members that NiRA Academy organized a series of webinars on Nigeria Data Protection Regulation, Companies and Allied Matters, Resellers Entrepreneurship, and  Registrar technical trainings to enlighten its stakeholders on various workings of the Domain Name Industry.

He stated “Finally, my heartfelt gratitude goes to the NiRA Board of Trustees for their guidance and support throughout 2021. I’m grateful to the gentlemen of the fourth estate of realm who have always been supportive of NiRA, publicizing and circulating articles about the organisation, and assisting in the promotion of the .ng domain. I can’t express my gratitude enough to NiRA staff for their continued hard work and dedication to our beloved organization. Thank you very much and may the Almighty God guide and bless us all,” in closing.

Mr. Toba Obaniyi, NiRA’s Vice President further highlighted some items in the report for the year 2021.

According to him, the year 2021 was an interesting one. “Organizations began the journey of recovery from a pandemic that the world had not seen in over a century. Business processes had been forever altered and the new normal arrived. Businesses faced the effects of months of restrictions and social distancing as a result of the pandemic.

“The concept of the great resignation arose as a result of the overwhelming effect of Covid-19 on people’s mental health. Employees had learnt from the pandemic that their mental health and stability were critical to their success and they pursued this with vigor.

“Although the benefit of rapid online business expansion resulted in some gains for the .ng brand, in 2020, a large number of these domains were not renewed in 2021, resulting in a decline in total renewals in 2021”, he said.

Obaniyi added that NiRA’s continuous push for broader use of .ng necessitated an overall review of the business strategy by the end of the year, during the board and staff retreat.

For the year 2021, adapting NiRA to the new normal was the mantra. The NiRA Executive Board of Directors decided to develop strategies that would ensure NiRA becomes the leading registry in Africa, by making .ng the preferred domain to Nigerians.

He said that in line with the business plan, NiRA has  intensified brand awareness across the six geopolitical zones of the county.

He said that while it will continue to improve on the technical infrastructure and operational efficiency, NiRA will not relent on liaising with Law Enforcement Agencies and various Nigerian Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) for quick resolution of criminal issues related to .ng domains.

 While presenting the 2022 Business Plan, Mrs. Eyitayo Iyortim, the Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Secretary to the Executive Board at NiRA, said that the 2022 strategic focus is accelerating the growth of the .ng domain, which is consistent with NiRA’s vision to be among the best registries in the world, within the shortest possible time as measured by the satisfaction of the stakeholders and to be a model for other ccTLDs.

 The President confirmed this, adding that NiRA has five standing committees with the responsibility for implementing each of the listed strategic areas.

“NiRA targets deploying network security, investing in manpower development and reducing the cumbersome process involved in onboarding registrars”, he added.

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