Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA)

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.NG DOMAIN NAME REPORT FOR JUNE 2021

NiRA RAISES AWARENESS ON CLOUD SECURITY

Mrs. Edith Udeagu, the Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA), whilst speaking at the McAfee Virtual Cloud Security event, raised awareness on the importance of internet security for Nigerian internet users. Mrs. Udeagu commented that the online environment is increasingly becoming challenging for users and Nigerian citizens must learn how to protect themselves and their assets online.  The webinar "tagged Extend your Security from Device to Cloud" was organized by McAfee, a computer security software company. It aimed to sensitize ICT stakeholders, the youth and the elderly, and the general public on data and systems protection, cybersecurity trends, and the best practices on personal data security and clients' data protection as an organization.

According to Mrs. Udeagu, young and elderly people are the most vulnerable to internet security challenges as they engage with the internet without fully understanding the need to be safe. “Security challenges are encountered from time to time on internet-enabled devices, and the most vulnerable users are the youth and the elderly. They store sensitive information on their devices and upload with reckless abandon, and visit websites without confirming if they are secured,” she noted in her presentation. Internet security issues are rampant and often look harmless. Therefore, the Nigerian users, especially the vulnerable groups, need assistance to be safe and NiRA plays a vital role in ensuring the safety of internet users using the .ng domain name.

Mrs. Udeagu confirmed that NiRA had been working to sensitize Nigerians on internet safety while encouraging the adoption of the .ng domain names for websites and email addresses and local content hosting. Furthermore, through NiRA Academy, the Association collaborates with organizations and stakeholders to “promote a safer internet in Nigeria and also conduct youth and entrepreneurship programs,” the Executive Secretary submitted. She outlined precautionary steps individuals and service providers in Nigeria can take to protect their online data and assets.

Other speakers at the event included Mr. Deteye Laoye, Sales Lead of Soft Solutions Limited (SSL) Nigeria, and Mr. Nigel Hawthorn, McAfee EMEA Marketing Director.

THE IMPLICATIONS OF CAMA 2020 TO BUSINESSES IN NIGERIA

The Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA) organized a webinar to raise awareness about the implications of the Company and Allied Matters Act 2020 (CAMA 2020) on businesses and the business environment in Nigeria. The webinar, themed “The Implications of CAMA 2020 to Businesses in Nigeria”, held on Tuesday, June 29, 2021.

We need to recall that the CAMA 2020 (“the Act”) came into effect on the 7th of August 2020 when it was signed by His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR. Amongst many other benefits, the “Act” introduced measures to ensure efficiency in the registration and regulation of corporate vehicles and reduce the compliance burden of small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The new CAMA also introduced Limited Liability Partnership and Limited Partnership business structure.

Mrs. Edith Udeagu, the Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA), whilst welcoming the participants, had remarked that with the challenges associated with COVID-19 in the year 2020, some SMEs had re-evaluated their business model and moved their businesses online, using the .ng domain name for their online businesses. It was necessary for these businesses to be conversant with the provisions of CAMA 2020. She mentioned that NiRA was keen on the enlightenment webinar for companies who use the .ng domain names for their websites and email addresses.

The invited speakers were Mr. Okey Nnebedum, Senior Associate, Jackson, Etti & Edu; Mr. Cephas Caleb, Senior Associate, Aluko & Oyebode; and representatives from the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).

The webinar sought to ensure that NiRA’s stakeholders understood the implications of CAMA 2020 to their businesses and ensure that Nigerian businesses understand the importance of compliance to CAMA2020. The webinar provided an opportunity to enlighten Nigerians on the .ng brand and the need for Nigerian businesses to use the .ng domain name for their business websites and email addresses.

Speaking on the implications of CAMA 2020 on businesses, Mr. Nnebedum implied that the Act advances ease of doing business in Nigeria by setting standards for company management and governance, shares and shareholders, and the structures of business organizations in Nigeria. The legal luminary detailed in his presentation the meaning of CAMA 2020 and its strategic implication for business formation, operation, management, and structure.

Mr. Cephas Caleb, from Aluko & Oyebode, outlined how CAMA evolved over the years and the innovation the new Act contained. According to the Senior Associate, the innovation introduced in CAMA 2020 included but was not limited to company regulation 2021, classification of corporate trustees, CAC online portal, common seal, electronic signatures, and digitized forms, amongst others.

In attendance at the webinar were stakeholders from the legal, regulatory, and business verticals in Nigeria. NiRA expressed its appreciation to the participants.

NIGERIA DATA PROTECTION REGULATION WEBINAR

It had been said severally that ‘Data is the new oil of the Digital Economy’. Data is an essential resource that powers the information economy in countries. Many countries and their citizens strive to protect their data and ensure privacy of their citizens. Data has become a very important business asset. Many countries now apply new anti-trust rules to the data generated in their countries. Trust is being built from how data is collected, managed and retained. Non-compliance can result in heavy fines.

With the need to protect the sovereign data of Nigeria, by January 2019, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) introduced the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR). The NDPR has created the needed awareness of data protection and privacy in Nigeria and an appreciation of the means of regulating the collection and processing of data in Nigeria.

The Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA) organized a webinar on the NDPR on the 23rd of June 2021 to enlighten the NiRA members, stakeholders and the general public on NDPR. With the registration of domain names, data is collected and processed. There was the need for all to understand how the data could be collected, processed and managed. There was the need to reassure Nigerians that there exists a regulation which should safeguard their data as they register .ng domain names via the platform of NiRA Accredited Registrars. NiRA Accredited Registrars were also part of the webinar.

During the opening remark, Mr. Muhammed Rudman, the NiRA President informed all that as we navigate through cyberspace, we all leave data prints that make individuals vulnerable to people with sinister motives. The President explained the need for individuals to be safe whilst online and why NITDA introduced the NDPR.

The guest speaker of the day was Dr. Vincent Olatunji, the Director, e-Government Development and Regulations, NITDA. He said that “the global digital economy is evolving very quickly, driven by the ability to collect, use and analyze massive amounts of digital data about practically everything. These digital data arise from the digital footprints of personal, social and business activities taking place on various digital platforms.”

In his presentation titled ‘’NDPR and Its implications for NiRA Registrars’’, Dr. Olatunji highlighted that data protection has become imperative against the backdrop of the dangers emerging technologies pose. He pointed out some reasons for the NDPR to include, “right to privacy, statutory mandate, crime reduction, prevention of unauthorized access to data, and customer retention”. He highlighted that NITDA was keen on compliance of organisations to the NDPR.

The participants were informed that data collection organizations were required to engage the services of Data Protection Compliance Organisations (DPCO) and Data Protection Officer (DPO). Dr. Olatunji informed all of the contributions the NDPR had made to Nigeria in terms of income generation and job creation.

Also invited to make a presentation at the NDPR webinar was Mrs. Adedoyin Odunfa, the MD/CEO Digital Jewels Limited. Mr. Tokunbo Taiwo, the Group Chief Technology Officer, represented Mrs. Odunfa and presented the paper ‘Understanding Data Security, Privacy and Protection’.

 The information technology expert noted the rapid growth of data between 2010 and 2021, and how this growth was driven by emerging technologies like social networking sites, streaming applications, and geo data solutions. According to him, “90% of all data in existence as at 2018 were created in the past two years.” Therefore, there is an increasing need for data protection regulations to aid data management, customer retention, and regulatory compliance, he submitted.

Data protection policy best practices were recommended. These processes include the practice of minimal data collection, user’s involvement in the data collection exercise, and data inventory. The participants were informed that the world was at the stage where the sharing of information was more important than ever before and on the need to be very secure whilst online.

The NDPR webinar was enlightening, engaging and very informative and was well appreciated by the participants.

PRESIDENT’S SPEECH

Muhammed Rudman

I heartily welcome all NiRA stakeholders to the third quarter of 2021. The year thus far has been interesting despite the fact that the world is still not out of the woods as a result of covid-19. I must say some targets have been met and also admit that some targets are still unmet. We are still a long way off from our target of a million .ng domain names. This is sad. And we cannot definitely blame this on the effects of covid-19. It is our collective responsibility to grow the .ng brand, our Nigerian Identity in cyberspace. I must ask, WHAT IS HOLDING NIGERIA BACK? A nation of over 210million people and we are still reporting less than 200,000 .ng domain names. We need to wake up from this slumber. All hands must be on deck to build the safe Internet space in Nigeria and advance the digital economy of Nigeria. We can achieve this by registering .ng domain names and improving on our strategies, policies, processes and procedures.

At NiRA we are constantly thinking of how to increase the number of .ng domain names and make the registration of .ng domain names cheaper and easier to register. We are engaging with the NiRA Accredited Registrars and other stakeholders for seamless process flow when registering .ng domain names. We are mindful also of ensuring the security of online users. NiRA is open to innovation and initiatives that can increase the number of .ng domain names.

Over the last couple of months, NiRA Academy, the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) of NiRA had organised several webinars to enlighten the Nigerian public.  All these events are critical to the goal of advancing the internet culture in Nigeria and creating the needed awareness to safeguard internet users with progressive regulations and innovation. NiRA Academy organised webinars on ‘Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR)’ and ‘CAMA2020’. We are grateful to our partner organizations and stakeholders in the ICT and cybersecurity sector who collaborated with NiRA for these webinars. The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) played a major role at the NDPR webinar as the regulatory body for online data protection and safety. We are thankful for the continued partnership and supervisory role of NITDA to ensure that the .ng brand is aligned with global trends in local content.

The CAMA2020 webinar was organised to sensitize the Nigerian business community on the implications of CAMA 2020. The virtual event dissected the CAMA 2020 to educate Nigerian businesses about crucial details of the Act that have strategic implications on the creation, structuring, management, and governance of business organizations in the country. We are grateful to Aluko & Oyebode and Jackson, Etti & Edu for their enlightening presentations from the legal perspective. They helped to make the webinar a resounding success.

We were very happy with the positive reception and outcome of these events and are grateful to the stakeholders that actively participated. These enlightenment programmes positively impact on the awareness programmes for the .ng brand.

We must reiterate again the need for the adoption of the .ng domain names for websites and email addresses for organisations and individuals. Collectively, we have the mandate to encourage local content development and hosting. We must all continue to work relentlessly to secure Nigeria’s internet future and must take full advantage of the digital economy to create job opportunities, improve our standards of living, health facilities and supercharge national economic growth.

Please continue to keep safe and healthy. Thank you.

Muhammed Rudman

President, NiRA

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