Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA)

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GITEX 2019

The 39th Gulf Information Technology Exhibition (GITEX) technology week held at the World Trade Centre, Dubai from 6th to 10th October 2019. This was Nigeria’s seventh participation at GITEX. Nigeria’s annual participation at GITEX is aimed at promoting investments in the technology sector through the African Investment Forum and showcasing Nigerian Startups and Organizations.

NiRA was one of the Nigerian organisations at the 2019 GITEX. It is worthy of note that the various Nigerian organizations and startups showcased/hosted their products on websites and emails with their registered .ng domain names. The NiRA team was able to promote and guide participants on how to register their .ng domain names and also explained the benefits of registering .ng domain names at the conference.

The Nigerian delegation to GITEX 2019 was led by Dr. Isa Ali Patami, Honorable Minister, Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Senate Committee Chairman Senator Oseni Yakubu, Senate Deputy Vice Chairman Senator Buhari Adbulfatai Omotayo, Honorable Abubakar Lado Abdullahi, Director General/CEO of National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) Mr. Kashifu Inuwa, The Executive Vice Chairman of Nigerian Communications Commission Prof. Umar Danbatta, Managing Director of Galaxy Backbone Mr. Yusuf Kazaure, and other CEOs  in the ICT Industry.

Nigeria also organized the Africa Investment Forum held on Wednesday 9th October 2019. The forum attracted ICT stakeholders and investors from across the world. In his opening remarks, Mr. Inuwa stated that looking large number of young people in the country, Nigeria is heaven for ICT innovation and the largest ICT market in Africa.

The Hon Minister, Dr. Pantami said that Nigeria has the largest economy in Africa. Stating that the GDP of Nigeria is over $300,000 million which is the largest in Africa, he encouraged foreign investors to tap into the largest market in Africa. He also said that the ease of doing business in Nigeria is like no other. Currently, it takes between 24 – 48 hours for foreign companies to register their businesses through the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). 95% of the registration can be done online. There are also incentives that the Federal Government gives foreign investors who come to invest in Nigeria. He encouraged foreign investors at the session to quickly utilize the golden opportunity which was being placed before them.

The Africa Investment Forum focused on technology investments and how the continent could leverage on increasing value to GDP of ICT in most developing economies. Speakers across different verticals discussed ICT diffusion across different sectors that include education, cybersecurity, startups, retail, energy, healthcare, and finance.

The hallmark of the program came when one of the Nigerian startups sponsored by NITDA won the Best AI Startup Category. Chiniki Guard is an artificial intelligence (AI) security solution for retail stores and supermarkets designed to monitor, detect and alert the owners and staff about shoplifting and suspicious behavior in real-time. Chiniki Guard was one of six Nigerian startups who participated at the GITEX 2019 Supernova challenge. Other startups include 247Medic a subscription-based and pay as you go online medical care, consultation and advisory service, Bluecircle a disease registry software that leverages mobile technology to empower healthcare provides at every level of health delivery, to collect and analyze patient’s data while assisting patients keep their therapeutic goals, Sublime squares a technology that gives real-time data about the fill level of waste bins and visualizes the data, Naira Packet an app that makes payment convenient for its users and Zowasel an app that provides immediate access to 24hours payment for agricultural businesses to sell commodities in Nigeria and overseas.


The Federal Ministry of Communications will henceforth be known as ‘Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy’. The development, which was announced on Wednesday, 23rd October 2019 followed President Muhammadu Buhari’s approval of a request by the Minister, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami FRNCS FBCS FIIM.

In a statement signed by a Deputy Director in the Ministry, Mrs Philomena Oshodin, the Federal Government said: “The Ministry which supervises the ICT Sector has been renamed The Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy to further expand its mandate to capture the goals of digitalisation of the Nigerian economy in line with the Economic Growth and Recovery Plan (EGRP), one of the key agenda of the present administration."

According to the Minister, the old name had become limiting and obsolete and did not reflect the trends as emphasized by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).  Dr. Pantami said: “ICT contribution to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) stood at 13.85 percent in the second quarter of 2019. The change of nomenclature will propel the ministry to reposition its strategic objectives as laid out in the priority areas of this administration while accelerating growth and social inclusion.” The Minister “cited examples of global and African economies like Scotland, Thailand, Tunisia, Benin Republic, and Burkina Faso among others, who have adopted deliberate strategies and created Ministries of Digital Economy in line with global best practice, and especially the European Union which has a commissioner for Digital Economy."

In a letter containing his approval, President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR reportedly said the request is in line with global best practice which will further reflect the priorities of his administration.


In a bid to enhance government service delivery to the masses and increase its internally generated revenue (IGR), technology companies like the Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA) IHS, Airtel, Glo, VDT, MTN, Galaxy Backbone and Broad-based Communications have indicated their interest to participate at this year’s eGovernment Conference, where new technology solutions that will enhance government service delivery and reduce unemployment in the country will be discussed and showcased.

The forum, which is scheduled to hold on 24th October 2019 at the Lagos Sheraton Hotels and Towers, is put together by DigiServe Network Services Limited in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Federal Inland Revenue Services, Nigerian Communications Commission, National Information Technology Development Agency, Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria and Nigeria Internet Registration Association.

The one-day conference seeks to discuss how technology adoption in government can boost government IGR, enhance government service delivery and reduce unemployment in the country. With the theme: “eGovernment: Powering Governance with ICT,” the conference also provides an opportunity for the stakeholders to discuss the recently approved National eGovernment plan and parley on how to remove the barriers militating against the growth of the Nigerian telecoms and ICT sector.

According to the executive chairman of DigiServe Network Services Limited, Mr. Lanre Ajayi, “Nigeria eGovernment Conference would provide a platform where government officials and experts in various specializations in ICT can interact, share perspective and develop the roadmap to mainstreaming ICT in various departments of government.”


Few cultural revolutions can trace their origins as precisely as the one that was born on October 29, 1969, in 3420 Boelter Hall at the University of Califonia, Los Angeles (UCLA) USA. At 22:30 hours on October 29, 1969, the Internet was born and the first message was sent over the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET). Professor Kleinrock supervising his student/programmer Charley Kline (CSK) set up a message transmission to go from the UCLA SDS Sigma 7 Host computer to another programmer, Bill Duvall, at the SRI SDS 940 Host computer.

The transmission itself was simply to "login" to SRI from UCLA. They succeeded in transmitting the "l" and the "o" and then the system crashed! Hence, the first message on the Internet was "lo", as in "lo and behold! About an hour later they were able to transmit the full login.

Fifty years later, the ripple effects of that moment are felt daily by nearly every human on the planet and will likely be felt for centuries to come. As at today, more than 4 billion people have internet access, with the number of devices connected to IP networks more than double the global population and its traffic measured in exabytes.

In Nigeria the total number of Internet users as reported by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has risen to over 112 million as of October 2019 and this number is expected to surge higher as the consumer-driven data consumption, fuelled by the mobile and broadband services in IoT devices increases.

The Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA) Commemorates the 50th Anniversary of the Birth of the Internet and encourages all to register their business online using the .ng domain name.