Application of Nigerian Domain Identity in the Public Sector, by Zeenat O. Sambo

…Nigerian companies registering .ng domain names have the immediate benefit of being ranked first on search engines when they search online. Using it and maintaining good search engine optimization (SEO) for the website will, over time, lead to increased local traffic.

Recently, I heard about the inauguration of a 14-person Implementation Committee to monitor the implementation of the National Policy on Second-Level Domains across all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) at levels state and federal by the National Information Technology Development Agency. (NITDA) and was amazed why, after six years, the Nigerian government is still advocating for compliance of the local .ng domain.

The Federal Executive Council’s (FEC) drive to diversify the economy and its commitment to developing a robust digital economy culminated in the approval of the National Second-Level Domains Policy on February 16, which required the use of the Nigerian second level domain by all governments. proprietary websites and official emails.

I was surprised when a diplomat issued his card for confirmation and it read “.co.uk” and our senior officials were unaware of the use of .ng in their departments.

It will also come as a surprise to many that the Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA) is the registry for .ng Internet domain names and manages the database of registered names in Nigeria.

The .ng is the Internet country code top-level domain (ccTLD) for Nigeria. The Nigeria Domain Name System identifies Nigeria-related websites and is currently available for registration in the following variations, most of them limited to Nigerian entities such as biz.ng, org.ng, gov .ng, edu.ng, etc. .

Many Nigerian business platforms are still struggling with the indulgence of .ng, unaware of the immense advantage it will offer to boost their business prospects both locally and internationally.

For example, Nigerian companies registering .ng domain names have the immediate benefit of being ranked first on search engines when they search online. Use it and maintain a good search engine optimization (SEO) for the website will, over time, lead to increased local traffic.

A strong online presence is essential. Your potential customer will likely search the web when looking for your product or service, and a website that’s relatively easy to find and navigate will greatly increase your chances of making a sale, which .ng provides.

It was also disturbing to receive the report from the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) that the number of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) across the country dropped by around two million between 2017 and 2021.

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The 2021 MSME survey revealed that there are 39 million MSMEs in Nigeria, which is a significant drop from the 41 million reported in the 2017 survey report.

Now think of the incredible impact on these MSMEs if a significant number used the .ng domain for the development of their websites, with national identity and all the benefits that come with it.

For international merchants, .ng is a powerful mobility provider for online presence. Whether they decide to switch hosting services, move to another country, or use their in-house server, the domain name stays with them, allowing them to build their brand without having to start all over again.

Another interesting fact is the use of .gov.ng for government organizations (MDAs), particularly at the state and local government level, where approximately 80% of government websites and email addresses n don’t have .ng validation.

As Nigeria seeks to dominate the digital economy through its online presence, the use of generic domains and personal email for business and correspondence by MDAs is undermining their identity, security and global reputation on the internet. .

The use of .ng in all state and local governments will make a very good first impression as being patriotic, credible and a crucial tool for meeting the needs of citizens and connecting with the community.

The slow connectivity that many local governments complain about can be solved by local domain identity, .ng. There is usually a delay associated with any website that uses a foreign string due to the URL request for the web page to load. By using the .ng string and also hosting websites locally, these organizations can make their websites run faster.

Therefore, MDAs should serve as good examples for all in the use of the .ng domain at all levels. To boost Nigeria’s digital presence in the global space, MDAs should stop using the domains of ISPs or email providers.

Unlike registering a foreign domain, the .ng domain is affordable and payments are made in naira. This will save companies and the country huge amounts of foreign currency.

What amazes me is that Nigeria has the most tech hubs in Africa, with South Africa coming second. Yet South Africa has over a million domains in the .co.za registry, while Nigeria has only about 100,000 domains in the .ng registry.

Many federal and state government institutions want to use other national domain name applications like .co.za, .com, .co.uk, .com.gh at the expense of the .ng domain which still suffers from low recognition .

NITDA, as the authority that manages and administers Nigeria’s ccTLD (.ng), has taken the bold step of inaugurating a 14-person Compliance Committee to oversee the implementation of the National Domain Policy. second tier and ensure compliance in order to actively increase registration on the .ng domain.

This is a commendable effort on the part of NITDA as it works closely with relevant organizations to ensure that all government entities have access to dedicated domain names.

Additionally, service providers are encouraged to support this initiative by ensuring that any government domain they register complies with this guideline to ensure widespread adoption of .ng. domain.

The new policy is expected to significantly boost public confidence in the authenticity and security of information accessed from government-owned websites.

Also, applying .ng domain websites or emails does not invalidate our already existing emails or website addresses. They can be synced with .ng appropriately and use the existing application without complications or delays.

The cooperation of all Nigerians is highly needed for the growing adoption of the use of the .ng domain, which will help advance the digital transformation and economic fortunes of the country.

Zeenat O. Sambo writes from Abuja.


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