Registration for Nigeria’s country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD), .ng, increased by 5,920 in the last three months, New Telegraph has learnt. The new registrations recorded between January and March brought the number of registered .ng to 153,665.
According to data released by the Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA), subscriptions for the domain name, which stood at 147,745 in December 2019, rose to 150,111 in January this year as 2,366 new registrations were recorded in the month.
In February, 2,800 new registrations were recorded, bringing the total to 152,911, while 754 registrations were recorded in March The country’s internet asset, which is being managed by NiRA, had witnessed remarkable growth over the last three years, even though many Nigerian websites are still registered with foreign domain names.
This had prompted NiRA to set a target of one million active web addresses on the .ng domain name in five years, starting from 2019. However, the pace of growth has slowed down over the last year, thus casting a shadow of doubt over the one million target of NiRA. Currently, Nigeria has one of the lowest registrations for the country’s code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) in the world. Nigerians’ preference for foreign domain names, especially the United State’s .com, has been the bane of the .ng, thus denying the country huge revenue from the national resource. Meanwhile, one of the reasons cited by web developers for not using the .ng for their clients was cost. According to them, the cost of registering Nigeria’s .ng is far higher than that of .com. While a .com domain name can be registered for as low as N2,000, a cheap .ng registration is sold for N11,000 while the premium names are sold for as high as N1 million.
To address the concerns about the pricing, the President of NiRA, Mr. Rudman Mohammed, had last year announced that the association managing the country’s domain name would consider a downward review of the current price.
Mohammed said the Board of the Registrar had listened to complaints from Nigerians and would slash the price to encourage more Nigerians to register and use the country’s identity on the internet. According to him, Nigeria is losing a lot of money through the preference for a foreign domain name and foreign hosting of data, adding that this must be stopped by encouraging more Nigerians to take up the .ng domain name.
He said government must also come up with localisation policy to ensure that the country’s data is hosted locally. On the outlook for 2020, Mohammed said fresh achievements would be targeted this year. “We have activated the NiRA plans for the productive year ahead and look forward to making changes within the domain name ecosystem,” he said. “As usual, we will work closely with our NiRA Accredited Registrars and other stakeholders to run outreach programs in all the geo-political zones of Nigeria. We need to get many Nigerian businesses online in collaboration with other stakeholders. “A lot of our activities are geared towards promoting local content in the ICT Sector. We are hopeful that more Nigerians would be online for the right reasons, especially with the Government’s plan to increase broadband penetration,” Muhammed added. “We reiterate once again, that the benefits of using the .ng domain names for an organisation’s website and email addresses are enormous. Some of these benefits include the reduction of capital flight, geo-targeting benefits for websites, increased security, promotion of local content development, development of Nigeria’s ICT infrastructure, higher ranking on search engines such asgoogle.com.ng, localised support and increased brand recognition, etc,” the NiRA president said.