By Zeenat Sambo
Recently, I heard of the inauguration of a 14-person Implementation Committee to oversee the implementation of the National Policy on Second Level Domains in Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) at state levels and federal by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA). ). I was amazed that after 6 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 Policy on Second-Level Domains on February 16, 2022, which required the use of the Nigerian second-level domain by the government. official websites and emails.
A diplomat issued his card for confirmation and it reads .co.uk even though our senior officials were unaware of the use of .ng in their departments. Let me add that the Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA) is the registry for .ng internet domain names and manages the database of registered names in the country.
The .ng is the Internet Country Code Top Level Domain (ccTLD). This Nigerian domain name system identifies local 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 offers to boost their business prospects locally and internationally.
For example, companies that register .ng domain names have the immediate benefit of being ranked first on search engines when they search online. Using it and maintaining a good SEO for the website will, over time, lead to increased local traffic.
A strong online presence is essential. A potential customer will likely search the web when looking for your product or service. A website that is relatively easy to find and navigate will greatly increase your chances of making a sale provided by .ng.
The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) also reports that the number of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) dropped by around 2 million between 2017 and 2021.
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 their website development 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 sticks, allowing them to build their brand without having to start all over again.
Another interesting fact is the use of .gov.ng for MDAs, especially at the state and local government level, where 80% of government websites and email addresses lack validation. .ng.
Nigeria’s online presence aims to dominate the digital economy, but MDAs’ use of generic domains and personal email for business and correspondence undermines its 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 your community.
The slow connectivity that many local governments complain about can be solved by the local domain. 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 their website locally, they can improve the speed and make the website work faster.
Therefore, MDAs should serve as good examples for all in the use of the domain to. 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 around 100,000 domains in the .ng registry.
Many federal and state government institutions want to use other national domain name applications at the expense of the .ng domain which still suffers from poor recognition.
The establishment of the enforcement team by NITDA – the authority that manages and administers Nigeria’s ccTLD (.ng) – to oversee the implementation of the domain policy is commendable. Its partnership with relevant organizations would ensure that government entities have access to dedicated domain names.
It is good that service providers have been encouraged to support the initiative by ensuring that any government domain they register is .ng compliant. 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 email or website addresses. They can be synced to use the existing app without complications or delays.
The cooperation of all Nigerians is essential to embrace the use of the .ng domain that will help advance the country’s digital transformation and economic fortunes.
Sambo, who submitted this article from Wuye District, Abuja, can be contacted via [email protected].