Nigeria domain name fails to gain traction, attracts 184,341 users – Nigeria – The Guardian Nigeria News – Nigeria and World News
• Businesses worry about inconsistent government policies
• .ng corresponds to 0.000504353 of the 365.5 million ccTLDs registered worldwide
• INEC, banks, e-commerce companies and MDAs are still adopting .com; .report; .org
• The country loses millions of dollars because of adoption abroad
Some 17 years after the formation of the Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA), which gave birth to the country’s code top-level domain (ccTLD), the share of .ng in the national identity on the Internet remains very low. The .ng is Nigeria’s identity on the World Wide Web (www).
Guardian checks showed that .ng matches 0.000504353 of the 365.5 million registered and functioning ccTLDs worldwide. This is despite the country’s estimated population of over 200 million and over 100 million internet users.
To emphasize, a domain name is an identification string that defines an area of administrative autonomy, authority, or control within the Internet Protocol. The right to use a domain name is delegated by domain name registrars that are accredited by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) – the international organization responsible for overseeing name systems and Internet numbers.
The results showed that apathy towards .ng, particularly from Nigerian-registered companies as well as government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), continued to increase capital flight out of from the country.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), commercial banks, e-commerce companies and hospitals are among the entities that operate on foreign domain names in Nigeria.
Furthermore, while so many businesses have been set up and registered in Nigeria, most of them do not yet have an online presence, further compounding the woes of .ng. Many registered entities leverage social media platforms like Instagram and WhatsApp to improve connectivity and access.
The Guardian’s check on the African region showed that South Africa, with a population of 60.4 million, has 1.25 million registered and active .za; Kenya’s population, estimated at 53.7 million, has 93,446 registered .ke. Nigeria, whose population is estimated at over 200 million, has only 184,341 registered domain names, nearly 17 years later.
One analyst said it might be difficult to put a figure on how much Nigeria is losing due to low traffic for the country’s domain name, as there is no empirical research yet to determine this, “however, I can say that the country is losing millions of dollars.”
So many factors have been cited for the slow traction .ng has gained since its inception. These include the preference of Nigerians for foreign products, the high cost of domain name and the reluctance of some registered Nigerian companies to move online.
For example, while website owners around the country often blame their choice of a domain name on the web developers who choose on their behalf, developers have based their decisions on the fact that the cost of registering the name country domain name is higher than that of a generic .com domain name being managed by Verisign.
The Guardian found that while a .com domain name can be registered for as little as N2,000, a cheap .ng registration is sold for N11,000, while premium names fetch N1 million.
Speaking about the challenges and efforts to promote .ng, NiRA Chairman Muhammed Rudman told the Guardian that the agency is doing everything possible to populate the domain name, even outside the country. .
Rudman said the biggest challenge has been people not taking things that are Nigerian seriously, “be it shoes, clothes or other items. We are not proud of our own products. There is this perception that Nigerian products are inferior and inferior to others.
“The most important thing, in fact, is that everyone is used to .com. By default, we focus on .com. Anyone who wants to register is now registering in this area and this has been happening for a few years now. So .com has been a dominant player all these years based on the adoption it has driven.
While advising Nigerian businesses to leverage the internet to achieve better sales, Rudman urged them to explore opportunities in the .ng namespace.
“Using the .ng domain extension for personal and business websites and online platforms offers tremendous benefits. Using the .ng domain name for your website allows businesses to reach the Nigerian market more easily.
“If your business is aimed at the Nigerian market, using the .ng domain extension improves your local search engine optimization (SEO) and helps your audience easily discover your business on search engines,” said he declared.
He added that the association is committed and dedicated to rewarding the entrepreneurial spirit of Nigerians who have succeeded online and contributed to the growth of the Nigerian economy.
Unlike before, MDAs used .com or .org for registration, the NiRA boss said MDAs have been hugely compliant, as they now use .gov.ng for their online presence, “but this does not mean that all of them have complied.
He said NiRA will work with FG to ensure that every business registered in Nigeria has a default .ng domain name.
“We would like to push all Nigerian businesses online and ensure their further adoption of .ng which will give them global visibility. Nigerians should be eager to do so.
Rudman called on major Nigerian companies, such as Konga and banks that are still on .com, to switch to .ng.
In one of his media interviews, outgoing NiRA President Sunday Folayan described the Nigerian domain name as one of the most unique names on the internet.
According to him, “If you look at domain names like .tv, most people think it’s for TV recording, which it isn’t. It belongs to the island of Tuvalu, but you see TV channels subscribe to it.
“So with .ng, we have a single channel that appeals to a wide range of people around the world. The .ng domain name can be sold anywhere, not just in Nigeria.
Remmy Nweke, Chief Consulting Strategist of DigitalSense Africa, attributed the lack of traction to a lack of political will on the part of the government.
Nweke said most political classes have organizations and businesses they own, but that’s not on .ng. He said FG itself should serve .ng by believing in it and discouraging capital flight from the service.
“INEC is still not on .ng. As companies register in .com; .org; .net, they create jobs and opportunities for another economy. We have to change this trend this year,” Nweke stressed.
The Director/COO of Upperlink Limited, an ICANN accredited registrar, Akinsanya Adesola, agreed that the numbers for current .ng projects are poor compared to the population of Nigeria and a number of Internet users in the country.
He admitted that at the time the domain name was made available to the general population, it was very expensive, “but I can say that several schemes at NiRA have worked hard to ensure that the price is considerably reduced”.
He again highlighted the fact that Nigerians are unpatriotic, with many having a preference for foreign products over Nigerian-made options. He also pointed to unstable politics in Nigeria as another factor.
“There are policy uncertainties. Imagine the Twitter ban. The government forgot that so many businesses were operating on the platform, and within a day it was taken down. It is because of some of these things that SMEs prefer to go abroad because they are sure that nothing abrupt will happen in terms of policies,” he pointed out.
According to him, registrars are still eager to register businesses on the .ng platform, “but some organizations would insist on wanting to register on .com; .org, among others, claiming to want to be on the global stage. But we make them aware of .ng. Some have agreed to do .ng, while others insist on foreign domain names.
On the way forward, Adesola called on the government to come up with policies that will compel companies wishing to do business in Nigeria to adopt the domain name, especially those from abroad, saying this will lead to the adoption of the .ng.
Indeed, several reports have shown that countries around the world are earning billions of dollars from the sales of ccTLDs, which are national identities in the Domain Name System (DNS). Germany, for example, is said to have sold 20 million of its .de ccTLDs, and according to world prices, each is sold for at least $100. Additionally, Tokelau, a small island of around 1,400 people, is said to have sold 21 million units of its ccTLD, .tk, and that alone is considered the economic mainstay of the island nation.
As of October 2021, information collected from NiRA showed that it had registered 6,580 new .ngs, renewed 4,551 and restored 25. The statistics further revealed that during the period there were 135,849 names active third level domain names, while 48,492 were second level, in all there were 184,341 domain names in the country.
As in the same period in 2020, there were 7,031 registrations, 3,842 renewals and 93 restorations. Then the active domains (third level) were 152,869 and the second level was 19,843 with a total of 172,712.
According to VeriSign Inc., a global provider of domain name registry services and Internet infrastructure, the first quarter of 2021 ended with 363.5 million domain name registrations across all top-level domains ( TLD), a decrease of 2.8 million domain name registrations, or 0.8%, from the fourth quarter of 2020.
He further revealed that domain name registrations were down 3.3 million, or 0.9%, year-over-year.
The US firm said the .com and .net TLDs had a combined total of 168.0 million domain name registrations in the domain name database at the end of the first quarter of 2021, an increase of 2. 8 million domain name registrations, or 1.7%, compared to the fourth quarter of 2020. The .com and .netTLDs saw a combined increase of 7.3 million domain name registrations, or 4 .6%, year over year.
VeriSign said that as of March 31, 2021, the .com domain name database totaled 154.6 million domain name records and the .net domain name database totaled 13.4 million domain name records. domain.
According to it, new .com and .net domain name registrations totaled 11.6 million at the end of the first quarter of 2021, compared to 10.0 million domain name registrations at the end of the first quarter of 2020.