Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA) is targeting the registration of about one million .ng domains names in another five years.
The President of NiRA, Rev. Sunday Folayan, at a post event interview in Lagos, at the weekend, said there has been an exponential growth, about 50 per cent year-on-year growth of .ng from 3000 to over 100,000 in the last few years, “but we believe that with this growth rate, in another five years, we should hit one million domain names.”
Folayan disclosed that the growth has been fueled by two things, which according to him are the fact that Nigeria are beginning to realise that it cost money to register a non .ng domains. He added that the fall in the value of naira has made it clear that it is capital flight to register non .ng domain names.
Secondly, he said more Nigerians are taking their businesses online. According to him, many more Nigerians are beginning to recognise that brick and mortal businesses would get patronage from their catchment, “but when you take a business online, its opportunities are limitless. For example we love parties a lot in Nigeria, there are so many people who come from abroad and bury their loved ones and do parties and their only contact to the event planners are through the Internet, through recommendations and various online channels and they look at recommendations of other people and see that these Nigerian entities provide qualitative values, services and so they are patronised and from there, they continued to grow and compete with other global brand.”
The NiRA president disclosed that the Nigerian domain name is one of the most unique names on the Internet. He explained that “If you look at domain names like .tv, most people think it is for television registration, which is not. It belongs to island Tuvalu, but you see televisions stations registering with it. Same goes for .fm it belongs to country and not frequency modulation, but you see so many radio stations registering with it. Similarly, .ng belongs to Nigeria and it is very unique because most action verb in English language ends with ng, for example running, shopping, and others, so these names are attractive. It is also attractive to Asians, cheng, chung, Samsung, they all end with ng, so we have a unique string that appeals to cross spectrum of people all over the world. So, the .ng domain name can be sold everywhere, not only in Nigeria.”
On the complaints about infrastructure gaps hampering hosting services in the country, Folayan said Nigeria was capable of hosting those facilities if local content development is considered.
“When people say there is no infrastructure, what they are saying is like electricity is not been reliable. In the last 10 years, there was no fibre into Nigeria, except SAT3, which was under monopoly control, it was very expensive, the operators were not business minded and didn’t understand what we were talking about. But in the last five years, not less than five submarine cables have berthed in Nigeria. The MainOne, WACS, Glo1, SAT3, ACE. There is sufficient bandwidth in Nigeria now. Data Centres too are springing up to provide hosting services. A couple of them are building their facilities to be redundant, not just in one location, even if there is natural disaster, they still able to recover.
“I know a submarine cable provider that has cable in Nigeria from the sea and from Cotonuo through the mainland, so if there is problem, there is redundancy. So what we need now is for data centre to start partnering with OEMs the Dell, HP, Acer would bring in their equipment, wire it into the data centres and begin to sell services to the people and power it, so that is the infrastructure but for you to have the infrastructure, there must be an ecosystem. That is what NiRA is pushing and creating.”