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The Relevance, Importance of .NG Domain Names

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Sunday Afolayan, NiRA's President

It is interesting to note that while Nigeria has over 19 million Facebook users, it has way less than 100,000 .NG domain names. It is, however, common knowledge that the more domain names a country has in the internet, the better it is for her, especially, in the conservation of its scarce foreign reserves.

I recently had a one-on-one with Rev’d Sunday Folayan, the President of the Nigerian Internet Registration Association, NiRA, and the topic of discussion centred on the relevance and importance of the .NG domain name.

Rev’d Folayan said that, to get more businesses to patronise and use the .NG domain name beyond what we currently have, we need to enable more SMEs and MSMEs. This is because by doing that, we will be looking at way over 37 million SMEs and MSMEs.

He, however, said that the prospect of having most SMEs and MSMEs adopting the .NG domain is hampered by factors such as the right education.

According to him, when people have the right education, they will understand how this will add value to the business and their attitude will change.

Other hurdles, he identified, that we must overcome for more people to accept the .NG domain include payment assurance and confidence as well as the ability for them to use the devices as there are some learning curves to overcome in the use of technology.

Rev’d Folayan stated that, out of the over 37 million SMEs in Nigeria today, only about 200,000 of them are ready to GI online now, hence, this becomes the catchment for getting people to register the .NG domains.

He reiterated that, currently, only over 80,000. NG domain names have been registered, so far, stressing that the .NG registry is only second to South Africa in terms of the number of registrants.

Stressing the advantages of using the .NG domain name over the .Com domain name, Rev’d Folayan stated that the one advantage is that a Nigerian business registered on the domain will be found faster online in Nigeria than one registered in the .Com registry. He said that as your business grows, you can then move outside Nigeria and there, you can register under the domain registrars if the countries you opened an office in, e.g., .GH in Ghana or .SL in Sierra Leone, etc. He gave the example of Google that has the google.com, but also has google.com.ng domain in Nigeria which shows to show that geo-locating is very key to a business being found online. He stated that the big players in business understand the importance of tying their business to a locality which helps to ensure more visibility and patronage and the small businesses should take a queue.

Rev’d Folayan emphasized that it is a matter of pride, for instance, for South Africans to use the .ZA domain in South Africa but they are not compelled by any government policy to do so. Likewise, in Germany, practically all businesses use the .DE domain, which has even now crossed the 5 million mark in registry.

The citizens, he maintained, understand importance of being nationalistic and identifying with their national brand. NiRA, he assured, is also not coercing anyone to register the .NG domain, but encourage Nigerian businesses and individuals to take pride in the .NG domain.

On the notion that the .NG domain is expensive, Rev’d  Folayan stated that the .NG domain is appropriately priced. He assured that the pricing is based on the long-term sustainability of the registry so that it can continue to offer its services.

Stating what NiRA is doing to solve the challenge of education of users, Rev’d Folayan said that NiRA has established the NiRA Academy which is a DNS Centre of excellence in Nigeria that trains the needed manpower in all spheres related to the business and spheres that NiRA operates such as Engineers, Technicians, Entrepreneurs, Policy makers, Internet governance, law enforcement, etc.

Rev’d Folayan stated that, if everything is okay, by the time the .NG domain registration hits the one million mark, it will mean that between 200,000 and 400,000 businesses would have been created.

He said that NiRA is creating excitement to make this happen by creating the NiRA Awards which is now the flagship for businesses, Entrepreneurs and Startups to showcase what they are doing in the domain name industry. He also stated the modus for price reduction of the .NG domain.

CFA is the Founder, www.CFAtech.ng & Co-producer/Presenter,Tech Trends on Channels Television

 

 

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E-Business

YouTube Go launches in Nigeria

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YouTube has announced that the YouTube Go app previewed at the recent Google for Nigeria event is now available for initial public download in Nigeria.

YouTube has been reimagined to meet the needs of the next generation of users in YouTube Go, which is available for initial download in the Google Play Store. YouTube plans to continue to learn from our users to improve the app over time.

Speaking on the announcement, Johanna Wright, VP Product Management at YouTube, said: “YouTube Go has been designed to take into account the challenges faced by YouTube users in countries like Nigeria, such as data cost and connectivity. With YouTube Go, we are making it possible for everyone in Nigeria to be able to discover videos that they love, regardless of their network status or data consumption preferences.”

With more Nigerians coming online every year, and most of them only using their mobiles for internet access, we are working hard to make products that are tailored to Nigerians’ specific needs.

“You can save videos for offline watching, and can choose what resolution video to save – basic quality or standard quality – giving you better control over how you use your precious data.”, he added.

Built from the ground up to meet the needs of the growing online youth population, YouTube Go offers easy video downloading, phone-number sign-in, effortless searching, and more effective ways to control data use.

YouTube Go also features a home screen that shows both personalized recommendations as well as trending and popular videos nearby, allowing users to see the latest content that the people around are watching, upfront.

It offers a ‘preview video’ function to make it easier to decide what to watch or download.

Before developing YouTube Go, the YouTube team spent thousands of hours gathering information, conducting interviews, doing testing, and refining the product. The result is YouTube Go, an entirely new YouTube app that is designed to be offline first.

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Improved Security Strategies Required for ePlatforms Uptakes- ITSSP

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By peter oluka ‎

Nigeria requires adequate cyber security measures to sustain the growth of service deliveries through e-Platforms, said information security experts.

Professor Adesina Sodiya, president of ITSSP in a telephone interview with Nigeria CommunicationsWeek, described cybercrime as a growing global threat, but every country has learnt to defend its cyber space.

Prof. Sodiya said, ‎”Cybercrime is a global challenge; and the recent attacks in Nigeria have been affecting critical areas of our activities. That is why this group is concerned about the development of solutions to tackle the menace. We have to continue to discourse the way forward in terms of our national cyber development”‎

He said that, ‎as a country, professionals must be engaged to develop the cyber defence strategies. “Many countries have gone ahead with the development of defence mechanisms in the cyber space; Nigeria must not be left behind. We have not gotten there.‎

“Why do we need to be more serious about cyber space? There is a popular saying today that the next world war will happen at the cyber space.

“As at now, many countries are gathering information about other countries. They are peeping into other countries’ activities, which calls for us to develop our cyber security strategies to monitor inflow and outflow of data”.

Mr. ‎Aderogba Adeoye, former president of ITSSP also told Nigeria CommunicationsWeek that increase in these e-platforms calls for improved cyber security awareness.‎

“Everybody is talking about e-platforms. If we are to run the e-platforms, it entails a need to develop capacities for security. Your data or information can be wiped off in a twinkle of an eye. As far as the e-commerce platforms are concerned, the intention is to make profit.‎

“For us to continue reaping benefits in e-services applications the capacity development of the human capital must be taken very serious. This is what the conference tends to address.‎

“We are not relenting. ITSSP is an interest group of the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS); it is important to us to advocate for focus on issues related to cyber security”, he said.‎‎

He added that recent advocacies have yielded results with the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), for instance, introduced information security departments. “That is a right step in good direction. The other day we engaged the Ministry of Justice and the National Security Adviser (NSA) and they were convincing enough on how admitting electronic evidences are helpful in combating cybercrimes”. ‎

“In order to build capacity government has to enhance IT policing activities by ensuring that anybody executing government projects, in IT, are registered professionals. This is another way to elicit adherence to the rules of the business,” Adeoye added. ‎‎

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E-Business

Stakeholders Frown at Nigeria’s Position on eReadiness Report

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by Chike Onwuegbuchi

Information and communications technology stakeholders have frowned at the recent position of the Nigeria on eReadiness status where the country is placed 119 out of 139 countries.

eReadiness refers to a country’s capacity and state of preparedness to participate in the electronic world.

The state of maturity is commonly measured by the country’s information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure and the ability of its government and citizens to utilize the positive impacts of ICT for sustainable development.

Chris Uwaje, director general, Delta State Innovation Hub, who disclosed the country’s position said: “In the e-readiness report just released early this week Nigeria is sitting at 119.”

He said; “eReadiness status is about the aggregate measure of how countries are faring using ICT or within the ICT landscape, it embodied economic, educational and social index, measured along the lines of sustainable development goals. Each country has an index that they need to pass, it just like exam. But the aggregate sum of our domain platform today is really unacceptable. It keeps us into that realm of super consumption country in ICT but less in innovative and creativity and that is wrong.”

He explained that the more we consume the more we cannot create employment. “The more we consume, the more we are funding capital flight, the more we consume the more our educational sector will be malnourished in terms of knowledge, and will not be attractive, that is why more Nigerians are now in Ghanaian universities and in Republic of Benin universities.

“For the country to move up it is about knowledge Olympiad. We need to refine our educational system, government need to invest more on knowledge parks, incubators, and fund incubators. We have to ensure that lectures and those who can replicate knowledge are given added resources and reward system that enables them. Because we need to create a digital army for this country, so that when financial sector, aviation, transport or any other sector is attack can we defend it?”

Amos Emmanuel, chief executive officer, Programos Software, said that Nigeria has a lot to do if she has to move up in the ladder of e-readiness.

“The game of e-readiness has changed; it is no longer like technological transfer from Europe or America the focus is now on innovation base on the environment. Nigeria needs to reformulate its digital policy,” he said.

He blamed the country’s socio-cultural environment as impediment to application of information and communications technology to every sector of the economy.

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