Nigeria’s domain name recorded slow growth in 2019

…registration hits 147,745


Registration for Nigeria’s country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD), .ng, increased by 16,645 in 2019, New Telegraph has learnt.

This was, however, a slow growth compared with 2018 when 29,405 registrations were recorded.

According to data released by the Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA), new subscriptions for the domain name in 2019 brought the total registration for .ng to 147,745.

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 the 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 slow growth recorded last year showed that the Association still has a lot of works to do to achieve the set target.

Currently, Nigeria has one of the lowest registrations for the country 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. 

Germany, for instance, has sold 20 million of its ccTLD .de and according to global prices, each is sold for at least $100. Also, Tokelau, a tiny island with a population of about 1,400 people, is said to have sold 21 million units of its ccTLD, .tk, and that alone is seen as the economic mainstay of the island.

Web owners have, however, blamed their choice of domain name on the web developers.

According to them, the developers always advised them to go for .com with the notion that using the .ng would mean they want to localise their business. It is also believed that the cost of registering the Nigerian domain name is higher than that of the US.

To address the concerns about the pricing of the .ng, the President of NiRA, Mr. Rudman Mohammed, said the association managing the country’s domain name would consider a downward review of the current price.

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.

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 the 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.

“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 as, localized support and increased brand recognition, etc,” the NiRA President said.

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