Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami
The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), has frowned at the non-adoption, and use of Nigeria’s domain name, the .gov.ng by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).NITDA, which has not ruled out sanctions, said it has observed the disregard to the use of .gov.ng domain in the transaction of government business despite previous letters issued.
The Agency said it will henceforth ensure strict compliance with the directive by ensuring that all government business transactions are strictly carried out on the Country Code Top Level Domain of the Nigerian government (ccTLD.ng). To this end, NITDA said it has put in place measures to ensure that all government MDAs (Federal, States, and Local Governments) operated within the .gov.ng.
These measures include ensuring that all requests for .gov.ng domain are verified and approved within 24hours provided all conditions are met. (See http://nitda.gov.ng/procedure-for-gov-ng-domain-registration/); provision of a Special Purpose 24/7 mobile phone number (+2348140504418) for responses to enquiries and technical support; regular evaluation of government websites in collaboration with relevant agencies of the government; and blacklisting of all MDA sites running on Generic Top Level Domain (gTLD), other than the .gov.ng.
It maintained that it is an Agency of the Nigerian Government tasked with the implementation of the Nigerian Information Technology Policy, and co-ordination of general IT development and regulation in the country.Checks showed that Section 6(l) of the NITDA Act mandates it to render advisory services in all Information Technology matters to the public and private sectors. NITDA is also mandated “To ensure Internet governance and supervision of the management of the country code top-level domain (cctld.ng) on behalf of all Nigerians.”
Furthermore, .gov.ng domain names are free with no rental or renewal cost attached.“We therefore call on MDAs and service providers to support the Federal Government effort of moving Nigeria up on the scale of “ease of doing business” by ensuring that all government websites are only hosted on the .gov.ng as this will promote government service delivery in Nigeria,” NITDA stated.
Already, the Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA), said the adoption of (ccTLD), the .ng is on the upward swing, as the figure hit 100,000 last month.NiRA noted that countries around the world strive to promote their respective domain systems in order to retain substantial part of the Internet expenditure in-country.
The President, Sunday Folayan, informed that Nigeria’s .ng ranked second largest after South Africa, which has about one million registered .za in Africa.The NiRA President commended The Guardian for championing the course of .ng in the country, especially, as it relates to its adoption, and many print privileges that the domain name has enjoyed through the platform.