As part of its plan to celebrate the nation’s 100 years centenary anniversary, the Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA), the body that regulates the country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD), the .ng domain name, said it would give out 100, 000 free domain names to interested Nigerians in 2014.
NIRA said it would give out the 100,000 domain names for free, in order to encourage Nigerians to populate the .ng domain name, which is Nigeria’s identity in the cyberspace.
Mrs. Mary Uduma, the President of NiRA, who made the disclosure in Lagos at the Registrars forum/end of the year get-together, said that the initiative was borne out of desire to promote the use of the .ng domain name by Nigerians.
“In 2009 we had less than 2,000 domain names but now we have about 60, 000 registered domain names,” the NiRA President said while assessing the adoption of .ng domain name in the country.
A committee has been set up,to work out the modalities on how to make the domain names available to interested Nigerians.
She called on registrars to take advantage of the opportunity to offer free domain name hosting which they will give to their registrants. This she stressed will open doors of loyalty between them and their registrants.
The working committee chaired by Mr. Gbolade Odusami, is expected to be independent, as the NiRA Board has clearly stated that there would not be any interference in the activities of the committee.
Mr. Akinbo Cornerstone, the acting Chief Operating Officer of NiRA, explained that details of the free domain name would be announced by the end of January this year. He assured Nigerians that the actual commencement of the free domain name exercise would begin in February this year.
Cornerstone called on Nigerians to begin the search for possible names with which they could register their business, using the free .ng domain name.
NiRA has less than 50,000 registrants according to the industry data reeled out by Uduma, but hoped to increase it by 250 per cent before the end of 2014 through increased awareness.
“As part of our awareness programme, an agreement has been reached to have all states and local governments listed on the .ng domain before the end of 2014. Considerations are seriously being looked into the renewal fee of the N50, 000, with the intent of lowering it,” she said.
She explained that the board would continue to work closely with the Registrars to make the programme a success.