Nigeria’s identity on the Internet, the .ng, sustained its growth over the last six months, as active users of the top level domain name climbed to 118.
Latest statistics from the Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA) showed that 17,000 new users activated the domain name between January and June this year.
Year-on-year, the figure shows a 30 per cent increase compared with the same period in 2017, when the platform only had 90,969 active users.
However, the Registrar said the target was to achieve 1 million active web addresses on the .ng domain name in the next five years.
Speaking on the growth recorded so far, the President of NiRA, Rev. Sunday Folayan, said the growth has been fuelled by two things, which according to him, are the fact that Nigerians 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: “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,” he said.
“It is also attractive to Asians, cheng, chung, Samsung, they all end with ng, so we have a unique string that appeals to a 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 will still able to recover.”