NiRA changes strategy on getting states, local governments. on .ng

Sunday Folayan, President NiRA

Sunday Folayan, President NiRA

After unsuccessful efforts to get all the 774 local governments and state governments in the country to register just as federal ministries and parastatals, Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA) has changed its earlier strategy in order to achieve this result.

Mr. Sunday Folayan, president, Nira, told Nigeria CommunicationsWeek that the idea of bringing States and Local Governments Areas on .ng has not been abandoned rather the strategy has change from focusing on creating name of those entities on the superhighway to creating services for citizens on the internet which will add value to both citizens and the authorities that register.

He said that NiRA’s engagement group plans to present this strategy as well as others for discussion at the forth coming National Council on Information and Communications Technology schedule to hold in November this year.

It would be recalled that the immediate past administration of NiRA under Mrs. Mary Uduma initiated the effort to get all states and local governments to register their websites on the country’s top level domain name in line with e-government policy of the federal government.

To this end, NiRA collaborated with National Information Development Agency (NITDA) that acts as their registrar aimed at making the process easy for them. However, in spite of the deadline given to the 774 local governments in the country to comply which have since elapse, a handful of them have complied recording less than 30%.

It is in view of this lustra attitude that necessitated the change in strategy to ensure that a good number of them comply wilfully without compulsion by making it value driven.

Folayan also decried high rate of government ministries and parastatals’ websites that are on .ng and their servers hosted abroad. This, according to him has adverse effect on the country’s economy as well as growth of information technology.

“NiRA has mapped out plans to start encouraging local hosting in the country and will roll it out in a matter of weeks. One of the issues to be addressed include technological limitations as well as none technological limitations,’ he said.

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek had gathered that Lagos state government which previously hosted its web and email servers in the country had to relocate it to a foreign country, citing trust issues as reason for doing so.

Mohammed Rudman, managing director, Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria, said that the implication of such action is that email exchange among staff of those ministries or departments are no longer private as it will have to leave the country to the country where the server is hosted and in the process could be tapped by agents of the government of the country.

He added that it also encourages capital flight as cost of such service will be paid in foreign currency; as well as create employment for foreigners at the expense of Nigerians.

“More so, if by any means there is cut or tsunami that damages undersea cable that provides connectivity between the host network and the ministry or agency, staff cannot communicate through the email,” he said.

It was learnt that presently, there are several Data centres in the country that have attended international certification that can host web and email servers for governments, ministries and departments thereby creating employment and encourage local companies for the development of the country.

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