Impact of Domain Name Adoption on the Digital Economy

The recent drop in the cost of the .ng domain name by the NiRA, coupled with the federal government’s enforcement of the use of .ng as the official communication channel for all MDAs, are all aimed at populating the .ng domain name. ng in Nigeria, writes Emma Okonji

The Federal Executive Council (FEC), this year approved the National Policy on Second Level Domains of the Nigerian Government at its meeting on February 16, 2022 and thereby prohibited its employees from using generic domains, for the purpose of to enforce the use of the .ng domain name in all government MDAs.

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) followed up on the directive by recently inaugurating a 14-person enforcement committee to oversee the implementation of the policy across all ministries, departments and agencies. (MDA) at the state and federal levels.

However, the February 2022 statement is not the first from the FEC, leaving many amazed as to why, after six years, the Nigerian government is still advocating for compliance regarding the local .ng domain name.

Should it be considered ignorance or pure sabotage for a diplomat, for example, to issue a business card containing a .com or .co.uk email address? It may very well be that senior Nigerian civil servants are unaware of the use of government in their ministries. One wonders how long it will take to fully comply with the new policy.

It is surprising that a country with 141,971,560 active Internet users in the fourth quarter of 2021, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) report, has less than 200,000 .ng domains owned by local and international owners. The statistics baffle many Nigerians, especially when compared to the number of .co.za domains, which is South Africa’s domain name that has been propelled into the world, and it is fully used in South Africa and in many other African countries. countries.

Most analysts wonder why many Nigerians have refused to use .ng domains. Who is to blame? Are Nigerians

thinking that the. ng isn’t good enough or they just don’t understand its importance to the national brand? Nigerians probably need some sort of government policy to make it somewhat mandatory for individuals and businesses to adopt the use of the .ng domain name.

One of the analysts who is a .ng domain name registrar said, “If you try to convince some people to switch to .ng, a large majority of people would give all sorts of reasons why they don’t. don’t use .ng and many of these reasons are just based on assumptions or hearsay and not facts.

According to the Registrar, “It is important to emphasize that the foundation of all sustainable development, particularly in the knowledge economy, is the enactment and application of policies. Imagine if we had a policy that says every business registered in Nigeria must use a .ng domain name. We know it’s not an impossible feat, after all, the UK and a few other countries have such policies, whether covertly or openly.

“Therefore, the recent measures taken by the FEC must be implemented effectively, especially to support the drivers of the digital economy. The journey towards economic diversification requires everyone’s commitment to the development of a robust digital economy and, in this case, requires the use of the Nigerian second-level domain by all official government-owned websites and emails. .

“The private sector is not left out either. Many Nigerian business platforms are still struggling with the indulgence of .ng, unaware of the immense advantage it will provide to boost their business prospects both locally and internationally.

Benefits

Addressing the many benefits of adopting and using the .ng domain name, most analysts are of the view that the .ng domain name, which is Nigeria’s identity in cyberspace, will enhance visibility world of local businesses and, at the same time, will deepen content development in Nigeria.

First, the Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA) holds the .ng Internet domain name registry and manages the database of registered names in Nigeria. It has shown its commitment to this cause through the recent reduction of more than 40% in the registration price of .ng domain names and the efforts of the media to inform the general public.

Another registrar who highlighted the benefits of the .ng domain name said, “The benefits are many, but let’s consider a few. The .ng is the Internet country code top-level domain (ccTLD) for Nigeria. The Nigeria Domain Name System identifies websites related to Nigeria and is currently available for registration in the following variations, .com.ng, .ng, .org.ng, .net.ng and so on, with a few of them being restricted to Nigerian entities such as .gov.ng, .edu.ng, .sch.ng, etc.

“For example, Nigerian companies registering .ng domain names have the immediate benefit of being ranked first on search engines when an online search is performed. Using it and maintaining good search engine optimization for the website will, over time, lead to increased local traffic.

The Registrar added: “A strong online presence is essential. Your potential customer will likely search the web when looking for your product or service, and a website that’s relatively easy to find and navigate will greatly increase your chances of making a sale, which .ng provides. Nigeria as a nation is blessed with this unique domain string known as .ng and we should be proud of this gift of nature. However, we should not just enjoy it, but own at least one of the many variants.

Exchange

The ever-increasing exchange rate has increased the cost of hosting services with multi-tenant cloud computing, using virtual private server (VPS) and the same goes for .com domain names, but analysts are of the opinion that using the .ng range of domains will help save rare forex (FX).

Many developers used to just pay for their virtual private server, but not anymore due to the high cost of VPS caused by a high exchange rate.

Google, a global brand with a local presence in Nigeria, owns both .com.ng and .ng, an example of a forward-looking global company that plays local to catch the attention of millions of people on all the markets in which it operates. Google prefers to serve all online searchers with results using google.com.ng when searching for things in Nigeria. Even when searches are conducted from outside Nigeria, in a place like Ghana, using the same device, Google will still deliver results via google.com.ng

Local content development

With the increase in local content development across all sectors of the Nigerian economy, more businesses are likely to spring up. However, considering the report by the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), which states that the number of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) across the country dropped by around two million between 2017 and 2021, it has become very evident that Nigeria has no choice but to grow its local content and intensify the promotion of local brands online.

The 2021 MSME survey revealed that there were 39 million MSMEs in Nigeria, which is a significant drop from the 41 million reported in the 2017 survey report.

Analysts are therefore convinced that Nigerians, including government at all levels, must step up their actions in the development of local content by supporting the growth of local businesses and businesses.

“Just imagine what will happen if only one percent of the over 211 million registered Nigerians, according to MacroTrends statistics, decide to own a .ng domain name. That will be over 21 million domain names, which will serve eventually base to businesses and businesses on the World Wide Web. Wouldn’t this further strengthen the Nigerian brand and make it worthy on the internet?” asked one of the analysts.

Given the implications of some Nigerians’ willful refusal to adopt and use the .ng domain name, analysts who have analyzed the business and economic implications have said that everyone must be on deck to drive adoption. and use of the .ng domain, in order to complement NiRA’s efforts.