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Nigeria loses N3.76bn to foreign domain names’ usage

By on April 12, 2013

In the last five years, the country has lost about N3.76bn to the continuous patronage of foreign domain names by Nigerians living.

This figure is expected to more than double in the next five years if the trend is not checked given the increasing level of Internet awareness and usage in the country.

On a yearly basis, over N752.66m is spent to service the over 600,000 foreign domain names registered by Nigerians as it costs about $7.99 to renew the domain names annually.

Some of the popular foreign domain names are .com, .org, .net, and, among others. Nigeria’s own unique identifier on the Internet is .ng.

The Chief Operating Officer, Nigeria Internet Registration Association, Mr. Ope Odunsa, who confirmed the figure on Tuesday in a telephone interview with our correspondent, said every year, over $7 was being paid by users to renew the foreign domain names.

“Over 600,000 foreign domain names are currently registered by Nigerians in Nigeria,” Odunsa said.

He lamented the capital flight occasioned by the use of such foreign domain names for websites operated from Nigeria.

The NiRA boss noted that the preference for foreign domain names by corporate bodies and individual Internet users was worrisome, adding that Nigerians had continued to sign up to foreign domain names instead of “our own domain name, which we should be proud of.”

Odunsa recently told some stakeholders in the Information and Communications Technology industry that Nigerian companies, institutions and individuals should leverage on the .ng domain identity, as it was the country’s unique identifier on the Internet.

The .ng platform, he noted, enabled the citizens to create websites for the promotion of Nigerian content.

By the end of 2012, only 26,000 registered domain names were with NiRA.

NiRA believes that with more Nigerian domain names, money sent abroad for domain name registration would be deployed in other areas of the business.

Industry statistics had shown that a lot of government officials also prefer the use of foreign domain names like Google, Yahoo, Hotmail, among others, to host their electronic mail.

The Minister of Communications Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, had recently confirmed that out of the 54,000 indigenous email accounts created for government officials in the federal ministries, departments and agencies, only four per cent were in use.

The minister, who expressed worries over the development, also called for the use of the .ng domain name for the sake of security of confidential mails, especially by businesses, institutions and individuals.

NiRA had recently confirmed that it was investing about N11m in to upgrade its equioment. It is targeting 250,000 domain names registered in the .ng registry as government MDAs, businesses, educational institutions and individuals.




One Comment

  1. Oche J Ejembi

    April 12, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    When a .ng TLD costs 7.5million naira to register nko?